Is Love Truly Blind?

“Love is blind.” How many times have we heard that phrase? An adage as old as time, it has become ubiquitous in conversations concerning why people make questionable decisions in their relationships. Typically, it is used in relationships where we can see the other person. So, when we say “love is blind,” we’re usually saying that love allows one to ignore any and all red flags–love gives you blinders. But what if it were different? What if you were capable of seeing the person, but you didn’t and still had to decide if you loved them enough to not only date them but also marry them?

That’s basically what happens in the Netflix series Love is Blind. Going beyond how we generally interpret this phrase, Netflix takes it literally. People are involved in a series of literal blind dates–they are unable to see the person with whom they are connecting! If that weren’t scary enough, these people may or may not have to propose and accept or reject said proposals. All while never seeing this person! That’s a scary scenario when we know what we’re walking into, imagine what it’s like not to know.

It first aired in 2020 and took everyone (or maybe just me) by storm. Dating shows are a dime a dozen, but somehow, this one was different. It could be that the concept was quite different (I mean, typical blind dates freak everyone out but this is an extended scenario), it could be that we were in the midst of a pandemic and didn’t know what would happen next, or it could be that it’s just really good reality TV. If you’re like me, it’s a little bit of everything. Whatever your reasons for watching, you watched until the end and that’s why you were probably thrilled when a second season was announced!

So, that’s where we stand now.

The second season is DONE and I want to talk about it and I’m going to give spoilers, so if you haven’t watched and/or finished it yet and you don’t want any spoilers, this may not be the post for you.

I was ecstatic when this show returned for I am a hopeless romantic. I’ve always rooted for relationships and happy endings and true love. For obvious reasons, this show is right up my alley. I should preface this by saying that I am late to the dating show game and I know it. Generally speaking, I always had my head in a book, or my hands on some joysticks. I didn’t always watch a lot of television, let alone reality television, but here we are. I am playing catch up now and am open to more suggestions to watch.

What I loved about season one of Love is Blind was that the couple I was rooting for did decide to match and later get married. Lauren and Cameron were the best thing to happen to season one and it was impossible not to hope that they would eventually say “I do” at the end of their journey. While this made me happy, it wasn’t the only thing that pleased me. What I also loved were the engagements and the matchups. It seemed like everyone who paired off was meant for each other (except Jessica and Mark, but what’s a reality show without a little drama?). I went into the second season expecting the same energy.

I did not get it.

That’s not anything against the show itself. It just seemed like the majority of these couples were trying to force a USB cord into a three-prong outlet–they just didn’t seem to fit. The difference between this season and the last, for me, is this: season one, I expected more of them to say yes at the altar. This season, I expected many (if not all) of them not to do so. The ensuing drama that happened as a result of these people not quite fitting was too juicy and delectable, so I ate it right up, but this season lacked the swooning that I fell prey to in season one. Now, at the end of this journey, we have a lot of thoughts and opinions. Did these couples prove love is blind? Where do we begin?

Let’s start with the couples the show decided to follow.

Kyle and Shaina

Alright. These two were just…tragic. Poor Kyle. This was Mark and Jessica all over again. Jessica had eyes for Barnett. Shaina had eyes for Shayne. Mark was all in. Kyle was all in. This was history repeating itself. While it has been reported that the producers don’t handpick which couples are followed, it’s hard to believe that they didn’t choose to follow this couple with the anticipation of the drama that would clearly happen. From the moment that Kyle made it clear that he would propose to Shaina despite their religious beliefs, I was rooting against them.

“But I thought you were a hopeless romantic!” I am, but theirs wasn’t a story of hopeless romance, it was just a story of hopelessness. They were doomed from the moment that Shaina said yes, with Kyle’s mother’s ring, and then subsequently went to seek out Shayne’s hand. I mean, she (an omnivore) makes him (a vegetarian) eat meat! I was a bit shocked when they didn’t even make it to the altar (but glad), even more shocked when Kyle chased this woman down after having been ghosted in Mexico (utterly disgusted), but ultimately was not shocked when it didn’t work out. It’s for the best! These two were not equally yoked and Kyle deserves MUCH better than anything Shaina has to offer.

Mallory and Salvador

Oh, Sal.

The energy of this relationship was not quite on the same level as Jessica and Mark, but it was approaching it. While Mallory had turned down another potential proposal (which we will get to later) in order to stay with Sal, I’d say that’s about all she did to display her feelings for him. To me, it always seemed like Sal was way more invested in their relationship than Mallory ever was. It’s true, one could argue that this stems from Mallory being more reserved with her feelings, but that’s not why and we all know it. She just wasn’t feeling this guy.

When you compare Mallory’s interactions with Jarrett (we’ll get to him) at the mixer to literally any interaction she’s had with Sal (post reveal), it’s clear to see that, while she may have felt a stronger emotional connection to Salvador, she not invested in him. And that sucks. I found myself wanting to root for this couple, but also not wanting to do so. Salvador is the reason I believed in this relationship–he serenaded her and constantly reaffirmed his feelings for her. This seemed like the makings of a beautiful relationship, but, once again, these two didn’t fit. Instead of it being Mallory who declined marriage, it was actually Sal who declined, which was shocking (to me), but, again, for the best.

Deepti and Abhishek

First of all, I adore Deepti. I think she’s gorgeous and I think she’s truly a beautiful soul. I’ve never met her before in life and yet I feel like you can just tell that’s she’s a truly incredible person to know and be around.

Then you have “Shake.”

This is a guy who asked these women if he’d be able to put them on his shoulders at a concert, thus rendering the “blind” concept of “love is blind” inert. I didn’t like Shake at first. He came off as incredibly shallow to me and I didn’t think that any woman there should have to suffer his advances. What ended up happening, though, was that he started to grow (not on me, just in general). He appeared less shallow and started to seem like a functional member of society.

So, what happened?

Old Shake started to rear its head, if only subtly. He and Deepti had never been intimate and his reasoning for that was because she reminded him of his “aunt.” He felt that she was his best friend, but he wasn’t “instinctually” attracted to her. See? Shallow.

I love that Shake’s mom called him out and told him Deepti didn’t deserve to be treated callously and that he needed to figure it out. But ultimately, he never could. And while Deepti always seemed to do her confessionals with stars in her eyes, she picked up what Shake was putting down. She saw him for what he was, and that was a whole lot of nothing.

Deepti’s speech was beautiful, heartfelt, and honest. And without a hint of malice in it. She understood her worth and knew that Shake hadn’t, and wouldn’t.

I deserve somebody who knows for sure. So, I’m choosing myself, and I’m gonna say no.

I have to say that when Shake appeared to be growing I started to root for them. If he could get over this thing they might be a great matchup, but he never could seem to get out of his own way. And what’s worse is that he never seemed to try.

If I had any lingering doubts, they were mollified by Shake’s reaction. He presented himself with a very machismo demeanor which was a complete turnoff. “We’re still good,” he said. But, we’re not. “This is still a celebration,” he said. Um, no it’s not. Don’t you feel anything for her?? Deepti comments that she realized their relationship wasn’t going to work because he never made her feel like it could. She later says that one day Shake is going to realize what he had with her, but by then she’ll be gone.

I couldn’t agree more, Deeps. I think you deserve the world and if Shake couldn’t see it then he doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as you. We see you even if he doesn’t.

Nick and Danielle

Where does one begin with these two? Okay, so I can start by saying that they actually were a couple I started out rooting for. Unlike the aforementioned couples, I genuinely thought that these two fit and could make it all the way.

That quickly changed.

Danielle has some things to work through and that became evident in their first argument. I do commend her for speaking her mind and voicing her fears, but I was disappointed in the way Nick reacted to her doing so. It wasn’t that she spoke up, it was what she said that ticked him off.

What person hasn’t had moments of insecurity in a relationship? Maybe your partner didn’t do anything to cause the feelings of insecurity, but they’re there nonetheless. That was Danielle one of the first nights she and Nick spent together. Though she did a good job of voicing her internal monologue, Nick was deaf to her. And this is where I can see things unraveling.

These two continued to argue about little things and it just got exhausting to watch. They both need therapy and I’m not being funny. Danielle needs to work on whatever issues she clearly has and Nick needs to be a more capable listener. Every time Danielle said something, Nick got defensive. I didn’t think I could root for a couple to say “no” at the altar more than I did Jessica and Mark in season one or Kyle and Shaina in season two, but these two came pretty close.

I’m utterly disappointed that they both said yes! How did this happen? Nick was sweating through his suit. His. Suit. And he was wearing a whole three piece. That does not strike me as the proper behavior of someone who wants to be married to the person about to join them at the altar.

They have many things to work on. Arguing so often, so intensely, and so early is not a good boding in my book. I think that they both should have said no.

Natalie and Shayne

I love Natalie almost as much as I love Deepti. I think she’s kind and sweet and deserves a great person. Shayne, what do you say about him? He seemed a bit much in the beginning and they seemed to be completely unmatched, but then, like Shake, Shayne appeared to grow. What was better, Natalie and Shayne appeared to grow with each other. And that’s an amazing thing for any couple to experience, let alone one that knew each other as long as these two.

After Shayne had a heartfelt conversation with Shake about needing to approach his situation with Deepti differently, it became evident that, okay, this guy might not be so bad.

But that was a very short-lived feeling.

While I initially had wanted to root against these two, I was slowly coming around and on the day of their wedding, I really thought they might say yes. Then, Natalie tells us something disturbing: the couple had a cataclysmic fight the night before the wedding. Natalie’s in tears and Shayne doesn’t even want to talk about it. I couldn’t imagine what could have happened and since neither of them really gave us details in their confessionals before the wedding, we’re left to wonder if they could weather the storm.

They couldn’t.

Shayne was willing to try to move past it, but Natalie was not. And, when we finally find out what was said, who can blame her? This man said he hated her and she was the worst thing to ever happen to him.

Yikes.

Seasoned couples might have been able to get through this. One might have been able to recognize this as a bad case of nerves. Or that Shayne was drunk when he said it. Sometimes people self-sabotage and that could have been what was happening here. Or it could’ve been the truth. The problem is that because they don’t know each other that well, Natalie took it at face value. And, I mean, what else could she do? Shayne walking into that wedding thinking that she would say yes after that whole debacle highlights how poorly they understood each other.

Shayne did say he didn’t mean it and he was just in a bad place, and he seemingly said that before they even got to the altar, but it wasn’t enough for Natalie. She felt they needed to work on themselves and get to know each other more. Shayne isn’t having any of that, though, and neither am I. The right choice was made. Stick to it.

Iyanna and Jarrett

This relationship was different from the other ones. The thing about Love is Blind is that it combines speed dating with blind dates. So everybody has probably dated everybody as some point in the beginning when they’re all in “the pods.” At some point, though, everybody starts to pair off and stick to the one they’re leaning towards, or at least that’s how it’s presented in the edited show that we watch. Before Iyanna, there was Mallory. Yes, the same Mallory from above. Jarrett was going back and forth between Mallory and Iyanna for awhile and he had all but proposed to Mallory when she told Jarrett that she had stronger feelings for someone else.

He didn’t take it well.

Once he gets over everything, he later goes to Iyanna and proposes to her. This is a source of contention with the couple as Iyanna constantly wonders what would have happened if Mallory hadn’t rejected Jarrett’s almost proposal. Ultimately, the two decided to take the plunge. I’m happy for them, but at the same time, I’m not sure if it’s a good thing.

Jarrett definitely grew (in general and on me)–he slowed down his bachelor lifestyle, he reaffirmed his commitment to Iyanna–but is it enough? I oftentimes got the feeling that Jarrett just wanted to be married, and not that he necessarily wanted to be married to Iyanna. Iyanna is another beautiful soul–easily my favorite on this season–and I think she deserves the world. I sincerely hope Jarrett meant everything he said.

Where are we now?

Well, who knows? This season was definitely different than the first and yet, in a lot of ways, it wasn’t. On both seasons, eight couples got engaged, with only six being featured, and the two not being featured no longer together; one couple broke up on the romantic trip and never made it to the altar; and of the five remaining couples, only two said “I do.” The couples are what made this season so different. No one seemed to fit and yet people still said “yes.” I ended this season feeling like most of the people had just forced themselves to be together. I’ve never been on a dating show, but I can imagine that this might be due to pressure.

There’s so much pressure to find someone and for this experiment to work. It seems inevitable that people might succumb to what they think should happened instead of what they want. And that’s where the contestants from season one had the contestants of season two pegged: the contestants of season one understood the assignment. As predictable as you might have thought the matchups were in season one, they were anything but. And when you left that season, you felt okay with the way things ended. They seemed right.

They don’t seem right after this season.

I think the couples who chose not to get married made the right call, and I’m questioning the ones who did. As I said, Danielle and Nick have a lot of work to do, both on themselves and each other. I don’t think it’s impossible, but it’s going to be a lot of hard work if the first month has been any indication. Iyanna and Jarrett have the makings of a perfect couple, but will Jarrett change his ways for good? Did he mean what he said about marrying Iyanna? Did she mean what she said? All I have are questions and I’m not going to get answers today.

In any show, it’s always hard to top the first season. You can try, but you may fall short. Ultimately, I think this season fell short of the heart swelling that I had become familiar with from season one. The trade off was the heart palpitations I got from the drama in season two that was not quite present in season one. Overall, it was an entertaining season. And ultimately, this show did show us, in some respects, that love is blind. (I’m looking at Nick and Danielle ignoring every possible red flag). There are two additional versions of the show: Love is Blind Japan and Love is Blind Brazil. I haven’t watched these yet, but I had every intention of doing so. In the meantime, there’s the reunion episode to look forward to and a third season has been confirmed as well. Here’s hoping that the season three contestants understand the assignment and can truly prove that love is blind. Also, I think that Lauren and Cameron should be hosts. Can we make that happen?

2 thoughts on “Is Love Truly Blind?”

  1. ALL 👏🏾 OF 👏🏾 THIS 👏🏾 haha the only thing I think we disagreed on was the Shayna/Shayne situation. I HATED Jessica on season one and felt like Mark was way too good for her! I didn’t feel that way about her. It was a horrible decision to say yes to an atheist as a Christian. Additionally, he was not her type by any stretch of the imagination. But ultimately her saying yes got her another chance @ Shayne 😂 She failed miserably, and it was certainly in bad taste! However, it bought her a few minutes with Shayne. I think she wanted to see if he would change his mind in person which was tacky. I wanted them to work from the beginning. Honestly, Shayne and Shaina + Deepti and Salvador could’ve been perfect matches!

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    1. Mark was absolutely way too good for her (although I did hear that outside of the show he’s a cheater but we won’t comment on that—as far as we know he didn’t cheat on Jessica ever). This is an interesting take. I don’t think it was a bad decision for her as a Christian to say yes to an atheist because Kyle did say he was open to learn. That could’ve been seen as an opportunity on her part but she didn’t treat it as such which proves to me that that’s not the reason she broke it off. She kept talking about Shayne and I don’t remember a single instance of Shayne being religious so she’s just lying. And that irks me SO much. I didn’t want her to work with anyone tbh. She was messy. How do you smile at someone’s despair?? She might have been better of with Shake 😂 Anyways interesting about Sal and Deeps. I do think they might have been a good match. Did they talk in the pods? I can’t recall if they crossed paths.

      Thanks for your comment!

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