90 Day Fiance's Big Ed Dishes On His Relationships And Single Life Season 2 - Exclusive Interview

The "90 Day Fiancé" franchise has given viewers countless memorable moments throughout its reign on TLC. From Lisa and Usman's tumultuous love affair to Elizabeth and Andrei's consistent drama with family members, it's safe to say that "90 Day Fiancé" knows how to deliver time and time again. But no member of the franchise has dominated the airwaves and the internet more than Ed "Big Ed" Brown. The social media and "90 Day Fiancé" star took the internet by storm due to his larger-than-life personality and his relatable love story. Of course, his self-assigned nickname caught the attention of viewers right off the bat.

Since appearing on the spin-off "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days," Big Ed has continued to take viewers on his journey to find love. As many fans know, "Before the 90 Days" chronicled Big Ed's relationship with Rose, a woman from the Philippines whom he met online. The two were clearly Season 4 standouts, but their relationship was not built to last — one of their biggest disagreements came down to having children together, of which Big Ed was not in support. The reunion show, "90 Day Bares All," saw the two reunited, and it was clear that their relationship was over (via ET). From there, Big Ed became romantically involved with Liz, and their relationship was captured during Season 1 of "90 Day: The Single Life." But after on-screen fights and a difficult journey together, they two called it quits.

It's safe to say that there are a lot of questions to ask Big Ed about his time in the franchise, his love life, and his journey to self-fulfillment, so we asked. In an exclusive sit-down interview with The List, Big Ed shared his thoughts on his relationships and the very public journey he's been on to find love. This is what he had to say about his relationships and "Single Life" Season 2.

What is the status of Big Ed's relationship with Liz?

I was doing a little bit of my homework preparing for our interview. Just first and foremost, I'd love to get an update from you on your relationship with Liz because, of course, there was some report of reconciliation between the two of you. I'd love to just get a status update as to where your relationship stands.

Got it. There's not a lot I can say other than we reconnected after the tell-all and you're just going to have to tune in. I can't really comment where we're at right now.

Okay. I know that previously there have been reports of you mentioning that you'd be willing to go to couples therapy to work on your relationships. I'm just wondering if you have any advice for people who are currently struggling in their own partnerships or how you've committed to relationships in the past?

Yeah. Well, the first and biggest commitment I made was to myself, and I really worked on myself — not just physically, how I looked, my hairstyle. I really wanted to create a better version of who I am, but I just realized, since Rose, that I really don't know how to be in a relationship, so I got a therapist. She's absolutely amazing. In fact, day one, she hands me a list of what we call co-dependencies and I'm like, holy crap. I was probably 10 out of 10.

It's been a wonderful journey with my therapist. There's a lot that I've learned about myself. It's easy to say [to] love yourself and laugh at yourself, which I tell my fans, but the hardest thing for us to do is to really look at who we are. I'm not good at being in a relationship, and I proved that with Rose and I proved that with Liz.

Yeah. It's hard to sit and really acknowledge your own responsibility in relationships because they always say it takes two to tango, but it's hard to stomach that at times.

Absolutely. My second advice is don't listen to your friends. Don't let your family and friends tell you what to do, who to like, who to love. It has to be your choice. That's probably one of my biggest breakthroughs in therapy, but I recommend it for anyone. I think everybody should have a therapist, I really do, because ... they're just amazing.

Big Ed doesn't have any regrets when it comes to his past relationships

I think, as you mentioned, not taking advice from family and friends — no one's going to know your relationship as you do. I'd say if any television show or franchise embodies that, I'd say "90 Day" absolutely does because it's very hard to give sound advice when you're not the one involved.

That's something that came up quite often in my relationships with Liz and even with Rose is that I was listening to everybody else but what was in my heart. That got me in trouble. I think that's what really ruined my relationship with Liz.

Do you have anything that you would like to change in the past if you could go back or are you more focused on just moving forward positively, would you say?

No, definitely. Probably my biggest breakthrough in therapy is that you have to accept somebody for who they are. You can't change them. I tried to change Rose. I tried to change Liz. And you can't. You have to either accept them for who they are or you have to move on.

Definitely. What would you say it's been like to navigate your personal life but in a very public way, in a very public setting?

Yeah, probably horrible, literally the hardest thing. In fact, the first thing my therapist said was, "It's impossible for you to be in a committed relationship while on TV because you are constantly being praised and ridiculed." I mean, I had people come up to me every day and go, hey, you should have done this and here's what you should have done.

I knew this going into the franchise day one [on] "Before the 90 Days" — that you were opening your life, your entire life, your entire past, everything about you to the world. I'm 56 years old. I'm not perfect. We all make mistakes through life and we learn from them. But thankfully, because of my age and in a mature way, I'm able to deal with a lot of the criticism where when Liz and I were dating on Season 1, it was really difficult for her.

This is how Big Ed would categorize his time in the 90 Day franchise

It's opening yourself up, especially something that we hold as close to our hearts as romance and dating. Exposing that to the rest of the world, I'm sure comes with a very unique set of challenges.

And even with the positive stuff, or excuse me with the negative, I get more positivity than —

I was going to ask.

Hey, you're so courageous and you showered with your father-in-law and you told her she had bad breath and you kissed her on the nose. I mean, all of that stuff, like you're not a quitter. The minute you believe that there's nothing out there for you, it's kind of over. We're on this planet for a very short time, and I think we have to find our happiness.

Definitely. Your "90 Day" journey has really been full of so many ups and downs. And obviously now, you're doing "90 Day: The Single Life," so how would you categorize your time within the franchise? Has it been an overwhelmingly positive experience? Has it been challenging? Have you learned things about yourself? How would you kind of pitch that?

Wow, kind of everything you said. Before "90 Day Fiancé," the first show, I didn't really know what I was doing. I came back from the Philippines going, "That was dumb. That was a waste of $6,000 and five weeks of vacation." And then the show broke and people are like, "God, you're my hero." And people started to make memes of me. I just gained a ton of fans kind of overnight.

So then I was kind of already used to kind of being in the limelight. But on "Single Life," everything is real, from "Before the 90 Days" to the "Happily Ever After." They don't tell you what to do. It's real, but it's just for me, I want to make sure I'm finding love in the right way. And I want to make sure that the person that I'm with is with me for me. It's not always easy to know. That part is kind of challenging to know, are they dating me because of who I am or do they really see where my heart is?

But I have no regrets. We had security guards. We were never not safe, but it's been a incredible experience. Everybody at TLC has been very supportive.

This is how COVID-19 impacted the second season of 90 Day: The Single Life

The new season of "Single Life" is set to air starting in November. I was wondering, because I wasn't entirely sure about the production side of it — well, first and foremost, I'll take any spoiler you can give me if you're so inclined or able to. But I was also wondering if COVID impacted this season at all.

You know what? Absolutely. The production company that TLC works with, they take COVID very seriously. Back the day before I left for Mexico on Season 2, I think I was COVID-tested three different times in one day. Everyone's in masks. The protocol was the first thing we do before we start filming is we have a safety meeting and they ask, "Does anybody have a cough, symptoms? Have you been around anybody?"

There was no season that was impacted more than when I did "Strike Back." We had to do all the self-filming. I mean, that was out of control, but I do feel it's kind of loosening up a little bit. This is what's kind of ironic is COVID actually made me viral because people had nothing to do. I do my video shout-outs, and people are like, "Your season got us through COVID."


That part makes me feel really, really good. The best thing for me that came out of COVID was the show gained an enormous amount of popularity because people found that entertaining that I kiss girls on noses and that I get shot and that I shower with my father-in-law and get attacked by a monkey, and I sweat in markets. People love my misery. It's kind of funny.

What has Big Ed's experience with social media been like?

I was going to ask, what has that been like for you to engage with viewers of the show, whether that's in person or via social media? What's that been like to kind of bridge that gap?

Yeah. People kind of call me the Danny DeVito of reality TV. I'm like a character. I'm kind of short and I have a shorter neck. I look a little bit different. I get a lot of emails from people that have my same condition, which is Klippel-Feil. I never allowed it to define who I was, but I look different. I have a shorter neck and a big ribcage and I'm kind of not as tall. People are like, look, you put yourself out there and you got mayonnaise in your hair. I have your same condition and I'm so depressed. How do you do it?

It's kind of an opportunity for me to say, "Hey, look. Love who you are and laugh at yourself." The laugh at yourself part is really — we all make mistakes; don't be afraid to fail. Make good decisions, but don't be afraid to fail. But I kind of learned that after Liz and I's breakup that I have to take that on. If you're going to love yourself, you better get into therapy and figure out who you are.

Definitely, because it's not just loving the good bits. It's the bad as well.


Big Ed reveals what his health journey has been like

I'd love to talk to you a little bit as well about your health journey, which I think has been really cool that you've been sharing that on social media. You obviously just briefly touched on it, but I'd love to know what it's been like to offer people an insight into your life and your health in that regard.

Got it. Well, first of all, I got hammered because when you become this reality star overnight, everybody wants a picture. And any town I would go to — from Florida to Vegas to Chicago, Seattle — girls come up and guys come up to you. And then I start posting pictures with young girls. It's not the image that I really want people to know me as.

After the breakup with Liz, which really knocked the wind out of me, I wanted to touch, move people. I wanted people to say, "Look, this what I'm going through." When you're going through a break ... go work out. The difference [is] that [it] gives you clear thinking. So I have decided that I want to try to do something more than put mayonnaise in my hair.

I want to touch, move, and inspire people, especially the young adults. When I have an 8-year-old on skateboard come up to me, tell me that you're a legend, it's like, wow, here's an opportunity for me to alter his life and give him a positive outlook. I'll never say no to a photograph unless I'm eating, which kind of drives me crazy. They're so excited to see me. They're like, "I can't even hold the camera. I'm shaking." Okay, don't do that. I'm Ed. I'm just having dinner. Don't worry about it. I just try to let people know [to] be yourself.

But I had to kind of take that on. Like I said, I knew I had things to work on after Liz. So the first thing I did was I got into therapy, and my therapist was really the first person, because when you have fame overnight, you don't know how to deal with it. The first thing she said to me was, "Look, there are two people sitting in front of me. There is Big Ed that's on TV. And then there's Ed the person that's emotionally crying." She helped me really define that there are two different people, even though I'm one person. Because people say wonderful things online and people say a lot that's not true. [It's] kind of sad, and when you start reading that stuff, it can really, really bring you down.

What is Big Ed's advice for dealing with online negativity?

In what ways do you cope with any of that negativity? Because social media can be a fickle thing.

The best advice I can give to anybody that's in the limelight, or not, is don't read the stuff that's online because it's not true. It's people that don't have a life, unfortunately, that are angry and that really need help. They need therapy. But if you feed into that, it will bring you down. I mean, my brother told me one time, if you walk in the gutter and stare down, don't do that.

Best advice is, know it's not true, don't read. I never respond. I ignore it. What they don't realize is they made me viral. They go on and they say something crude about me. Some of the comments are really funny though. He looks like a big pile of crap or whatever. This makes me laugh. I think it's funny. But I definitely get, I would say, 80% more positive than I do get negative [messages].

But to the haters out there, I love ya. I hope you can move on in some way and get help because it's not healthy for you to say mean things or bully people. In fact, my therapist even told me, "Look, before you speak," which I speak a lot. [It] is that before you comment on anything, go, "Is this to get someone to understand you or is this to hurt someone?" To hurt someone, it might feel good for about a second, but then it goes away. I've kind of taken that.

But look, it came with what I signed up for, and I have no regrets. I mean, to be known in 155 countries, to be the most popular —


— meme in the world, it just blows my mind. When I was in Florida, my brother hired a driver, and he's like, "Hey, can I have a picture with you? My friends don't believe I'm working with you." I'm like, "Where are your friends at?" They're like, "Romania." I'm like, "What?" TLC has a pretty big reach. I have a platform to make a difference in this world. And the rest of my time with TLC will be spent [touching], moving, and inspiring people in any way I can.

What did Big Ed have to say about The Single Life Season 2?

The new season of "The Single Life" is going to start. What are you hoping that you will get out of this season? Are there any off-camera moments that stood out to you or just news about the season in general that you're looking forward to people seeing?

Yeah. The biggest thing for me is that I want people to walk away knowing that don't give up — that just because it didn't work out with Rose, it didn't work out with Liz, don't give up. The minute you do, it's over. The fact that I'm going to try, that I'm going to go to another foreign country again and that I'm dating this girl in Vegas. But every person you meet, you leave something with and you take something with you as well.

There's a famous quote by Anaïs Nin that goes something like, "Each friend represents a world within us, a world not born until they arrive. But it's only by their meeting that a new world is born." We all have that opportunity to touch, move, and inspire someone in a positive way. And even if it doesn't work out, you leave a better person.


Rose made me a better person. Liz made me a better person.

If you're going to take anything from a relationship and then give, vice versa, that's the best outcome, obviously.

It really is. It really is.

These are the parts of Big Ed's life you don't see on TV

Is there anything that you want me to know or that I didn't touch upon?

I think Season 1 of "Singles" was kind of boring because I didn't expect to fall in love, and I was only with Liz, but Season 2 is crazy. It is exciting. There's tears, there's laughter, there's danger. It's going to be much more wild than Season 1, so you got to tune in.

So viewers are going to be strapped in for a wild ride then?

They are. Yeah, they're in for a real treat. You'll even get to see me dance.

That's going to be fun. I think there's an element of "90 Days" and of TLC in general that has really helped people kind of escape their current COVID limited social experiences, which I'm sure is probably a gratifying thing for you as well.

It really has. I mean, nothing against the Kardashians, but people are done with the people that have money and it's all about this ritzy life. People want reality and they want to see you succeed, and they want to see you buck your butt. They want to see you make mistakes and they want to see you learn from your mistakes. The Rolling Stone said that TLC has cracked the code in reality TV.

Definitely, because people at the end of the day, especially now, we're all craving connectivity. That's really what it boils down to. And we want to see people that we feel like we can relate to going through things that we ourselves have gone through as well.

Yeah. That's awesome. Also, too, I finally got a real job. I do social media shout-outs, so I've done very well with that, but I volunteer once a week as a bartender.

Oh, that's so fun.

All my proceeds, my tips and my salary, go to St. Jude's Children's.

That is awesome.

That makes me feel so good. That came from my therapist. My therapist is like, "Look, go volunteer." I also am working with Meals with Wheels, so I deliver food as well. You don't realize how impactful that [is] on you.


I didn't realize how much work Meals on Wheels was, but at the end of the day, it's a good tired. And then bartending for St. Jude's, it's just a lot of fun. I get to talk to people and everybody wants a picture. I'm having — I'm really enjoying my life.

And contributing to such a great cause, as well, which is awesome.

Definitely. Most definitely.

"90 Day: The Single Life" Season 2 premieres Friday, November 12 on discovery+.