Everything I've Learned About Love (So Far)
Roxanne Kaiser from 'The Ultimatum' Season 2

Roxanne From The Ultimatum Isn’t The “Mean Girl” You Think She Is

Oh, and she’s wearing her engagement ring again.

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Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from The Ultimatum Season 2 finale and reunion. Roxanne Kaiser understands why you might not like her very much. The 31-year-old, who appeared on Season 2 of Netflix’s The Ultimatum with her partner Antonio Mattei, has been dealing with public backlash to her blunt persona on the show, with some viewers calling her “disrespectful” and “controlling” because of how she spoke about her now-fiancé.

Watching it back, the Georgia native and entrepreneur agrees with what people are saying but insists that her personality couldn’t be more different from what was shown. “I came off like I was mean and disrespectful to Antonio, and that's not reality,” Kaiser tells Elite Daily. “We would not be together if it was a terrible, toxic relationship.” Instead, she says, they laugh a lot, communicate well, and share little “romantic gestures” every day, and they both feel confident in what they have.

After getting engaged on the season finale — a shocker to viewers and even Kaiser, who never envisioned herself getting married — the two have been happily planning a future together. “When people are coming at you, you have to sit back and remember how strong you are as a couple,” Kaiser says. “Girls will message Antonio, saying, ‘I'll treat you better. She's so mean.’ I don’t blame them for it because that’s what they saw.” But she says navigating the criticism has only brought them closer.

Here, Kaiser reflects on her perspective on marriage and how it has evolved since going on The Ultimatum, the sweet moments between her and Mattei that never made it to air, and why she’s wearing her engagement ring again.


Elite Daily: How did you and Antonio end up going on The Ultimatum?

Roxanne Kaiser: Antonio knew about the show. It was something he wanted to do, so when we were approached, it was a no-brainer for him. I was like, "All right, yeah, let's do it." I wasn’t really thinking about everything else that would happen after. I was mostly focused on how perfect it was for where we were at in our relationship. We were in a tough place, so in a weird way, it all just fell together.

ED: He issued the ultimatum because, at the time, you were pretty opposed to marriage as a concept. What was your headspace around marriage and commitment before the show?

RK: Going into the show, I thought, "Nothing is going to change my mind." No show, no other guy, nothing. There were things I wanted Antonio to work on, but even then, I didn’t think it’d be enough to get me to a place where I’d be ready to get married.

It wasn't because I have this crazy perspective that all marriages are bad. It just wasn't something I was interested in. I thought, "It's just paper — a contract — and we're already good and working on stuff, so why make it weirder?"

ED: What drew you to Alex Chapman as your trial marriage partner?

RK: He was great in the beginning. Everyone saw how well we clicked. His mentality was very on par with where I was at in life. I liked his personality and sense of humor.

But it’s funny. A lot of times parents will tell you, "Date for a while, don't settle down right away." It’s true — you should date for a while before committing because you never know. And when you live with someone, you see a different side of them.

ED: During the trial marriage, things went south between you and Alex pretty quickly. What was the moment when things started to go wrong?

RK: It was the first lunch with my parents. He had mentioned something to them about always opening doors for me. I remember thinking, "Well, that wasn't true." He actually did open the door for me in that scene, but what you didn’t see was me reminding him, "Make sure you open the door. My parents are in there."

It was little things like that. I don't want to be with someone who doesn't do that stuff — or someone who doesn’t do what they say. I've been getting a lot of shade for this, but you can be an independent woman while also wanting a man to be chivalrous. I like when I'm going on a date night and a guy opens a door for me. It’s sweet and romantic.

ED: Alex was very vocal in his lack of support for your relationship with Antonio. Is there anything you think viewers don’t know about you and Antonio, based on what was shown?

RK: This point of this show is, "What's wrong with your relationship? Why don't want to get married right now?" You’re tuning in to see the worst. And putting yourself out there, showing people those really difficult moments is hard.

In reality, Antonio and I have this connection of humor. We are laughing all the time, 24/7. Sometimes we can't even go to bed at night because we're too busy laughing. But nobody sees that — they don’t see the small things: joking around, cooking dinners together. There are so many romantic gestures we do daily that just weren’t shown.

ED: Viewers didn’t see a lot of your day-to-day relationship with Antonio. Are there any other moments from the show that didn’t air that you wish had?

RK: We went on a lot of dates: a pottery class, go-karting, salsa lessons. Just doing stuff we really love. If people could have seen those moments, they would have understood why we’re in love.

ED: What was it like watching back Antonio’s trial marriage with Kat Shelton?

RK: I loved watching him open up. He was very vocal, talking through his emotions with her. I loved that part, especially because I tend to be the more talkative one in our relationship. But I definitely saw [that they didn’t have a connection] right off the bat, which was unfortunate. I wish the experience was better for both of them, but they still learned a lot.

ED: In a surprising turn of events, you said yes to Antonio’s proposal. What was the thing that changed your mind about getting engaged?

RK: Behind the scenes during filming, we were doing a lot of work. We would sit there for hours, going through these crazy exercises to dive deep. It's like hardcore therapy, and through that, there was so much growth. My biggest takeaway was that I needed to trust Antonio. If he's telling me he's going to make these changes, let me just believe him and see. What's the worst that could happen? Now, I'm happier and more committed.

ED: You chose not to wear your engagement ring at the reunion. Is there a point you’ll put it back on, and would you wear a wedding ring? Why or why not?

RK: I’ve been getting some hate for that. People think I'm not committed to him if I don't wear a ring, but you don't need a ring to be faithful and committed, which I am. When we filmed the reunion, I did not realize how hurt he was by it. Since then, I have worn it. It means a lot to him. That's what matters to me.

ED: What are you and Antonio’s future plans right now?

RK: We're both in places we never thought we'd be. We are focusing on our relationship more than ever. Antonio is thriving. Our families are closer than ever. We've talked about wedding stuff a little more, every week is progress. I know a lot of people don't like how slow I move, but I'm moving. It's just at my own pace.

ED: What’s your strength as a partner? What’s one thing you still want to work on?

RK: I am considerate to a fault. I’m constantly asking, "Are you sure you're OK? What can I get you? Are you hungry? Are you cold?" That didn't come across in the show at all.

I want to work on prioritizing Antonio before work. If I'm busy when he walks in, what's important is getting up and saying "Hi,” making that warm connection when we haven't seen each other all day. Little things like that go a really long way.

ED: What’s your best advice for balancing a demanding career with a relationship?

RK: There's time for all of it. I’m a big scheduler, but the main thing is setting aside your work at the end of the night. I’m like, “Now, my attention is on Antonio.” It makes a huge difference, making someone feel special. If other women can be married, have kids, and have two full-time jobs, there's no reason that I can't, too.

ED: What would be your advice for someone who maybe feels the same hesitancy about marriage that you felt?

RK: Marriage is not for everyone. I would never, ever say, "If you're hesitant, do what I did." It worked for me, but if it’s not what you want, you should not feel pressured.

ED: What does love mean to you?

RK: Love means truly putting that person first. I learned that from the show. I did not do that before, but it’s what I’m doing now.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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