Why Filming Before The 90 Days Was 'A Little Stressful' For Mike - Exclusive

It's safe to say that our romantic lives and dating pursuits are two of the most non-glamourous aspects of our day-to-day existence. If you're anything like us, scrolling through a dating app and being set up by friends time and time again -– only to find that the person on the other end of the table is grade A dud –- makes you feel like there are just no fish in the sea. Of course, there are people out there that find their dream partner on dating apps and online sites (if that's you, please drop your secret). But what if we were to tell you that said dream person happens to be thousands of miles away? Enter "90 Day Fiancé," the hit TLC show and franchise that has projected people like Mike, a normal guy from New York, into the spotlight.

Mike met Ximena via a dating app, and the two hit it off. There was just one problem –- he was in New York, and she was all the way in Colombia. Factor in a global pandemic that pretty much shut down international travel, and the new couple faced hurdles that even the most solid of unions find stressful. By the time they met face to face, it was clear that they had a spark worthy of television status, and just like that, Mike and Ximena found themselves on the hit TLC spin-off show, "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days." "Before the 90 Days" isn't in the same lane as a show like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" or "Dancing With the Stars" –- those shows involve stars who have been in front of the camera for decades. For Mike, a volunteer firefighter, having cameras following him around and documenting his love story for the first time was an incredibly unique experience that certainly came as a surprise. Did he find filming difficult? Was Mike hyper aware of his behavior while on set? In an exclusive sit down with The List, Mike spilled everything he could –- this is one reason why filming "Before the 90 Days" was "a little stressful" for the new TLC star.

Would Mike go through the 90 Day Fiancé filming process again?

We honestly can't imagine what it'd be like to try to successfully maneuver a long-distance, international relationship –- talk about throwing hurdles in your way from day one. But what if a camera was following you the entire time, documenting your emotional experience as you go through the motions of a new union with someone? That just sounds incredibly unique and a little daunting, and for Mike of "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days," the filming process was a bit trying. 

Mike spoke with us about his experience in front of the camera, and even divulged that parts of the experience were taxing. When asked if he was careful about his actions while the cameras were rolling, Mike shared with us, "Some points were a little stressful, but this is my first time doing it." He explained, "I was always trying to make sure I didn't look ... I don't want to make myself look stupid," to which we completely understand. "I'm just watching what I do, what I say, tried to at least," Mike continued. "But I think so far it's a pretty good experience." 

So, what did a day on set look like for Mike? He told us that both in the morning and evening, he and Ximena would film scenes –- be it over a meal or at a location like the pool –- and then they would go on to do their interview. Apart from things being a bit "repetitive," according to Mike, the filming experience was "fun." In his words, Mike would "definitely do it again," so will we see him pop back up within the franchise? 

This is what Mike had to say about finding fame overnight thanks to 90 Day Fiance

To say that "90 Day Fiancé" and its spin-off shows have made ordinary people famous overnight is a grave understatement. From the likes of Russ and Paola to Avery and Omar and, of course, Big Ed and Rose (and now Liz), the hit TLC franchise has projected everyday people into the spotlight in a big way. Mike is now a part of that legion of people who go from normal, everyday existences to mega-stardom in the blink of an eye, and we asked him how he feels about stepping into the limelight.

Before joining the "90 Day Fiancé" world, Mike wasn't even really a fan of reality television. Apart from a brief interaction with some of the cast members of "Jersey Shore" –- a reality show that he did watch –- Mike wasn't really on the dating show scene as a fan, much less as a star. So, how does he feel now about being a cast member and a subject of public interest? No matter what happens, Mike is determined to stay down to earth. "I try to be just authentic regardless [of] whether I'm on camera or not," he told us. "[I want to] just be me. I'm not going to change who I am for attention. So, just do my daily thing and just ignore haters." 

And haters can certainly be a part of the reality television experience (Big Ed told us all about the negativity that he's endured since being part of the "90 Day Fiancé" world), so Mike is certainly going into the experience with the right attitude. Will his relationship with Ximena stand the test of time, though? You'll just have to tune in and watch.

New episodes premiere on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on TLC and discovery+.