Underwater robotics expert Jovi Dufren went to Budapest with one mission: to end his four-week work trip to Europe with a few days of fun with the Ukrainian make-up artist he had been talking to for some weeks, before going back to the United States. Six months later, he was going down on one knee to ask Yara Zaya to marry him, and move to the United States with him. Today, years later, has their relationship beaten the odds and weathered cultural differences, unmet expectations, and a growing family, or are Jovi and Zaya headed down the path of inevitable divorce that has claimed several couples on “90 Day Fiancé?
When Jovi met Yara
Jovi loves to travel. One of the things he likes most about his job is that it allows him to do just that, roud the world; it’s taken him to 57 countries so far. On one of those trips, he came back with more than memories – the heart of the woman he would marry and build a life with. It all started with a travel app. When he travels for work, Jovi has a lot of downtime, since he works for four weeks and gets four weeks off. Tired of exploring foreign countries alone, he downloaded a travel app to meet women from the countries he would be traveling to.
He met Yara through the app. Her ethereal beauty, which Jovi described as “head-turning,” attracted him to the profile of the Ukrainian make-up artist who was living in Kyiv at the time. However, it took more than her beauty to move the conversation along to their mutual decision to meet in person. As they got to know each other, Jovi discovered that they had a lot in common. They both loved the water, enjoyed scuba diving, and traveling. Most importantly, according to Jovi, Yara did not expect him to pay for her plane ticket to meet him.
The couple met in person for the first time in Budapest, three months after they started talking on the travel app. Jovi had just worked non-stop for four weeks, and was hoping to blow off some steam. He was elated when Yara agreed to fly out to see him, but wasn’t prepared for any commitment since, as viewers would learn later, he takes a laid-back and non-committal approach to life. What started out as a night of fun in Hungary turned into months of traveling together, while contemplating a life together. Four months into their whirlwind romance, Jovi took Yara to Cuba, fell on one knee on a beach, and put a ring on her finger. His decision to propose was sped up by a obviously unplanned pregnancy, but the love and chemistry between the two was undeniable. Sadly, Yara had a miscarriage, but their shared loss only strengthened their relationship. They decided to see their engagement through, and let the viewers of “90 Day Fiancé” into their bubble by sharing their journey in the show.
“90 Day Fiancé”
The couple’s story was featured in the show’s seventh season. Fans watched as the couple organized Yara’s papers, supported each other through the loss of their unborn baby, and planned her travel to the United States; when she arrived in the country, Yara moved into Joey’s apartment in New Orleans. Like most couples I,n the show, Yara and Jovi had their share of arguments when they first started living together. Their problems started the moment she stepped on US soil when a drunk Jovi went to pick her up with a drink in his hand. Yara was concerned that her future husband was an alcoholic, and of course worried about what his behavior meant for her and their life together.
90 Day Fiance fan-favorites Jovi Dufren and his wife, Yara Zaya, are shopping for a house in Miami, Floridahttps://t.co/QtQI5SaSEM
— Monsters and Critics (@monstersandcrit) February 10, 2023
When they arrived in the Warehouse district, Yara disapproved of the apartment and Jovi’s taste, referring to the place as a swamp. She eventually adapted, as she and Jovi learned each other’s routines and settled into a comfortable life together. However, trouble brewed again when his family and friends expressed some concerns that the Ukrainian beauty was using him only for residence, and eventually citizenship in the country. Fortunately, Jovi and Yara worked through their problems and made it to the finish line, when they tied the knot at a wedding chapel in Vegas before the expiry of her K-1 visa. Sadly, while Jovi’s side of the chapel was filled with his friends and family, Yara’s side was unoccupied since her family and friends in Ukraine couldn’t travel to the United States for her big day.
…and Then There Were Three
The reason behind the couple’s rushed wedding was more exciting than speeding up Yara’s visa situation – the couple was expecting their rainbow baby. Mylah Angelina Dufren came into the world on 3 September 2020, completing the family, at least according to Yara, who is reluctant to have another child. The elated families were hesitant to share the news of Yara’s pregnancy until their story aired. Mylah strengthened Yara and Jovi’s relationship, which was struggling for some time. Since her birth, the couple has taken several trips to various parts of the United States to share their love for traveling with their little miracle. Most recently, Yara shared pictures of the family of three in Mexico. However, there was more to the trip beyond enjoying time together on a beach outside the United States since, as the couple’s recent appearance in the Season 7 Tell All episode reveals, there is trouble in their marriage.
Trouble in Paradise
The Tell All episode brought the couple and other couples from the season together to talk about relationships, adjusting to life as a family, and other difficult topics such as finances. When prompted to talk about parenting, Yara accused Jovi of partying excessively and going to strip clubs while she raised Mylah, although fans noted that she had accompanied him to a strip club shortly after giving birth to their daughter. The mother-of-one further implied that Jovi would sulk around the house, and complain that he never gets to see his friends since they became parents, prompting her to say that she’s okay with him going out with his friends, sometimes to trips outside the country, to avoid stifling him and making him unhappy.
In response, Jovi shocked fans by revealing that Mylah is the only reason the couple is still together. Yara, who was as shocked as the viewers were by the statement, accused Jovi of leaving her with their daughter to go to Africa, while she recovered from cosmetic surgery. Jovi didn’t deny the accusations, but clarified that he’d asked his mother to help Yara out while she recovered, adding that he couldn’t cancel a trip that he’d planning for a while. He further shocked viewers by asking Yara to have a second child – she was adamant that she wasn’t ready, adding that she does most of the childcare while working on her businesses, and accusing Jovi of wanting to have another child without intending to contribute to its care. Jovi’s mother took Yara’s side, claiming that Jovi is yet to realize that he’s a husband and father and shouldn’t bring another child into the world for her and Yara to raise. The episode ended with the couple at an impasse on when they intend to have their second child.
Beyond Jovi’s partying and expanding their family, the couple is at loggerheads over finances and investments. The family took a recent trip to the Czech Republic to visit Yara’s mother, during which Yara dropped a huge bombshell on Jovi and the couple’s fans ,when she revealed that she was looking for an apartment in the country, and would love to move back to Europe. She explained that all her businesses in the United States were registered under Jovi, and she needed something in her name. Besides, Jovi’s work didn’t restrict him from working remotely, therefore, they could move to Europe to be closer to her family. Her explanation did nothing to placate their fans, who were up in arms, claiming that she was using Jovi for a green card, and was ready to leave him now that she was a citizen of the United States. Fortunately, the couple acknowledged their flaws and re working through its problems – in fact, Jovi recently avowed his commitment to making Yara happy.
For now, Jovi and Yara have shelved polarizing issues such as their second child and her move to Europe, and are focusing on raising their daughter and their respective jobs and businesses. Jovi quit his job in Louisiana for one that requires him to travel less, and allows him to spend time with his wife and daughter. Yara has ventured into several businesses – she launched a make-up line called Boujee by Yara, after fans kept saying they loved her make-up and asking where they could buy some. Following the success of Boujee, Yara started an online boutique and named it “YaraZara”. As her businesses grew and she gained fans and followers from her appearances on “90 Day Fiancee,” Yara leveraged her large following on social media to secure brand partnerships and sponsorships. The couple has now hinted at starting a joint IT-related business, but has remained tight-lipped about the nature of the venture.
The Big Move
Yara may have abandoned her dream of moving to Europe, but is insisting on starting afresh elsewhere. She complained that she’s not comfortable living in New Orleans, and would prefer to live in a city which is close to the beach and attracts a lot of tourists, which would make her feel less alone in a foreign country. The couple hinted at moving to Florida, but revealed that they were considering to move to Dallas too. Wherever they decide to live, fans are curious to see how the couple will manage without Jovi’s mother, Gwen, who watches her granddaughter while Jovi and Yara work.