love, love is blind, marriage, relationships

When you have 20/20 vision: Lessons from Love is Blind

SPOILER ALERT: This entire post is one big spoiler so if you haven’t seen #loveisblind then you may want to go get your life on Netflix and return

Love is Blind concluded this week with an epic finale that showcased 2 weddings that ended in “I do’s” and 3 that did not. Those of us who were emotionally invested waited with baited breath when THEE couple Lauren and Cameron said their vows. And as I watched and rewatched the happy ending, I couldn’t help but think about this “experiment”. As a natural researcher with the grad-school level analytical education (shoutout to social sciences!) to back me up, I wondered if love is truly blind. Or if it just makes for good TV.

The phrase as we know it comes from none other than William Shakespeare (or his ghost writer but, anyway). In his play The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, scene 6, Jessica is shy about her lover seeing her disguised as a boy. She’s grateful that it’s night but expresses that it would not matter, because she knows his affection won’t change despite her appearance.

I am glad ’tis night, you do not look on me,
For I am much ashamed of my exchange.
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit,

For if they could Cupid himself would blush
To see me thus transformed to a boy.

I see this phrase “love is blind” as less about the physical appearance (though it’s definitely a factor) and more about how love has a way of adding a Snapchat/Facetune filter to the people we love. So what do you do when that filter starts to fade and you have to deal with the person daily?

If season one is any indication:

I mean let’s face it: you can connect with someone emotionally like the couples did in the pods but once you’re with them in person- everything can change.

So here’s what I learned while watching the drama unfold between some couples and the love grow between others.

Prioritize your priorities (Jessica and Mark)

Jessica knew that Mark’s age and occupation (he earned significantly less than her and was 10 years her junior) was going to be an issue before they even met. That’s why she went back and forth between him and Barnett, a slick talking “bro” who was a bit older and had a more stable career. Rather than leave the experiment facility alone, resigning herself to the fact that she did not find The One, she agreed to the engagement and made it all the way down the aisle, only to tell him she did not want to marry him. Viewers saw it coming a mile away. When I was engaged some years ago, I knew it wasn’t right and it took a wake up call to end things. Jessica and Mark reminded me to never waver on the stuff that matters. Remember, if a standard can be negotiated, it’s not a standard.

Sometimes “passion” is toxic (Kelly and Kenny)

I think we all were collectively shocked when the boring but perfect couple Kelly and Kenny didn’t work out. We watched as the adorable pair and their families blended right into each other’s lives. But as the wedding drew closer, Kelly started saying things like Kenny wasn’t her type and how she if she’d met him in person, she would have never dated him. And I still don’t entirely understand what she meant when she cited that she loved Kenny but was not infatuated with him like with previous “boyfriends”. And I put that in quotation marks because when Kelly’s sister and friend said she had a bad “picker”, all I heard was that Kelly has habit of dating F-kboys. And what happens is that sometimes, you delude yourself into thinking that the hot-and-cold dynamic you have with guys is passion and infatuation when it’s really a one-sided love affair that ends with heartbreak.

Fear can be overcome (Lauren and Cameron)

I mean…I really don’t have that much to write because y’all saw their story unfold. You heard the stoic, firefighter-turned-AI data scientist Cameron say from the beginning that he was at the Love is Blind facility to find a wife. You watched as he tearfully said to Lauren, sight unseen, that if he and Lauren were to get married, “that’s it…[they] have to make it work”. I noted that he said he was going to take care of Lauren when they first saw each other and how he did just that – telling her that his home, his life, was prepared for her if she wanted it.

And as the wedding got closer and Lauren (in all her #blackgirlmagic) talked about her fears, her desire for space, her past experiences with dating, I saw myself and many other women. Because disappointment from past relationships can be traumatic AF. Post-traumatic stress is real. And sometimes the way to overcome it can be through intense therapy, a lot of personal development, and/or meeting a partner that will handle you with a gentleness and sincerity that you’ve never known.

So fret not, sis. One day, all that pain and hurt will dissipate and you just may meet someone who will say they want to take care of you and mean it.

Because while Love may be Blind in the beginning, when it matures and takes root, you can see it.

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