12 Dates of Christmas’ Garrett Marcantel Defends His Roller-Coaster–And Historic–Search for Love

Think of it as your favorite Hallmark movie come to life. Set in the scenic, snow-covered mountains of Austria, HBO Max’s 12 Dates of Christmas follows three leads—Chad Savage, Christian Faith Fernandez and Garrett Marcantel—as they set out to find true love. Or, at least a special someone to bring home for the holidays.

And while Faith and Chad’s endings on the show were pure TV magic, Garrett’s happily ever after looked a bit different. Presented with six suitors, the real estate developer, who came out as gay five years ago, chose…no one. Now, as fans (and his dates) question his decision, the 29-year-old looks back on his proverbial journey and why he regrets nothing. 

Pre-pandemic, I was just living my regular life in NYC when I got a DM request on Instagram. The message was about a Christmas dating show and I thought it sounded like a scam. I mean, a Christmas dating show? C’mon. But, shortly after, I received a follow-up email from the same person and they seemed pretty serious about talking this through. I figured, “OK, I’ll give them 10 minutes and hear them out.” Little did I know how those 10 minutes would change my life…
Heading into 12 Dates of Christmas, I didn’t have any expectations. I had an open mind and thought of it as the beginning of an adventure. It was such a random opportunity that I figured maybe something really special would unfold. I mean, I love meeting new people and I’d get to live in a castle. Plus, when I heard the dress code was suits and tuxedos, I thought, why the hell not?


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