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'Love Is Blind' Continues To Make Me Feel Less Desperate

Clay and A.D. on
Clay and A.D. on "Love is Blind." Courtesy of Netflix

When I meet couples who have been married or in a monogamous relationship for decades, I often wonder how they got there and, more importantly, how they’ve stayed together.

Growing up, I was always surrounded by my four uncles, who have been with their current wives since I was a child. Although my parents separated before I was 10, I always had my uncles as role models of people in committed relationships. I admired that, and hoped that one day I’d be able to experience a fruitful relationship myself. But because of some unfortunate recent experiences, I’ve realized that may never happen.

I’m not upset about being single, though, especially with the current realities of dating being what they are. Between swipe culture and people not valuing each others’ time, ghosting, breadcrumbing, and whatever other term is being thrown around nowadays, dating has given me big ick energy.

Not a day goes by that I don’t read a woman’s dating horror story on one of the hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to outing horrible men. From career ghosters to actual criminals, it’s clear that the dating pool is filled with 10-day-old urine. And now, I’m probably better off throwing in the towel and finding some single girlfriends who want to live like the Golden Girls.

Reality TV, and its plethora of dating shows, offers context to our own dating lives, showing us the embarrassment of other singles vying for attention and the possibility of finding “the one” via a streaming service production. For the past few weeks, I’ve been focused on the sixth and most recent season of Netflix’s popular dating series “Love Is Blind.”

The series, hosted by conventionally attractive couple Nick and Vanessa Lachey, takes the concept of speed dating to a whole new level. Contestants go on blind dates in isolated “pods,” where they can communicate only by voice. The twist? They must decide whether to commit to marriage without ever seeing each other face to face.

The show’s premise is built on the idea that love can be found purely through an emotional connection, rather than via physical attraction. As the couples navigate their relationships in the pods, they have “deep” conversations (in practice, usually about puddle-depth), share vulnerabilities, and form bonds based on personality and values. The goal is to create a genuine connection before the big reveal when the couples finally meet in person.

As you can imagine, there are challenges. Contestants must grapple with the uncertainty of not knowing what their potential partner looks like. They must navigate the emotional roller coaster of falling in love with someone they’ve only heard through a wall. And, of course, there’s always the risk that the physical connection won’t be there once the couples meet in person. The saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” persists. But to that, I’d add: “But who wants to be holding a badger?”

Still, “Love Is Blind” has seen some success stories. Several couples from the show have gone on to marry and build lasting relationships (shout out to Cameron and Lauren, the true MVPs). One thing about the series is that it speaks to our collective fascination with the idea of finding love in unexpected ways. It challenges traditional notions of attraction and asks whether true love can be found without physical appearance playing a role.

When the couples finally look at each other, it’s less of a Cinderella/glass slipper moment and more like a “Wow, this face does not match that voice” kind of moment. Remember, if you mentionthat you resemble Megan Fox in the pod, your soon-to-be-husband may be a little shocked that you don’t.

What seemed to be a pretty good experiment during the first three seasons now feels like a competition for clout. Contestants seem willing to subject themselves to unreasonable levels of scrutiny, and some viewers have criticized the exploitative nature of the show. Who in their right mind would want to spread themselves this thin for “love”?

This season, we saw the resident baddie, A.D., being constantly told by Clay that he’s not marriage material. And then she was left at the altar. Out of all the messy relationships, only one couple got married. Despite how triggering it is to watch, it’s obvious that I’m a part of the zeitgeist analyzing the train-wrecked lives of people willing to do anything to find romance.

On the one hand, I commend these adventurous (read: desperate) singles for trying to find their “one” true love. But at what cost? With TikTok detectives alleging that some people were in hidden relationships before they entered the pods, and causing their entire private lives to be dissected, is it worth it? Also, has the world made it so “bad” to be single that we’re willing to live sequestered from friends and family for 15 minutes of fame and love?

Decidedly, no. This season cemented my decision to wait it out. I’ll gladly stay single until something less exhausting than this type of “love” finds me.

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