Warning: This post contains spoilers for “The Ultimatum: Queer Love” finale and reunion.
During the premiere of Netflix’s “The Ultimatum: Queer Love,” Yoly Rojas, 34, explained that she brought partner Mal Wright, 36, onto the show because she thought they were ready to take the next step in their relationship. Mal was not convinced.
While Mal mentioned in her confessionals that she wanted to be financially secure before getting married, there was a bigger issue holding her back from saying “I do.” Mal said she worried Yoly fell in love too easily, making her doubt if they were truly meant to be.
During their three weeks apart, Mal spent time bonding with Lexi Goldberg while Yoly developed an intense, deep connection with Xander Boger. When Mal and Yoly reunited for their trial marriage, Yoly revealed she loved Xander but still had feelings for Mal.
The love triangle continued and on decision day, Yoly ultimately chose Mal by accepting her proposal. Despite getting engaged, Yoly and Mal’s problems persisted and they revealed during the reunion that their engagement was short-lived.
Yoly and Mal open up to TODAY.com in separate interviews about why their relationship did not work and if they regret getting engaged on the show.
What happened during Mal and Yoly's trial marriages?
Mal and Lexi became close during their three weeks together, but it was clear they lacked romantic chemistry. Meanwhile, Xander and Yoly’s relationship seemed to progress swiftly and they decided to test their physical intimacy.
In her interview with TODAY.com, Mal says that she did not give Yoly any “boundaries” before going on the show. She encouraged her girlfriend at the time to “explore.”
“I think we had a commitment to each other,” Mal says. “Like, we are choosing each other. This is what we’re doing because we want to do life together. But there was no boundary.”
Yoly explored but found her way back to Mal, with her feelings for Xander lingering.
“I want you to know I’m still in love with somebody else,” Yoly told Mal when they met on decision day in Episode Nine.
Mal, seemingly confident that their relationship was strong enough to withstand Yoly’s feelings for Xander, went through with the proposal.
She said, “It’s always been you. I know it’s you now. And if it’s not now, I promise to come looking for you in the next lifetime. But not without asking you…” before getting down on one knee.
Yoly began to cry and replied, “What took you so long?”
Toward the end of the episode, Yoly met up with Xander and shared her engagement news. She apologized to Xander and they shared an unaired kiss, she reveals to TODAY.com.
“I am not looking forward to the finale,” Yoly says in her interview. “That’s probably the only time I can say that I regretted what I did. But besides that, everything else I was very much just like in the moment, and I stand by all my actions and my feelings and what I said.”
She continues, “I went in for the moment and we kissed, which I super regret. Considering I literally had just said yes to Mal. That was not a good moment. I’m not proud of it. I’ll forever apologize to Mal for that.”
Yoly also describes how she was feeling when Mal popped the question.
“Hearing Mal, her beautiful words,” Yoly recalls. “She proposed. It was so beautiful, but then it’s also like, ‘Oh my God, am I about to make the right choice?’”
She says she could not have chosen Xander “without seeing it through with Mal.”
However, Yoly shares she did not fully “process” her love for Xander before accepting Mal’s proposal. She explains there was “conflict” at that moment because she wasn’t certain her relationship with Mal would survive after the show.
So, does Mal regret their engagement?
“I can’t speak for (Yoly). I can only speak for me,” she says. “And I’m still happy with the decision. I needed to do that.”
Mal says she intended to “see it through no matter what.”
What happened at the reunion?
Yoly tells TODAY.com that her relationship with Mal fell apart almost instantly after filming wrapped.
“As soon as we got back home s— hit the fan,” she says. “It was heavy. It was kind of like, there’s no fixing us.”
During the reunion episode, it was clear that their relationship ended poorly from the moment Mal began speaking.
When host JoAnna Garcia Swisher inquired about their current relationship status, Mal bluntly replied, “Happily broken up.”
Yoly recalled leaving the experience hopeful that they could overcome their obstacles. She then said that their relationship crumbled after two weeks before Mal disagreed.
“Maybe for you, not necessarily for me,” Mal said.
The two went back and forth, differing on the timeline of their breakup.
“We can see throughout ‘The Ultimatum’ that your history of being honest doesn’t track. So it wasn’t two weeks after being back,” Mal told her ex.
She continued to call out Yoly's behavior on the show, saying she was “triggered” after learning her former fiancée did not share all the details about her trial marriage with Xander.
Mal pointed out mixed messages from Yoly. She said Yoly sent her a message during their three-week separation that said, “Don’t worry about it with Xander. I love you.” But at the same time, Yoly held hands with Xander and said she loved and missed her during the party episode.
She called Yoly’s behavior “hella disrespectful.”
“That’s degrading,” Mal said. “I deserve better than that.”
Yoly acknowledged it was “uncomfortable” to watch her passionate moments with Xander. “It’s disrespectful,” she agreed. “I apologize. That was not cool.”
But Yoly pushed back on Mal’s claim that she “lied” about the situation.
Where do Mal and Yoly stand now?
Yoly says being on the show forced her and Mal to make a decision they would’ve put off for years.
“I truly think that me and Mal would have stayed together another five years and then still not have gotten married. It just would’ve delayed the inevitable outcome,” she shares with TODAY.com.
She confirms she has completely moved on. “The door is closed for Mal,” she says. “Although I love her so much and our chemistry (and) connection is unparalleled … I’ve been hurt. I don’t need any more of that.”
Mal let the past go, too. Looking back at Yoly’s actions on the show, Mal has a more forgiving perspective.
She explains to TODAY.com why she has “a lot of grace” for her ex.
“We’re all humans and we’re all doing the very best that we can. The best that we know how and I think sometimes we operate out of survival, right?” Mal says. “So I have no ill feelings towards Yoly.”
Mal adds that all the contestants on “The Ultimatum: Queer Love” had a “tough experience on the show.”
She also echoes the sentiment she shared during the reunion: Yoly will always be part of her family.
“I think we still respect each other,” Mal continues. “And I think once you’re family, especially like within our communities and the way that we grew up, you’re always going to be family. Whether you’re a distant cousin or not.”