Nothing tests a budding relationship like travel, and the new series Love at First Flight takes it a step further, matching new couples to embark on a romantic (and stressful) journey across North America — with the chance to get married at the airport immediately after their final flight lands.
Meeting for the first time in New York, the couples criss-cross the country towards Los Angeles, as their compatibility is tested not only by the unpredictable pressures of travel, but also by a series of uniquely crafted travel-based challenges. Tune in fo the premiere of Love at First Flight, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT on Lifetime!
Stephanie Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Dallas’ Singles & The City – an exclusive member based community for single professionals willing to become the person they seek to attract.
“At Singles & The City, our main tagline is, ‘There is more to being single than dating.’ We are a self empowerment community for single dating professionals mid-twenties to forties. We are a totally different spin off of what the entire world is doing right now.
Everyone is dating, and what not —hooking up. I’m trying to help you get to your bottom line. I partner with a lot of therapists, group counselors; people that can really help you change your mindset and how you see yourself, and why you’re single. And if you don’t want to be single, what are the things that make you unattractive,” Stephanie explains.
After a corporate layoff in 2015 – Stephanie took her then passion of hosting events and turned it into profit, having expanded her company to 5 cities in less than 4 years. Singles & The City has active chapters and hosts’ monthly events in Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Detroit.
Although watching her from afar looks seamless, she’s the first to be transparent about being a full-time Entrepreneur. Stephanie nearly lost everything in 2016 – sleeping on friend’s sofas and Lyfting to her own events.
“I was in East Lansing and moved here [to Dallas] in 2010. I worked in corporate, in the restaurant industry. I did telemarketing and I loved my job. I also did concierge work, and then did restaurant work again, but prior to my lay-off I’d started Single & The City like a yeary prior —just as a volunteer, community type thing,” she says.
“I fully did not expect all that happened to happen. And when I got laid off I started going through my savings and everything just kind of hit the fan and that’s how the whole homeless thing started, and that’s when I was like, ‘Ok, it’s time to turn this into an actual company and get some income coming in, so I just kind-of need to bite the bullet and become a professional business owner.’ And that’s how it happened.”
Despite the loss, she managed to open 2 new chapters in Los Angeles and Chicago. When asked about how she determines which cities are picked to hosts Single & The City she explains, “I go where the demand is.”
Filming Love At First Flight was an amazing experience and Stephanie is very excited to share her life with the viewers.
What compelled you to tryout for the cast of Love at First Flight?
“Honestly, I was getting a lot of feedback from my members, like, ‘oh my gosh, I met this guy, or this girl, and we’re getting married next week.’ and I’ve been to several weddings already that happened like within six weeks from Singles & The City, and I was like, ‘Am I missing something? What’s going on?’ So, the opportunity came up for the show and, of course, no one ever thinks you’re going to make the cast. So, it was about me getting into the brains of singles I talk to all the time that this has happened to, and then to have the opportunity to be matched by a “professional matchmaker” and possibly meeting the person of your dreams. I was like, ‘at least let me just try.”
Are you a hopeless romantic?
“I actually am a hopeless romantic. I’m always like, ‘maybe he’ll be at Barnes and Noble, or maybe I’ll run into him at Whole Foods —that would be great!”
What were your thoughts when you initially arrived to meet your partner?
“Oh my gosh, initial thoughts —I don’t want to tell you too much, but I was really really excited! I was excited about his ethnicity. He’s very attractive, so I thought, ‘ok! This is going to be good!’ I wanted to at least walk away with a new friend. My expectations were not high. I was not trying to fall in love. I’m like, ‘I’m going to into this with no fear. If I’m traveling, [then] I’m at least going to make a new friend.”
What was your biggest challenge during this experience?
“The biggest challenge during the experience —I would definitely say was just being alone in certain situations and then it being Reality TV on top of that. I’m a very structured person, so to wake up everyday and not know what your day holds. And then you’re going to see me do some stuff that you would never see me do in real life, activity wise. You’ve got kind-of like Amazing Race meets The Bachelor meets —I mean the show is just crazy awesome! But, there are so many different activities that you have to do with your partner. You have to trust them to get it done so, for me, not being in control was like, ‘Oh My God— I’m [gonn]a do this today!”
What did you learn about yourself during this experience?
“I learned that I’m a lot more open than I thought and I shocked myself at how open I was, at love, and at trusting other people, and at, just kind-of, not being in control. So, I was like, ‘look at me, growing!’ It was great! I’m much more self aware —it was just a beautiful process.”
How much can you really learn about a person on a travel adventure?
“That’s a good question, but I think the entire point was learning [that] for one, you can learn so much about someone when you’re back to back all the time. And then I would say that after 3 or 4 days of seeing someone 24 hours a day it’s like, ‘ok, I don’t have time to keep wearing makeup.’ You know what I’m saying —at some point you start to let your guard down and really be your true-true self and I think that the situation is what possibly made that happen a little faster. It’s like, ‘ok, today, you’re not getting lashes or heels. I just don’t care and I saw you yesterday, and I know you’re not going anywhere.’ So I mean, honestly, I learned a lot. I learned a lot really fast and it was good. It’s just an interesting way to date, you know —real interesting.”
Do You Believe That Is Possible To Find True Love At First Flight?
“I do believe it’s possible to find Love At First Flight, absolutely! Absolutely —I think you guys are going to love me and my partner and, you’ll be real excited to see the outcome for sure!
Tune in and find out how this local entrepreneur made the best out of uncertain situations and maybe even found the love of her life…all while traveling North America with a stranger.
Love at First Flight is produced by Pilgrim Media Group. Craig Pilgrim and Mike Nichols serve as executive producers for Pilgrim. Gena McCarthy executive produces for Lifetime. Pictures and video clips curtesy of Lifetime.
Love at First Flight Premieres March 20 at 10pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
Pictures and video clips curtesy of Lifetime.