Is love blind? That is the premise of the Netflix show “Love Is Blind.” The series follows single men and women searching for true love without seeing each other.
While it might be possible that love arises with minimum influence from physical appearance, the Netflix show still unintentionally illustrates how important it is to developing relationships.
“Love Is Blind” seeks to prove that real love results from intimate connections rather than superficial impressions.
To demonstrate this, the show is divided into three parts — the meeting, the honeymoon and the transition back into their everyday lives.
First, they enter the “pods.” Resembling blind speed dating, contestants engage in lengthy conversations, all while hiding behind a foggy glass. As time passes, the contestants quickly begin opening up about difficult childhood, family tragedies and toxic past relationships. It’s incredibly raw.
At first, we do see some success as contestants break emotional barriers and begin to share intimate details openly. In a sense, the pods resemble a therapy session, as they rely on honest sharing and intent listening.
And yet, any sign of real emotional advancement between potential couples soon vanishes as the second phase begins. Some couples actually appear to push preconceived ideas of physical attractiveness to the side. However, such effort is fleeting once they move on to the honeymoon stage — a vacation in Mexico.
The meant-to-be romantic holiday is anything but as the show achieves the exact opposite of what they intended to do — prove the relevancy of physical attractiveness.
In Season 2, after appearing to form a strong connection during the pod stage, Deepti Vempati and Abhishek ‘Shake‘ Chatterjee barely enjoy a single romantic moment as Shake jokingly tells his male friends how unattractive Deepti is.
“I feel like I’m with my aunt or something,” he said in the show, proving just how superficial men can be.
Research agrees with Shake’s behavior, as studies have shown that men find physical attractiveness more important than women when finding relationship partners.
Even though the second stage of “Love Is Blind” involves serious drama, it is during the third stage that chaos really breaks loose with most couples. Arguments, personal discussions, toxic betrayal, regrets — they all arise.
Relationships that appeared fruitful at the beginning collapsed quicker than they formed. The last phase encourages the remaining couples to live together for a month, learning about their partners day-to-day and their families, all in preparation for the anticipated wedding day.
However, most couples cannot get comfortable with their respective partners’ lives, and some cannot compromise. Such was the case with Season 2 Kyle Abrams and Shaina Hurley, who shared distinct religious faiths and traditions that neither one could ignore. All in all, the show moves from unrealistic to realistic as couples face real life challenges.
What does this say about our idea of love and how important physical attraction is to creating stable relationships?
The show has seen some success with its couples, specifically Season 1’s Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton, and Amber Pike and Matthew Barnett, who went on to have happily-ever-after marriages. But when considering the number of single contestants who embark on this journey, two successful couples is no great achievement, as most contestants fail to form genuine connections.
Almost all contestants enter the show claiming they have rejected the superficiality of modern dating and are ready to fall in love blindly. But the majority fails to do so.
The show proves that, sadly, looks do matter. While we might be attracted to personality, looks are also important in forming relationships — even when we desperately want to think differently.
We make decisions with our eyes. That’s the truth. This is also seen explicitly in the face-to-face scene of the show, where couples run toward each other after weeks of talking to a wall. It’s clear which couples are feeling it and which aren’t. The sight in “love at first sight” is integral.