Ready To Love: Season 9/ Episode 5 “Navigating Non-Negotiables” – Recap and Review (with Spoilers)

Eunik noting she couldn't have asked for more

Non-Negotiables, aka deal breakers, are shared, which doesn’t lead to any shake-ups, but someone having baggage, and not hiding it in the closet, makes them a easy target for elimination.

General Information

This section Includes information about the Director, Writer, and Cast.

Release Date (OWN) August 4, 2023
Director(s) To Be Determined
Writer(s) To Be Determined
Previously Noted Characters and Cast
Himself Red
Himself Marvin
Himself Chris
Herself Aries
Herself Sierra
Himself Herbert
Herself Janelle
Himself Quinton
Herself Keyra
Himself Maurier
Herself Eunik
Herself Katarina

Plot Recap

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Saw That Coming – Red, Marvin

Red gets eliminated.

It Was Going So Well Till You Said That – Chris, Aries, Sierra, Herbert, Janelle, Quinton, Keyra, Maurier, Eunik, Marvin, Katarina

Herbert noting, based on Tommy's directions, it is time to get intentional
“Herbert noting, based on Tommy’s directions, it is time to get intentional,” Ready To Love, “Navigating Non-Negotiables,” 2023, (OWN)

This week, the goal is to communicate your non-negotiables and see where that leaves your connection. For many, it is the basic, “I need someone with goals,” like Janelle and Quinton, but there is also the need to communicate. Janelle gets on Herbert about that since she wants to have regular contact with him, but him being nonchalant is an impediment when Quinton is putting on that pressure.

Speaking of Quinton, he goes on a date with Keyra and Eunik, with no other men, and they do a boxing class. Neither lady seems to be heavily into working out, at least to Quinton’s level, so he wanted to see if they could keep up. They do, but both also make it clear they are not a match for him. Eunik is honest about her healing journey and doesn’t present some false sense she has healed and moved on, as Quinton wants to hear. As for Keyra? She brings up the perception that she thought Quinton may mainly like non-Black girls, and he takes offense to that. But, rather than be tit for tat, since the men do question Keyra being down for the culture, he just decides to finish the date and write her off.

Keeping hold of Eunik for a moment, one of the things which is a notable non-negotiable for the men are children. Eunik isn’t sure she wants more, Aries does not want more, and as made clear by Sierra multiple times, she’ll start the process with you in the broom closet if you want to. Which isn’t necessarily putting her in anyone’s top, but the humor is appreciated.

But family planning, in general, is important. Both Chris and Aries have kids, and with Chris losing both of her parents and Aries losing her dad, it makes giving their kids all they got and more important to them. Chris even breaks down a bit because his dad died right before he was born, and with him being so close to his mom, talking about her gets him emotional, and Aries appreciates that vulnerability.

Which leaves one major thing that can affect a relationship: Religion. Keyra and Maurier make it clear they walk with the lord, while Phillip and Katarina bond on being spiritual but not religious. Now, whether or not this might become common knowledge and potentially mess with their abilities to make it to the end? That’s hard to say. However, for the most part, everyone speaks their truth and seemingly narrows down further who can truly be their love interest.

I Don’t Have The Energy For More Baggage – Keyra, Eunik

Quinton noting he doesn't know if he has it in him to deal with what Eunik is recovering from
“Quinton noting he doesn’t know if he has it in him to deal with what Eunik is recovering from,” Ready To Love, “Navigating Non-Negotiables,” 2023, (OWN)

Which brings us to the elimination: Eunik’s baggage vs. Keyra’s perceptions of others and their perceptions of her. For Eunik, making it clear she is still in the process of healing from her ex, puts some of the men on edge. Quinton outright says he doesn’t know if he has the energy or desire, to help her heal. Add in Marvin, her main champion, being told that having children may not be an easy decision for her? That pushes her down on most lists.

As for Keyra? Her Blackness is an issue for Maurier, and her comment about Quinton’s dating preferences turned him off. Combine that with feeling more like a best friend than a potential girlfriend, and that lands her in the bottom two.

But, between the two, the men would rather Keyra’s bubbly attitude, even if she can be stereotypical, than deal with whatever Eunik has going on beyond the scenes, so she is eliminated.

Other Noteworthy Information

Next Eliminated (Men)

Marvin is going to be in the bottom two again, and Christopher will join him. Now, as for which will get kicked? That’s hard to say. Christopher didn’t go on a single date this episode, so there was no follow-up on the ladies’ comments to see if he has evolved. Then with Marvin, he cut the main one into him, and who could have defended him. So it is the case of the guy who is a little too sexual, maybe telling women what they want to hear, and who desires the island life vs. the guy who might be boring many to tears but hasn’t opened up yet, so maybe there could be something there.

With that in mind, Marvin is likely next to go.

Next Eliminated (Women)

I firmly believe Keyra is next to go. I don’t think the men saved her because they have a real interest in her, vs. they didn’t want to deal with Eunik, who is still healing from her divorce, has multiple kids, and isn’t pro on having more. Never mind, isn’t upbeat like Aries to offset what she is or isn’t willing to do.

As for who will join her? I want to say, Sierra. I feel like Sierra has stayed out of the bottom two because she doesn’t say or do anything to rub the men the wrong way. But, at the same time, has any of them ever said she was in their top? She hasn’t been in anyone’s bottom, that I can recall, but living in the middle is dangerous. Especially as love triangles are forming and you aren’t in any of the three corners.

Final Three Couples

It really is hard to say who can be in the final three since, even with the push to date with intention, no one seems willing to date beyond the good times. As Jessica noted during the improv group date, this isn’t just about the honeymoon period when things are bright and good. So as much as I have believed Janelle could be part of the final three, with how Quinton was speaking on Eunik, I can’t see him with her. As for Janelle and Herbert, there is an issue there as well since she wants someone who isn’t just ambitious in their professional life but also about her. She has made it clear that giving your time is a love language. One that Herbert, noting dating multiple women is hard, hasn’t been reaching the quota of when it comes to her.

As for the rest? I think Chris, between Aries and Jessica, could end up in the final three. Katarina certainly has a chance, but as for lasting beyond the reunion? I’m still doubtful any couples can go the distance.



Dating With Intention

I love the push to date with intention and not waste people’s time. Everyone is grown. Many have kids, some want more, and others would rather blend families and call it a day. Also, religion was brought up, and while money wasn’t made into a topic beyond wanting their partner to be ambitious, at the very least, the ball is rolling to push beyond the honeymoon phase and get real.

Quinton Not Going Tit For Tat With Keyra

Keyra had a lot of nerve assuming Quinton was only into White girls as if most wouldn’t assume she is only into White guys, especially with her allowing it to fly most of her friends are White. But, and this is speaking to Quinton’s maturity and the casting people finding good people, he didn’t go back and forth with her. Now, did he bring that up during the lounge and likely was part of the Maurier group questioning Keyra’s Blackness beyond skin tone? Probably.

But not seeing another man get defensive in the moment and go off (see: Red) helps you understand why Quinton will likely last until the end of the season.

On The Fence

Eunik’s Elimination

Here is my thing, I get that no one wants to deal with baggage, but at the same time, I feel like Eunik wasn’t sending out a representative. Being “Ready To Love” doesn’t mean you are perfect, healed, and all that. Most people like to think they have moved on, but the best of them know their triggers and how to self-soothe. So writing off Eunil just because she is on a journey to find love and peace? That gave me pause.

Episode Directory

Previous Episode – Season 9/ Episode 4 “Black and Beautiful Hoedown” Check Out The Character Guide Find More Episodes From The Series


Answers to some questions you may have regarding this episode:

Why Is The Episode Called “Navigating Non-Negotiables?”

Due to Tommy having everyone speak on what are the things they won’t compromise on regarding their goals within a relationship.

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Ready To Love: Season 9/ Episode 5 “Navigating Non-Negotiables” Review Summary


With “Ready To Love” still in the stage of where people who could be eliminated not being the toughest decisions, beyond the awkward conversation preceding telling them they are out, it leaves you hoping for a double elimination to get beyond the fat and get to the meat.

  • Plot and Dialog - 81%
  • Character Development and Performances - 78%
  • Visuals and Sound - 80%
  • Pacing - 76%
  • Value For Intended Audience - 79%
User Review
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Dating With Intention Quinton Not Going Tit For Tat With Keyra  


Eunik’s Elimination

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