Is Love Truly Blind? What the Netflix Show Taught Us About Love & Marriage
Netflix’s dating reality show Love Is Blind is a social experiment that follows couples who get engaged without first seeing the other person. It explores emotional connection, and what goes into making a marriage work. But does it ever answer the central question?
Netflix’s Love Is Blind is a social experiment to determine whether couples can fall in love and get engaged without ever seeing each other. The first two seasons of the dating reality series have been marked by heartbreak, drama, and the love we all hope to find. However, there’s an underlying message that elevates the show above mere entertainment.
Let’s take a deeper look at what Love Is Blind teaches us about love and marriage. Which couples stayed together, and which marriages fell apart? Lastly, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is love truly blind?
Love Is Blind Married Couples: Where Are They Now?
Love is Blind came out in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. It had instant success, capturing its audience with the insane concept of getting engaged to someone you’ve never physically seen. The social experiment was centered around making connections emotionally. Did this work?
In Season 1, Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton made it through their wedding day. A fan favorite from the start, they found love in each other quicker than anyone else. Amber Pike and Matt Barnett were the other couple who made it to “I do.” Barnett arguably had the most drama of them all. But, in the end, he found his person without seeing her. Both of these couples are still together, and are on the brink of celebrating their four-year anniversaries.
Iyanna McNeely and Jarrette Jones tied the knot in Season 2, but their ride was anything but easy. In the newly released episodes After the Altar, we got insight into what issues were pulling the couple apart. McNeely described her frustration with Jones’ attitude that didn’t reflect a married man. She detailed an instance when he went out with friends, and didn’t return until 7 a.m. the next day. That led to her moving out. However, before the end of Episode 3, McNeely was moving back in to give the relationship another chance.
While the two exhibited great communication skills and love, that wasn’t enough to prevent the impending divorce. In an interview on the We are the Brand podcast, Jones said he felt McNeely didn’t give him enough time to adjust to married life. “I need somebody that’s going to be honest with me. And I Also need somebody that’s going to grow and compromise,” he said, “And somebody that’s going to be patient… Change takes time. I have to train myself, I have to train my mind.”
Nick Thompson and Danielle Ruhl were the other couple who left the show married. They displayed nothing but compatibility from the start through to the newest After the Altar episodes. They experienced their share of hardships, mostly centered around Ruhl’s anxiety, and learning how to communicate effectively. However, they worked as a unit, for the most part. We didn’t get many details from After the Altar, in terms of what led to their split. But it has been confirmed they filed for divorce in August 2022. Ruhl changed her name back from Thompson on Instagram. That said, the two still have their photos on their pages from as early as July.
What the Reality Show Teaches Us About Love and Marriage
Love Is Blind does a great job at portraying the awkwardness of the first times. The first move-in, the first time meeting friends, the first night alone, and even the first time they got to see each other. We see all of these firsts with the couples that made it out of the pods. But there’s more that goes into a relationship than just love.
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One of the biggest lessons that we’ve seen in Love Is Blind is that being different can work sometimes, but if it comes down to core values it usually ends in a deal breaker. For example, in season two Shaina Hurley and Kyle Abrams didn’t work mostly because of their completely opposite religious views. In the end, the two couple could not envision their lives with such polar values and desires. We also saw this theme in McNeely and Jones. Jones was an extroverted, outgoing party seeker. McNeely was more introverted and enjoyed staying in. While this seems superficial, it affected their everyday lives and caused them to drift apart. Once again, we can see core desires and values being a divide.
Another discovery made through watching Love Is Blind is that, attraction is important, but there’s more required for a connection. Speed and Hamilton said the three magic words in the first 35 minutes of Episode 1. Even with the editing, the pace at which their relationship progressed was … fast. After seeing each other, their established emotional attraction grew into a physical one. While Speed had never been with someone outside of her own race, Hamilton had previous experience in a mixed-race relationship. Speed may not have chosen Hamilton outside of this experiment due to that, but she fell in love with who he was. The two are still together today.
On the contrary, we saw couples like Jessica Batten and Mark Cuevas, who seemed to be connected in the pods and then fell short when they were connected in person. Batten’s lack of attraction toward Cuevas placed a barrier between them that began the demise of their relationship.
Did Netflix Prove That Love Truly Is Blind?
The question we still have after two seasons is the same that we had with the 2020 premiere. We’ve seen couples from the show make it in the real world. However, we’ve also had couples call it quits after less than a year. So, how can we really determine whether love is truly blind?
Like most things in life, the answer isn’t black or white, but instead sits in a weird gray area. In certain cases, as with Barnett and Pike or Speed and Hamilton, love was blind. Not in the sense that attraction wasn’t there, but that each couple’s emotional connection was enough to sustain them. And the physical attraction pushed their relationship beyond what it is. However, in a lot of cases, love was not blind. The connection they made in the pods couldn’t last past the confines of the show.
So, while we can confidently say that love can be blind, we leave the interpretation of these couples and their experience to you.
Netflix’s Love Is Blind returns for Season 3 on Oct. 19.