By Immy Share
The first season of Netflix’s Love is Blind saw single contestants enter matrimony based on an initial non-physical connection where they used only their voices through separated ‘pods’. Some fell in love, and, yes, got engaged before seeing each other knowing they were set to marry only thirty-eight days after their first blind encounter.
The pairs did meet before the wedding, enjoying a holiday and living together. But, there was a twist: each partner is unaware as to whether it will be an ‘I do’ or ‘I don’t’ at the altar.
Imagine the suspense.
Out of six engaged couples, five made it to their wedding, and three are still together according to the reunion show filmed a year after the 2018 experiment.
Not bad, really.
But, statistically, with three of six couples still together nearly two years on, there is a 50:50 split on the experiment’s question: Is love really blind?
Here are my thoughts:
If we go by Jessica Batten and Mark Cuevas’ relationship, then no, love is most definitely not blind. Upon meeting, 34-year-old Jess could hardly bring herself to kiss ten-years younger toy boy Mark whilst convincing viewers she didn’t fancy fellow contestant Matt Barnett.
Matt Barnett’s now-wife, Amber, threatened to break Jessica’s nose twice over her behaviour towards her husband, along with Jess’ drunken admittance: “I think Barnett is like f***ing sexy and hot.”
She had forgotten about that declaration when sober the next morning, conveniently.
Then again, Amber and Matt Barnett are still happily married and so maybe, Love is Blind. Or maybe Matt Barnett is scared of a broken nose if he divorces her. I think probably the latter.
It wasn’t just about the way we fall in love, but the series also touched on serious topical issues.
Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton were an interracial couple who faced hurdles such as concern over Lauren’s dad’s approval of her, a black woman, having a white boyfriend.
Bill, or Pappa Speed, didn’t hide his concern, but, defying all pre-existing conventions, Lauren went ahead with her marriage to Cameron. She accepted his hand in marriage after just six days without having seen him, and whilst nearly two years later they are still happily married, she proves that Love really is Blind to skin colour.
Furthermore: sexuality. Carlton Morton and Diamond Jack fell in love and were engaged just ten days later. But, on their holiday, Carlton told his fiancé that he was bisexual and has had previous relationships with men; something he had chosen not to share in the ‘pods’.
In this case, Love was not Blind, and instead, albeit regretfully as Carlton admitted, Diamond’s diamond engagement ring ended up in the resort swimming pool.
By showing the argument from each of their sides, the episode allowed viewers to form their own opinions on the ongoing explorations of differing sexualities which is so ever-growingly important nowadays.
Lastly: equality. When Damian Powers blindly proposed to Giannina Gibelli, she said no. Not because she decided Love wasn’t Blind, because she wanted to ask him instead as his equal.
A refreshing touch upon the dissolution of gender norms and conventions.
Though, their opinions were not as equal when she said ‘I do’ and he said ‘I don’t’ at the wedding. Now, though, they’re enjoying a ‘normal’ relationship together.
For them, Love was Blind, then it wasn’t, then it was, then it wasn’t again, and now it probably is.
And to be honest, that’s exactly the way my thoughts went throughout the series.
I don’t think Love really is Blind but I’m glad there were some couples who proved me wrong. Maybe they just got lucky, though, and did genuinely fancy each other physically.
So, now, after watching, I can go back to my normal life in a world of dating normality, physical presence and touching.
Oh, but there’s a Coronavirus pandemic and those things are banned. So, maybe I won’t. And maybe I’ll have to treat Love like it is Blind…