Zach Dilgard
May 05, 2017 12:15 AM

Navigating marriage to a total stranger, Vanessa Nelson won over Married at First Sight fans on her season of Kinetic Content’s hit show. But after the show ended, happily ever after did as well for the corporate events manager, who eventually divorced her match, Tres Russell. On Married at First Sight: Second Chances, Nelson gets another shot at love as she dates multiple suitors with the guidance of Married at First Sight‘s experts, including Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Pastor Calvin Roberson and Rachel DeAlto. Nelson’s blogging about her journey exclusively for PEOPLE.

I survived speed dating 100 guys and a testosterone-filled cocktail party, but that was just the beginning! Episode two opens with Dr. Pepper giving me the advice I need before a scantily clad pool party. I love Dr. Pepper because she shoots straight to the point. I appreciate her reminding me that I need to be sure to pay attention to how these guys interact with each other. No more arm wrestling, please! She also tells me that I need to keep my ears open to who asks questions about me and takes a real interest in getting to know who I am. That isn’t the easiest thing to do while being surrounded by greased up topless guys. I mean a girl can look, right?

First things first, I am trapped on a blow up flamingo in a hot tub. How do I end up in these situations?! So the guys are ready to party at this fabulous mansion pool and I have no idea how to get off this freaking flamingo. Well, when you are dating 50 guys, someone is bound to help you out. I didn’t expect to get picked up off the flamingo and right on my feet. I have to say James, the personal trainer/bodyguard/all around strong guy really impressed me. I could get used to this.

It was important to me to try to get a few minutes with each guy. That was much easier said than done with a different man interrupting every two seconds. While I appreciated those who took the initiative, it definitely caused some tense moments. There’s a right way to be assertive and then there’s totally creepy!

Some of the guys turned me off even before I could dig a little deeper. Barrett, for instance, made jokes about homophobia and people with disabilities. This is a big no no in my book. While this could’ve just been in jest, I have to keep an eye out for red flags and men who don’t share my core values. This was supposed to be a relaxed pool party, but now I’m wondering Will dating ever be easy?

Finally, Dr. Pepper’s advice is coming into fruition. When I get a chance to talk to Andre, he tells me about himself, but he also seems very interested in learning about me. This was a nice change of pace from the guys arguing and focusing on competing with each other.

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Now it’s time to dress up and get down to business! I’m turning the day party to a poolside cocktail. I wanted to see these guys look their best and find out who continues to step up. When I tell them I can only pick 10 to continue dating, their faces drop. I already have a sick feeling because making this decision is so difficult!

Before the night ends, I make a point to talk to Chris. I’m sure you remember him from the speed date … the rapper. We never got a chance to actually have a conversation, so I want to learn something about him other than if he can rhyme two words together.

This night went by so fast! I was able to learn a lot from these guys and what they want out of a relationship. Even more important, I was able to feel who I had some real chemistry with. The next time I see this group, it will only be 10 and the real fun begins.

Married at First Sight: Second Chances airs Thursdays (10:15 p.m. ET) on Lifetime.

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