Merriam-Webster defines love as, “strong affection for another arising out of out of kinship or personal ties.” Love is something that almost every person in this world has experienced, whether it be from family members or a significant other. But how does one fall in love? Science recognizes falling in love as a neurological frenzie of dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, which are chemicals that accumulate in the brain to provide an intense feeling of pleasure.
As a society, we value appearances and most of our relationships begin with an initial attraction to the person’s physical appearance. Then, people grow a strong emotional connection through spending time together and eventually fall in love and get engaged.
In the “Love is Blind” experiment, those steps are completely reversed. Participants come into the experiment single and date up to twenty people in enclosures called pods. The pods are adjacent to each other and separated by a thin, opaque wall. The participants are given notebooks and carry out conversations with other participants, hoping to find someone they click with.
As unrealistic as it sounds, it only takes one day for connections to forms. The couples talk about everything from religion to pets, and one passionate story forms an emotional bond. Due to the short timeline, the couples are forced to open up to each other in a way that would be deemed “too soon” in the real world. However, the pods serve as a haven from the outside world — a place where relationships can blossom without the pressures of technology.
By the second episode, Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton are engaged and have seen each other for the first time. The first meeting is dramatic, but the couple ends up embracing each other’s physical features. Three other couples follow suit and get engaged, while other contestants battle a love triangle. Matthew Barnett is a player as he promises a ring to Jessica Batten but ends up giving it to Amber Pike. Thinking that she was going to be proposed to, Batten broke off her relationship with Mark Cuevas but comes back to him after learning about Barnett’s playboy ways.
In episode three, the couples spend their first night together in a beautiful resort located on the beaches of Mexico. One couple has an explosive altercation that leads them to leave Mexico single. The couples soon learn that everyone is in Mexico, and things take an awkward turn when everyone is introduced. Barnett and Jessica talk for the first time since their breakup, and Mark battles with jealous feelings. In episode six and seven, the couples move in together and meet the parents.
Trouble arises as reality sets in when Damien’s parents refuse to meet his fiance Giannina. Some couples fit right in each other’s lives while others come clean about their lack of income and crippling debt.
Ultimately, only two out of the six couples end up saying ‘I do” in episode ten. The show was filmed in November of 2018 and both of the couples that were married are still together today. A fan favorite couple (Giannina Gibelli and Damien Powers) broke hearts worldwide when Damien tearfully uttered the words “I do not” in front of family and friends. Although the breakup was cruel, Powers’ reasoning was logical — the couple needed more than thirty eight days to decide if they wanted to spend forever together. A final episode released on March 7 detailed that Gibelli and Powers were back together and taking their relationship slowly.
But the question remains: is love truly blind? In my opinion, love can definitely be blind. Six couples fell in love without ever seeing each other and simply talking for hours at a time. Outside forces, like disapproving families and questioning friends, led some of the couples to break up. In the case of other couples, the experiment proved to be too fast paced to make a life-altering commitment. What usually takes years to happen is shoved into a thirty eight day frame, and some contestants weren’t ready for that. Besides all of those factors, these people fell in love with each other, and there isn’t any argument about that.
Whether you agree if love is blind or not, the show has gained thousands of fans in a short amount of time. The day after the finale aired, Love is Blind became the number one trending show on Netflix. Numerous hashtags for the couples were trending on Twitter as well. As of beginning of March, it was listed as the number two show in the United States on Netflix.
Critics had a variety of opinions about the show. Tricia Crimmins of Mashable reviewed the first five episodes of Love Is Blind. Comparing it to The Bachelor, Crimmins called the series “…the bizarre reality TV experiment you’ve been craving.” She comments that you never know what the couples will do next, even down to the altar at the wedding, making the series “harmless, entertaining, and satisfying. Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly called the series “intensely tragic yet riveting.” She openly criticized the series, saying that the first four episodes in the pods felt new and fresh, but once the engaged couples enter the real world, it felt like just another bad reality television show. Baldwin also called it depressing, citing the contestants always saying, “If I don’t get married now, I never will.” Baldwin gave Love Is Blind a C+ rating.
Overall, I found Love is Blind to be a fascinating experiment that is utterly binge-worthy. The show takes on dating in a unique way and questions the way society worships physical features. Love is Blind is a show that provides its audience with multiple twists that leave its viewers eagerly awaiting the next episode. Overall, I would highly recommend watching the show and forming an individual opinion on the question it raises — is love truly blind?