Spoilers: Netflix’s Love Is Blind
If you are a little late to this binge-watching party, I am sure you had time during quarantine to fill yourself in on the Netflix Love Is Blind craze. For those of you who do not know, Love Is Blind is a Netflix reality dating show that attempts to answer one of life’s eternal questions: Is love truly blind? I am here to break your hearts and tell you it is not. I know it worked out for two happily married couples on the show and another couple is currently still dating now, but this is the minority, not the majority.
The premise of the show is to fall in love with the emotional connection and not let physical attraction get in the way. The show is trying to keep love pure. The contestants get to know each other in the “pods”, where they can talk for hours on end. However, the catch is they can never see each other. The goal is to propose without ever meeting the other person. You are supposed to let your hearts fall in love, not your eyes. Yet while the show is blocking our eyes, it is not necessarily blocking our heads. The contestants are still allowed to ask each other in the isolated pods things like the person’s age, job, and ethnicity, and they could actually describe what they looked like.
As we all know, the most infamous couple where love went wrong was Jessica and Mark. Jessica is 34 and Mark is 24—that age difference alone is enough to tear them apart. Although they had an emotional connection in the pods (and Jessica was trying to focus on that), you cannot force physical attraction and chemistry. Emotional chemistry is only one-third of it, and it alone is not enough. I believe love is built on physical, emotional, and mental connections. In a fairytale or Disney movie, you get all three, but in reality, you do not always get it all.
I would love to tell you that looks do not matter and that it is what’s on the inside that really counts. Sure, people can argue that if you get to know someone or you fall for their personality, they become more attractive to you. That is true—people can grow on you. But sometimes attraction is as simple as math—it adds up or it doesn’t. When you are married or have been together for a long time, maybe then it can make sense for some sparks to die, but if it isn’t there in the beginning? How will you survive in the long run? If you already need to spice things up while you are still in the so-called “honeymoon phase”, what chance do you have?
Physical attraction alone definitely will not matter as much as you think it will, but physical chemistry that is not something you can always create. You can always work on your sex life or try to make it better. While Jessica did receive a lot of negative attention from fans, I believe she genuinely tried to be attracted to Mark. She eventually had sex with him and attempted to want him back. Just because someone has an emotional connection, that does not always mean they have physical chemistry. I have many strong emotional connections with males, and I call those connections strong friendships, not intimate relationships.
I think the premise of the show was that all you needed in love was an emotional connection, and if you have that, then everything else will magically fall into place. Maybe this could work in the isolation pods where nothing else matters but the flow of the conversation. But despite the current quarantine, life is not isolated pods. Issues like money, age, status, religious differences, race, and family approval are all real deal-breakers. Just because you can talk to someone for hours on end does not always mean they’re your soulmate—that might just be one of your best friends, and that is not the same thing.
Yes, we saw fan favourite couple Lauren and Cameron fight the race issue and they came out on the winning side, but it is not always like that, and it is definitely not always easy. Cameron also already had a history with interracial dating, which helped them overcome that barrier. I believe that in every relationship there will always be some work, some compromise, but if it is all work, it isn’t right. If it was right, it would be easy. They say opposites attract, but personally I am a fan of the phrase “birds of a feather fly together”.
I just rewatched an early 2000s movie called Prime with Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. The plot of the movie was that Uma’s character was 37, recently divorced, and rebounding with a young man who was 23 and Jewish. Meryl Streep was her therapist and also her lover’s mother. The point is the two did not end up together, not just because of the age difference. Age may just be a number, but ultimately the real deal-breaker in their relationship was his mother.
His mother greatly wanted her son to marry a Jewish woman. Many times in the movie, Meryl’s character would say, “It is easier marrying someone with the same culture and faith.” While love should not have boundaries or exclusion, I would have to agree it is easier when you have a similar upbringing. There will always be compromises within a relationship, but the less differences, the less budging. Easy love may not seem the most romantic, but it is more realistic. Your differences may seem sexy at first, but if you have more differences than similarities, sooner or later everything becomes a struggle.
Compromise is important, but even then it can only take you so far. As much as I would like to say love conquers all, I do not believe physical attraction is something you can compromise on. When you have to force attraction, not only will your heart not be completely in it, but your mind will not be.
You will find yourself daydreaming and fantasizing about someone else—maybe a past love or something as shallow as a celebrity crush. If the physical chemistry isn’t there, it will affect the mental chemistry. If being with that person is not the thing you look forward to the most, if that “flame” is not all you want, you will find yourself imagining (or worst actually wishing) that this person is what you wanted. You will feel awful and shallow for letting this lack of physical attraction get in the way of your love, but you are not being a bad person, you are just being human. Sometimes it is nature and biology—you have to face the fact that you can’t force yourself to want to be with someone. Physical attraction, chemistry, and sex play a big role in our relationships, and that is why love could never be blind.