What we learned from Netflix’s ‘Love Is Blind’ experiment

When venerable scientific experts Vanessa and Nick Lachey set out to conduct 2020’s most daring social experiment, some said it wouldn’t work. 

Oh, wait. 

No one said that, because no one cared or knew about it — yet. 

Now, thanks to Netflix, tons of us care and, whether or not you want to, you know about it. Love Is Blind ran away with subscribers like Giannina in a muddy wedding dress, like Barnett’s dog down those furry stairs, like Jessica with someone else’s husband. (Too soon?)  

We basked in the show’s multi-angle approach to reality dating that combined ’90s-era Fox Reality with Bachelor in Paradise, Married at First Sight, and just a dash of Say Yes to the Dress. We were on the edge of our seats wondering who (if anyone) would find their happily ever afters in a world where you have to get engaged before you can hug. 

Now, with the cast’s reunion in the books, we finally have answers and it’s time to step back and look at the “experiment” as a whole. What did we learn? What comes next? Is…love…BLIND??

Broken down by couple, here are the biggest data points and lessons we gathered from Netflix’s Love Is Blind Season 1

Amber and Barnett (aka “Bamber”)

The lessons we learned from 'Love Is Blind,' broken down by couple

Result: Married!
What we learned: Determination goes a long way. 

If an indebted ex-tank mechanic and a three-timing engineer can find love, you too may have a soulmate. Amber and Barnett weathered some of the most drama this season — a love triangle/square(?), financial disputes, a near-divorce revealed in the reunion, and more. Still, they were determined to save the connection they found in the pods and make it over the finish line. 

Would it have helped if they’d spent more than a few weeks together before getting married? Probably. Should they have considered discussing any of the important stuff before moving in together? Definitely. Do they still seem really, really happy? You bet.

Cameron and Lauren (aka “Lameron”)

The lessons we learned from 'Love Is Blind,' broken down by couple

Result: Married!
What we learned: Nothing beats a good match. 

Sometimes things just work. Like any couple, Cameron and Lauren had their ups and downs: tense conversations between Lauren’s father and fiancé, uncertainty about cohabitation, a surprisingly in-depth conversation about sharing a toothbrush. But at the heart of their relationship (beneath all of Cameron’s chest hair) was love. 

Now, the two are talking about kids and fawning over their new fur baby. It’s never a good idea to model your life after reality TV, but if you were going to…this is fine. Cameron and Lauren are the closest thing to goals Love Is Blind gave us, and we’re forever grateful.

Damian and Giannina (aka “Gianamian”)

The lessons we learned from 'Love Is Blind,' broken down by couple

Result: Dating!
What we learned: You can come back from anything. Like, anything. 

Yes, Giannina told Damian he was bad in bed. Sure, Damian couldn’t get his family to even meet his bride-to-be. OK, Giannina picked up her phone during a conversation about NOT picking up her phone during a conversation. And fine, Damian said “I don’t” in front of Giannina’s loved ones, the Love Is Blind crew, and the rest of the Netflix-subscribed world. 

And yet somehow, through the magic of love and television, the two arrived at the reunion as boyfriend and girlfriend. Just because you’re not ready to commit to forever, doesn’t mean you can’t strengthen your bond and work through rough patches. (Oh, and if you are going to have a big fight? Make sure to block the scene as well as G. “Please sit.”)  

Carlton and Diamond (aka “Carmond”)

The lessons we learned from 'Love Is Blind,' broken down by couple

Result: Friends!
What we learned: Honesty is the best policy, and kindness is always appropriate. 

Carlton and Diamond’s journey was easily the most moving and misunderstood of the series. When Carlton revealed his fluid sexuality to his fiancée after their engagement, it ended the pair’s romance and raised questions about honesty and acceptance among viewers. 

Ultimately, however, the two reconciled at the reunion. Both are still eager to find love (though not with each other) and understand where they went wrong. This cautionary tale is an excellent reminder to be kind and forthcoming with your partner whenever possible.

Kelly and Kenny (aka “Kellnny”)

The lessons we learned from 'Love Is Blind,' broken down by couple

Result: Exes
What we learned: Even if the person is right, that doesn’t mean the timing is.

With their eerily similar names and exactly right height difference, Kelly and Kenny seemed perfect for each other. The pair’s cozy cuddle sessions and adorable goodbye kisses screamed match made in heaven, and their triumphant ride into the sunset was the one thing we were certain of headed into the season finale. 

But alas, when it came time for vows, Kelly couldn’t commit her life to the man she’d met on TV. At the reunion, we saw the regrets Kelly had around that decision as Kenny announced his flourishing new relationship. But hey, when you’re not ready, you’re not ready. Stick up for yourself, make the right choice for you, and know you’re never really alone.

Mark and Jessica (aka “Messica”)

The lessons we learned from 'Love Is Blind,' broken down by couple

Result: Friends!
What we learned: Don’t date when you’re not ready. Don’t date someone who’s not ready.

Rejection isn’t easy. Neither is being on TV. Jessica got hit by both at the same time. The de facto “villain” of Love Is Blind struggled to overcome her past connection with Barnett while engaged to Mark — and viewers (including Amber) reamed her for it. Jessica apologized to Mark, Amber, and Barnett at the reunion, but it was clear the debacle wasn’t yet water under the bridge. 

If you’re a Jessica, be honest with yourself and others always. If you’re a Mark, listen to what your partner is trying to tell you, and do NOT propose if you have agreed not to!! 

Vanessa and Nick Lachey 

The lessons we learned from 'Love Is Blind,' broken down by couple

Result: Almost definitely hosting next season
What we learned: This experiment needs a lot of help. 

If the folks at Netflix are intent on testing their “Is love blind?” hypothesis with a second season — and we really hope they are — then someone needs to help the Lacheys with their grasp of the scientific method. 

With no controls, uneven data curation, immense bias, and an immeasurable number of extemporaneous factors, it’s as if these hosts had no plan to actually publish their findings. How can we learn from this once-in-a-lifetime research if they’re not evening trying to standardize it? Send in Dustin from Stranger Things. This is a mess. 

Final conclusion: Love is blind! Well, sometimes.

That said, we must ask: is love blind? Assuming you’re comfortable calling this a valid experiment (which, LOL), the successful unions of Lameron, Bamber, and Gianamian seem to say yes. Ultimately, they were able to move past multiple obstacles to find and keep love sight unseen.

But the harsh splits of Kellnny, Messica, and Carmond indicate getting married in just a few weeks to a total stranger is maybe…not a good idea? Each couple needed more time to get comfortable with each other and being in the same room probably would’ve helped. 

Tied at three couples for each result, Love Is Blind‘s inaugural test was inconclusive. 

If Vanessa and Nick Lachey have any hopes of winning the Nobel Prize they deserve, they and their team of technicians will have to conduct more trials. Assuming Netflix comes through with the grant money, that means checking in with them and their new test subjects next season. 

Love Is Blind is streaming now on Netflix.

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