Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of TLC
90 Day Fiance's Tarik Myers Talks Relationship With Hazel & Why She's Worth Eating A Baby Chicken For
If you’re an avid watcher of 90 Day Fiance, then you’ve probably become a fan of Tarik and Hazel, who first appeared in Before The 90 Days in 2018. Tarik, a single father from Virginia Beach, met Hazel, a single mother from the Philippines, on an online dating site. The two hit it off online and Tarik flew 9,000 miles to the Philippines to meet her, and if all went well, propose via a rap song he wrote for her.
The couple is still together two years later, and Travel Noire got a chance to talk to Tarik about finding love online, adapting to cultural differences, and of course, his rap career.
Travel Noire: Do you have any advice for those who are looking for love abroad online?
Tarik: I would suggest to not be afraid to go after exactly what you’re looking for. The internet is like the Wild Wild West. When you get on some of these sites, you’re going to have Catfishes, all kinds of stuff, so for me, I looked for specifics. I wanted a person who did not smoke, maybe to be a parent or not, you know? Have a small parameter of things and zero in on that. On the international websites, it’s kind of a free for all so you’ve really got to be specific in what you’re looking for.
Travel Noire: As a parent, was there anything in particular that you had to make sure that a woman, especially of a different culture, had?
Tarik: A criteria I hoped for, it wasn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but I was actually looking for someone who was already a mother. I wanted someone who had experience. Especially with my daughter having autism, you have to be a super-parent, and for someone who’s never had a child, I just thought that might be a lot. Just to be with a single father who has a child, that’s already a lot for a woman. To have a special needs child, I just thought that it would be easier to find someone who was already a mother so she would already understand sort of what I’m going through.
Travel Noire: You and Hazel come from completely different cultures. What are some of the differences you’ve had to adjust to?
Tarik: I’m sort of a loner. I’m the lone wolf of my family. I’m the only non-religious person in my family. My dad’s side is Muslim, my mom, and her whole side, are Southern Baptist Pentecostal Christians. So, I’ve always kind of been by myself as far as the family goes. But in the Philippines, they’re the total opposite, it’s all about family.
Hazel has 12 or 13 siblings, so they have a huge family. But it was a good cultural difference. I think a lot of what I’ve been lacking, as far as familial ties, I’ve found in her family.
That and the Philippines is a highly religious country, even more so than the United States. Like when they do Christmas, it’s like 6 months. Christmas starts in like August (laughs).
The Philippines also has unique foods. They have a delicacy called Balut. It’s a fertilized duck or chicken egg. They’ll crack one side of the egg so you’ll see the baby bird inside and you just eat the whole bird out of the shell. So, It was a big adjustment for me.
Travel Noire: What’s your advice for anyone who wants to overcome those cultural differences?
Tarik: The person you’re dating or in love with, only think about them, because the only way you’re going to bite the head off of a baby duck. You have to say ‘This woman is worth me chewing on a little chicken!’
If it’s real and you really want to be with the person, you’re probably going to have to eat some things that disgust you, maybe. But if the person is worth it, you go through it.
Travel Noire: Both you and Hazel had a lot of pushback from family. What’s been your approach to managing family members that are against your relationship?
Tarik: There are two things I would say:
- Do your research on the culture. You should be somewhat knowledgeable of their culture before you go over there. In my experience, a lot foreign countries see Americans as arrogant, so the foreign family already has a preconceived notion that you’re an uppity American.
- Completely close your ears. Your family is going to be barking that this person only wants a green card, or they only want your money, and on the opposite side, a lot of times in foreign countries their family feels as if a Westerner might want to exploit their daughter and basically make her a maid. So you have to tune it all out and focus on the person you’re trying to establish a relationship with because there’s going to be a lot of noise on both sides.
Travel Noire: It seems like all of the families seem to hate their child’s choice of a foreign partner, is that a prerequisite for the show?
Tarik: Even in regular relationships, in-laws are skeptical anyway. So, when you add 10,000 miles in between it, I don’t think it’s a prerequisite for the show but it’s very easy for both families to dive and start chewing at the relationship.
Travel Noire: You and Hazel had a few struggles with the K1 Fiance Visa process, could you speak on those and provide some tips for how others can avoid those issues?
Tarik: Make sure you’re in it for the long haul. Especially with COVID, some embassies have cut back to 25% of their normal staff so they’re dealing with a limited workforce. If you’re not in it for the long haul, it’s going to break y’all apart.
Also, get your money right because the process isn’t cheap. You have to pay for medical exams, all kinds of paperwork, both countries want background checks, it’s really expensive.
Lastly, make sure that you’re really serious about doing it and don’t do it because you see 90 Day Fiance. It ain’t for the faint of heart.
During our interview, Tarik proudly sported a customized TARZEL chain, a cute phrase combining his and Hazel’s name. Hazel has reportedly been in the country since February, and although it’s now December and well after the couple’s 90 day period to get married, Tarik could not confirm with us whether or not he and his fiancee had officially tied the knot.
Tarik: Hazel and I love each other, that’s all I can tell you. I would like to answer the question, but you’re going to have to watch for that one [laughs].
Tarik did, however, confirm that he’s still in the booth and we may be hearing a new Hazel-inspired rap song soon.
Tarik: I’m a B-boy, I’m a hip hop head, I have been since I was a child. So, it wouldn’t be our story if I wasn’t rapping to Hazel. And it’s even hotter than the last one! I actually perform the new Hazel song on 90 Days Bares All, which will be on Discovery+ on February 4. You’ll get to see me in full glory!