Rachel Campos-Duffy reveals how she found true love in a hookup-obsessed world

“Fox & Friends” host Rachel Campos-Duffy has written an op-ed on how she found love and marriage the old-fashioned way in the 90s by meeting her husband-to-be in person instead of using a dating app which probably would have led to them never getting together.

She also commented on Gen-X and dating on her podcast “Share From the Kitchen Table: The Duffys.”

Campos-Duffy ran across a tweet that she felt pretty much encapsulates how many married people feel and she went on to explain why.

“I recently saw a tweet by a young woman that read, ‘Do married people watch Gen Z dating and feel like they caught the last chopper out of Nam?’ The short answer is yes, that’s exactly how we feel, and I’m going to explain why,” she began in her op-ed on Fox News.

“My husband Sean and I recently came to the realization that had we encountered each other on a dating app, today’s preferred method for finding love, I probably would not have ‘swiped right’ and we never would have fallen in love, got married, and had nine beautiful kids together,” she confessed.

“Sean and I met in the most 90s way possible — through an MTV reality show called ‘The Real World,’ where we had our lives taped for six months and packaged into 23 heavily edited episodes set to the soundtrack of ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ and ‘The Counting Crows.’ I was on the third season filmed in San Francisco and Sean was on the sixth season shot in a Boston firehouse. Following Sean’s season, MTV decided to send one cast member from each of the first five seasons on a spin-off travel adventure show called ‘Road Rules All-Stars,'” Campos-Duffy recounted.

She revealed that it wasn’t love at first sight for the couple.

For the next month, while Sean and I traveled together with other castmates throughout the U.S. and New Zealand, Sean invested a lot of his time flirting with me. Even after the show, when we parted ways, he continued to pursue me, racking up his long-distance phone bills and finding excuses to come to L.A. where he knew he would see me,” the host noted.

After five months of chasing her, Campos-Duffy agreed to have breakfast with her future husband. They spent three hours talking and laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Sometime during that meal, she realized she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.

“When the waitress poured our last cup of coffee, I suddenly, and to Sean’s total shock, declared to Sean that I was going to marry him. The way he tells it, that was definitely way more than he was looking for, but we’ve been together ever since,” Campos-Duffy added.

She is convinced had they met in 2023 they would have never married because the dating culture is too superficial, which kills romance and any thought of getting hitched. She is a firm believer in flirting and goes on to lay out five ways to help yourself fall in love.

The first one she lists is, “Falling in love takes time, don’t make snap judgments.”

Campos-Duffy has a point. It does take time to get to know someone and fall in love with them. Dating apps have you make snap judgments on someone’s appearance and a brief blurb about them. But that’s not the person. There is no such thing as a “perfect mate” and being so shallow in an assessment of someone else will cost you a possible relationship that could last a lifetime.

“My first impression of Sean was that his hair, clothes and glasses were pretty dorky. I’m so grateful we hung out long enough for me to see his kindness and good nature. Turns out that underneath the bad clothes was a buff, lumberjack athlete. Once we started seriously dating, he agreed to a new haircut and glasses. Problem solved,” she wrote.

The mother of nine goes on to advise, “Stop texting.”

“When Sean and I traveled for that month together, we didn’t have cell phones — that’s right — no one had cell phones in 1997! So we spent a lot of time talking, flirting, making eye contact, reading each other’s body language, and being in the moment. Our heads were not in our phones,” she recalled.

They were there together, not posting about every little thing they did and said.

“The problem with texting is that it tends to artificially accelerate feelings of intimacy, and people feel more comfortable saying and sending things they would never do in person. There’s simply no substitute for real, in-person conversations and the natural progression in a relationship that comes from it,” Campos Duffy stated in her op-ed.

“We didn’t know it at the time, but thanks to the tech-limited world we were living in, we were building up critical social skills that would help our love lives long into the future. These are the skills young people are losing, but could easily regain if they deliberately tried to date 80s or 90s style,” she advised.

The “Fox & Friends” host told her audience that if they are single, don’t work from home. That makes sense because going to school, church, and working at a business allows you to physically meet other people.

“Sadly, COVID lockdowns, far too many young people have grown accustomed to working from home, which has turned into dating from home and an overall convenience-based approach to life,” Compos-Duffy commented. “During their prime dating years, millions of young singles are prematurely becoming home bodies, who prefer the convenience of hunting for love virtually, ordering in GrubHub, and calling it a night. That’s not living and it definitely won’t lead to happiness or love.”

“Working from home means you don’t have to do your hair or dress to impress. It also means you miss out on friendships that might lead to romance. ‘MeToo’ and fears of sexual harassment have made workplace relationships more treacherous than ever,” she noted.

“But perhaps some of the confusion is that young people have lost the ability to read the signals. It’s just easier to make the work place off limits for love. I think that’s sad because it’s a more natural and organic way to meet and network with other singles. Besides, what would ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ or Bruce Willis’ 1980s hit, ‘Moonlighting,’ be without workplace romance?” she asked.

Campos-Duffy also pointed out that opposites don’t attract as many would have you believe.

“One of the things I’ve learned from 24 years of marriage is that opposites don’t attract. At least not for the long haul. I’ve been asked many times, should Republicans marry Democrats? My short answer is no because politics reveal values,” she astutely concluded. “The secret to a great relationship and marriage is to have as many interests and foundational values in common as possible. Get to know each other’s family stories and backgrounds, spiritual practices, and traditions.”

“On the surface, Sean and I might not look like a match — he’s an easy-going lumberjack athlete from the upper Midwest and I am a feisty Hispanic girl from Arizona. But we are both Catholic and to both of us, family was everything. Plus we both had just gone through a pretty intense, psychologically grueling, and life-changing experience of starring in a popular reality TV show. At the time we met, it was hard to know if someone was really into us, or just our 15 minutes of fame. When it came to the important things in life, we had tons in common,” she shared.

Her last piece of advice was to prioritize your love life.

“My most important advice to single people is the importance of making your love life your number one priority. I know it’s totally counter-cultural. But if you meet and marry the right person, I promise everything else in life, including your passions and career dreams, will be easier to achieve,” Campos-Duffy stated.

“The truth is that corporations don’t love you, and your boss will not be holding your hand when you’re on your deathbed. Your spouse and children will, though, but only if you take time to invest in your love life now,” she counseled.

“So if dating apps aren’t working for you, don’t despair. My advice to this generation of singles is to take a page from the ‘80s and ’90s and start living authentically instead of virtually,” Campos-Duffy concluded.


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