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NY Post
New York Post
5 Aug 2023


NextImg:Sexpert Shan Boodram on whether a ‘Marriage Pact’ can work

The new dating reality series “The Marriage Pact” posits six pairs of friends who made “pacts” to marry each other if they were single by a certain age — and whether they will live up to their agreement.

The series, streaming on The Roku Channel and app, is hosted by “sexologist” Shan Boodram, 37, who’s appeared on The View, MTV, CNN, helmed a podcast, a YouTube channel and written books.

“I’m interested in any conversation that spans the dialogue around what it means to find love, have healthy sex, and exist intimately in this world,” Boodram, 37, told The Post. 

“And I think that the show gave a once-in-a-lifetime look at a concept that we’re all familiar with, but have never really seen in practice.

“Especially not in the way that it was shown here.”

Sex expert and “The Marriage Pact” host Shan Boodram.
Fernando Decillis

The eight-episodes series follows Boodram as she guides the six duos through taking their friendship to the next level while they live in a luxury mansion in Cartagena, Colombia.

After going on dates and sharing rooms, the couples get nearly a month to decide if they’ll marry at the end of the show, or part ways. 

“I think [a marriage pact] is an incredible concept,” said Boodram. 

“It speaks to the overall trend we have in modern-day love, which is ‘slow love courtship,’ and romantic structures that take longer to boil. Back in the day, it was commitment first and figure out the rest later. Even in our parents’ generation, a lot of them didn’t even live together first.

Shan Boodram (center) with "The Marriage Pact" couples "The Marriage Pact" couples Dennis Phermsin and Maryann Mayo (left) and Grace Ruehle and Marcus Hackett, right.
Shan Boodram (center) with “The Marriage Pact” couples “The Marriage Pact” couples Dennis Phermsin and Maryann Mayo (left) and Grace Ruehle and Marcus Hackett, right.
Fernando Decillis

“Slow-love courtship is essentially to get as much information as you possibly can before committing,” she said. “These people know each other’s values, history, long-term goals. Often times, they know each other’s extended families.

“They’ve gathered as much information as possible, but there’s something missing between them,” she said. “Maybe it’s timing, maybe it’s romantic attraction, maybe it’s a fear of commitment. But setting a timestamp for when they will pursue it is really helpful to people who struggle with self-sabotage. Or, maybe a person hasn’t found someone who gives them butterflies, but they have found someone they can have a great and meaningful life with.”

Shan Boodram with some of "The Marriage Pact" couples, including Dennis Phermsin, Maryann Mayo, and Grace Ruehle.
Shan Boodram with some of “The Marriage Pact” couples, including Dennis Phermsin, Maryann Mayo, and Grace Ruehle.
Fernando Decillis

The couples include Cody Young and Julie Jackson, 27, who dated in college but broke up when he cheated on her; Armani Vasudeva and Brie Dixon, 30, who have been friends for five years; Dennis Phermsin, 36, and Maryann Mayo, 43, who have been friends for over 20 years but never romantic; Trevor Lyons and Logan Amos, 22, who have been pals since high school; Alysha Munsaka, 27, and Quentin Gause, 30, who have been friends with a spark for years; and Marcus Hackett, 30 and Grace Ruehle, 35, flirty pals hindered by long-distance. 

“The timing aspect of love is a huge part of it,” said Boodram. 

“We want to believe that it’s all magic and chemistry, but you can meet somebody where it is a match and you have similar long-term goals, but you both have some growing to do. That doesn’t mean you won’t be with that person eventually. 

“I think everybody has that ‘What if?’ for a friend. So, see what happens when people press play on that ‘What if?’ From a voyeuristic perspective, and a vicarious perspective, everybody has a stake in the show.”