The Netflix reality show Love is Blind is currently in its fourth season and is watched by tens of millions of people both in the United States and globally. The premise of the show is unlike any other: contestants date each other, fall in love, and get engaged before ever meeting face-to-face. Contestants talk to each other in “pods” with a wall between them, and they must rely on their intellectual and spiritual connections to form the foundation of their relationship.
However, although the show has gained mass success, with some praising its focus on internal rather than physical attraction, its approach to love and marriage still needs to be revised. This article will discuss how Love is Blind is an unrealistic model for love and marriage in modern society.
The primary reason Love is Blind is not a successful model for love and marriage is that it is built on the false idea that one can successfully separate the physical and mental aspects from the emotional and mental aspects of a relationship. Of course, this show wants to counter the superficial relationships founded on physical appearances promoted on most reality dating shows. Still, physical attraction is the point that often sparks a relationship, and as the show ultimately demonstrates, many couples who decided to get engaged “sight unseen” end up saying “I do not” at the altar.
After watching the first three seasons, it is clear that despite deciding to be a part of a show dedicated to proving the power of an emotional connection, many contestants do not agree that internal beauty is more important than one’s physical appearance.
For example, there is a scene in season three with Bartise and Nancy, contestants who get engaged in the pods, that is extremely uncomfortable to watch. While meeting Nancy’s family for the first time, Bartise is badgered by her brothers over his intentions with their sister, during which one asks Bartise if he would still love nancy if she were to gain hundreds of pounds during their marriage. After hesitating, Bartise responds indirectly: he would encourage them to exercise together if he noticed she was gaining weight. The two brothers were unsatisfied, and this encounter catalyzed Bartise’s decision to leave Nancy at the altar.
When explaining his decision to say “I do not” to Nancy, Bartise blames it on their lack of connection and the fact that some of their values do not align. However, based on his previous interaction with her family and the fact that he explicitly states that he finds other women on the show more attractive than Nancy, Bartise makes it clear to viewers that despite being on Love is Blind, he says no to Nancy because he does not find her physically attractive enough.
Bartise is perhaps one of the worst examples of a contestant coming on the show without being committed to its process; however, on each season of Love is Blind, viewers typically see only one or two couples make it to the wedding and say, “I do” while the rest crumble either before or during the ceremony. I feel as though the show is edited to blame the couples’ break ups on a myriad of reasons; however, based on the way couples interact with each other and how intimate they are with each other, it is obvious when watching the show that the primary reason weddings are called off, or a contestant is left alone at the altar, is that one person is not attracted to the other physically, despite “falling in love” with them in the pods.
As a society, humans, especially in the United States, place far too much emphasis on meeting unrealistic beauty standards. Moreover, many people have been judged unfairly or face stereotyping because of their appearance. Sometimes, two people only interact if one deems the other worthy and attractive. Therefore, I think the idea behind Love is Blind is powerful, as it encourages people to think about what type of romantic connections they can make based on conversation alone. In theory, the show takes the pressure off people as they no longer have to worry about being judged for their appearance.
However, when it is put into practice, it becomes evident that it just isn’t a realistic expectation for couples to remain together and decide to get married if they can’t form a physical attraction and connection with one another.
In every successful relationship from the Love is Blind franchise, the couples who are still married today initially found each other extremely attractive when they first met. In contrast, when one or both contestants find the other unattractive, they may try to “work through it,” but ultimately, if the attraction never blossoms and is not equal, the couple breaks up.
Physical attraction alone is not enough to sustain a relationship, but at the same time, it is essential to factor in keeping one alive. Many people want to feel desired by the one they love and feel the same desire for that person. As Love is Blind shows, a lack of physical attraction from one or both parties involved can be a point of tension and show how a romantic relationship can fizzle, sometimes into a friendship or sometimes back into strangers.
I don’t believe I am the only one skeptical of falling in love sight unseen and staying in love once you meet face to face. In fact, it's plausible that the show's creators are also aware of this and based their show around shock value and, of course, drama. In conclusion, it is clear that Love is Blind's philosophy on falling in love sight unseen is, in most cases, unplausible. This is evident through the facts that many couples on the show break up due to a lack of physical attraction and because real-world relationships are often sparked by a mutual initial attraction.
Currently, Netflix has released the first five episodes of season four, with the remaining five to be dropped on March 31st. Though I don’t believe the show is a realistic model for love and marriage, I will still undoubtedly be watching to see if, for some couples, love can indeed be blind.
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