Giving credence to the name Miracle Whip, Big Ed Brown and his mayonnaise-scented mane scootered their way into popular culture back in 2020 and haven’t left. Returning to TLC on Aug. 28, 2022, Ed is now on his third 90 Day spinoff in 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? He’s now navigating his second serious relationship, the first to lead to an engagement.
While Big Ed and Liz Woods have shared their double-digit breakups and makeups via The Single Life and now Happily Ever After?, it was Big Ed’s relationship with Rosemarie Vega that originally captured the world’s gaze. Destined for disaster, the couple ignored numerous warning signs that could have saved them a season’s worth of embarrassment and a lifetime of meme fodder.
Big Ed’s pre-Rosemarie track record speaks for itself. He was married. He cheated on his wife. Over the following 28 years, he had precisely zero serious relationships. While Ed claims he gave his undivided attention to his daughter Tiffany, his brazenly flirtatious persona and career in sultry photography speak otherwise.
If Ed was unable to manage any sort of relationship over a longer period of time than Rosemarie was alive, it’s unlikely that it was because he didn’t try. With Rosemarie being Ed’s first serious relationship in almost 30 years and Big Ed being Rosemarie’s third since the birth of her child, Ed’s decades of desire and Rosemarie’s passive, maternal-based attraction were never going to balance out.
At the time of their relationship, Big Ed was 54 and Rosemarie was 23. It’s not just that Ed and Rosemarie’s 31-year age gap was problematic, It’s that Rosemarie is six years younger than his own daughter that really raised red flags. While Rosemarie was in her early 20s, her aesthetic and naivete were that of a teenager. As Ed later spends the night with Rosemarie and her father Freddie (who is a year younger than Ed), the reality that Ed was coveting a young woman that could have ostensibly been his daughter was uncomfortable at best.
Such Great Heights
While Ed took the sting away from his short stature by dubbing himself “Big Ed,” his dishonesty with Rosemarie about his actual height was problematic for multiple reasons. If Ed was so willing to lie about something as simple as his height, there’s little doubt that he’d be prone to fabricating other aspects of his life. And most pressingly, for a man so “secure” in his persona, telling Rosemarie he was 5-feet-2-inches tall instead of 4-feet-11-inches stood in stark contrast to the small but secure man he positions himself to be. As Rose spun Ed around and giggled “I expected you’re as tall to me, you’re short to me,” it was clear that Ed wasn’t the man she’d envisioned, and that his ego had been wounded in the way he feared most.
Friend and Family Pushback
Ed received so much pushback from his friends and family that it culminated in his daughter cutting off all communication with him. Issues included Ed’s beloved mother Nora’s anxiety over his health and heartbreak, his friend Rich’s concerns over Rosemarie’s financial intentions and Ed’s dishonesty with her, and Ed’s daughter Tiffany’s disgust over his attraction to someone younger than her. All of these were legitimate red flags. In true Ed fashion, the only opinion that mattered was his own, which led to him pushing everyone away while his relationship inevitably ended over every issue previously highlighted by his “support” group.
Let’s Talk About Sex
Like most men with limited sexual experience, Ed obsessed over Rosemarie’s past and partners. Hung up over her more than 4,000 Facebook friends and her elusiveness over her dating history, Ed assumed the worst in Rosemarie and demanded she take an STD test (which he refused to do in the Philippines) to prove she was worthy of his intimacy.
Being forthright about one’s sexual health is paramount in every relationship, but Ed’s inability to convey that without condescendingly surprising Rosemarie in public with an STD test was nearly catastrophic. Ed not only left Rosemarie embarrassed but forced her to dredge up previous heartbreak she’d fought to overcome.
For a man unafraid to smell like egg salad, Ed Brown is surprisingly meticulous. He needs air conditioning to prevent any sweating, a minimum of 1,000 thread count sheets to sleep on, and his women to have silky skin and minty breath. Flying to the Philippines to be with Rose, Ed was immediately out of his comfort zone. From walking through an overcrowded street market drenched in sweat to showering with a saucepan next to Rosemarie’s dad and a rat (that Rose unforgettably joked was a mouse), Ed was clearly uncomfortable with his surroundings. Transferring his discomfort with third-world hygiene onto Rosemarie, he guilted her into shaving her legs (which he compared to his own) and “surprised” her with Listerine, toothpaste and a toothbrush. Lacking any and all nuance, Ed was never going to be able to convey his preferences and concerns without coming off as a judgmental sexist.
Ed’s jealousy was well established. Questioning Rose during the cab ride to their hotel in Manilla, Ed got hung up on her already having spent time in a hotel with male and female friends. Clearly wanting to be her first, his dejection was as selfish as it was unwarranted. Despite Ed’s ongoing jealousy-fueled inquisitions, Rose never returned the favor.
Where Ed needed to know every detail about Rose’s life before him, Rose chose to focus on building their relationship and gave no prominence to his prior dalliances. Perennially on different pages in their relationship, their present and future stood no chance with Ed singularly stuck in the past.
Despite having never met Ed Brown in person and only being in an online relationship for a month, Rosemarie encouraged her son Prince to call Ed “Daddy.” Not only was it manipulative to convince a child to call a man he doesn’t know his father while having one of his own, but it was wildly unfair to put that kind of pressure on the man she was courting. Ed is a father in his own right, and while he was lovingly accepting of Prince, in no world was it right for Rosemarie to do that to Prince or Ed. As Rose later said, “I want my son to call Ed daddy because I want to give my son the best and I want Ed to take care of my son.” It was obvious that her intentions with Ed were less about love and more about Rosemarie’s family needing serious financial help.
Can’t Buy Me Love
While Ed ignored plenty of warning signs, he wasn’t naive enough to overlook the financial benefit his relationship with Rose offered her family. Before flying 75,000 miles to the Philippines, Ed was messaged in “secrecy” by Rose’s sister Maria looking for money. With Rosemarie and Prince living with her behind her restaurant, she proved to be the greatest adjacent beneficiary of Ed’s benevolence. Concerned that Rose was secretly behind Maria’s messages, the cloud of doubt followed him throughout his journey and fractured an already fragile relationship.
No More Children
Big Ed and Rosemarie’s disparate views on children ended their relationship. Fully aware that Rosemarie wanted two more children, Ed played along with her dreams of growing a family together while secretly planning a vasectomy. Knowing full well she wouldn’t have continued their relationship, Ed lied his way through her long-distance projections right to Caloocan. It was only after they became intimate that Ed would admit to not wanting kids and planning to make it medically impossible. Ed’s dishonesty was the biggest red flag of all. If he had been forthright from the beginning, their relationship would have never been built up to collapse. Instead, he manipulated and embarrassed Rosemarie repeatedly until she finally ditched his baffling chauvinism in Palawan.