Are Netflix’s Love Is Blind contestants REALLY in love? As the new season kicks off, experts reveal whether or not it is possible to fall for someone without seeing them
- Love Is Blind follows a group of singles who talk with dates through a wall
- Psychologists share the pitfalls of relationships without seeing each other
- But they do admit that it is possible to love someone without a physical desire
As the fourth season of Love Is Blind kicked off last week, many of us were on the edge of our seats once again in fascination of Netflix’s hit romance experiment.
But with stars saying ‘I do’ without so much as laying eyes on one another, experts have clashed over whether true love can really be blind or whether it’s an unobtainable dream.
Love Is Blind follows a group of singletons who talk with potential matches through a wall, hoping to find their soulmate based solely on an emotional connection.
Stars are often disillusioned with conventional ways of finding love at a time when many dating apps are driven by surface-level characteristics such as physical attractiveness and race.
While the show does work to change this, psychologist Linzi Kavanagh warns that relationships based on personality alone may go ‘horribly wrong’ when couples escape the bubble of the ‘pods’.
Love Is Blind follows a group of singles who talk with potential matches through a wall, hoping to find their soulmate based on emotional connection rather than physical attraction
THE STAGES OF LOVE IS BLIND
Love Is Blind is a dating show for singletons who want to be loved for who they are, rather than what they look like.
Stage 1: The Pods
Single people talk to a host of potential love interests through a wall in a 10-day dating round.
Once cupid’s work is done, they will propose to their chosen partner and lay eyes on them for the first time.
Stage 2: Couple’s Retreat
Following their engagement, the new couples head abroad to spend quality time together.
Here they can not only relax in the sun, but meet up with the other couples – including love interests they have turned down.
Stage 3: Real Life
When it’s time to go back home, couples move in together and go about their daily lives as normal.
They also meet each other’s families and friends while preparing for the wedding.
Step 4: The Big Day
As each season concludes, couples walk down the aisle as part of their big day.
While some end up tying the knot, others face rejection at the alter in front of their wedding guests.
During the show, participants spend hours in small pods, assessing numerous potential partners.
If they manage to find a perfect match, cast members are then expected to propose before meeting them in person for the first time.
Speaking to MailOnline, Ms Kavanagh said: ‘At the beginning of the show, within the pods, contestants are choosing who they want to be with whilst in a highly unrealistic scenario. There are no other outside distractions, no real-life pressures and no opportunity to see how your person will respond in difficult situations.
‘So all you have to base your emotions on are feelings and assumptions about that person with no concrete evidence, making it easy to make up a story in your head about who that person is.’
Although lengthy conversations over childhood movies and music may allow the show’s stars to feel as though they are falling in love, Ms Kavanagh suggests this only scratches the surface.
Inside the pods, couples miss out on all the more challenging parts of a relationship – whether it’s the mundane mornings before work or the nights where food poisoning keeps you on the toilet.
To get the most out of dating this way, singles would therefore need to ask prospective partners how they might respond in these given scenarios to test their compatibility.
She continued: ‘And that’s where the Love Is Blind experiment all goes horribly wrong. Each contestant has to “fall in love” and choose their person before they go out into the real world with them. Therefore they aren’t falling in love with a person without seeing them, they are falling in love with a person without knowing them.
‘Don’t forget that all contestants are “primed” to be actively searching for this feeling. The main objective here is to find your soul mate so each one is operating from a position of expectation.’
Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton from Season 1 have now been married for four years
Amber Pike and Matt Barnett (pictured) have remained together after getting hitched in the first season despite considering divorce in the past
Despite this, psychologist Louise Goddard-Crawley believes it is possible to fall in love based solely on emotional connection.
While acknowledging that contestants may think up an idealised ‘fantasy version’ of their partners without seeing them, she argues this also comes as part of dating on apps.
‘Of course, physical attraction is an important aspect of any romantic relationship, and it is difficult to know if you’re physically attracted to someone if you’ve never seen them in person. Similarly, so much communication is based on body language and non-verbal cues,’ she said.
‘When you communicate with someone without seeing them, it’s easy to create an idealised or fantasy version of them in your mind. We see this with dating apps – the other person (before meeting) can very much become who we want them to become, rather than who they really are.
‘It’s important to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt to the realities of a relationship when the literal (if not somewhat metaphorical) wall between them in this experiment is no longer there.’
Once they make it past the dating stage, couples go on to meet their new fiancé/fiancée in person as part of a grand reveal of their appearances.
While some couples are fired up with physical desire from the moment they lay eyes on each other, others struggle to feel attraction.
Twitter was flooded with comments following last season which saw Love Is Blind star Cole Barnett refer to his partner Zanab Jaffrey as a ‘9 out of 10’ while calling two other women 10s.
In Season 2, Abhishek ‘Shake’ Chatterjee also faced furious criticism from viewers after sharing he was not ‘physically attracted’ to his new fiancée Deepti Vempati.
Season 3: Cole Barnett (pictured) referred to his partner Zanab Jaffrey as a ‘9 out of 10’ while calling two other women 10’s
Zanab Jeffrey claims her ex-fiancé Cole Barnett ‘weaponised’ mental health issues by branding her ‘bipolar’ on two occasions and discovering his stag do betrayal ‘tipped her over the edge’
He added: ‘It feels like I’m with my aunt or something.’
Yet, both Ms Goddard-Crawley and Ms Kavanagh believe that love can still thrive without physical desire, so long as partners communicate effectively with each other.
Ms Kavanagh said: ‘Depending on life experiences and past relationships, many people do not always highly value sexual attraction. In the past, they may have experienced a highly volatile and toxic relationship based on a high level of sexual attraction.
‘If that relationship caused them emotional distress they may then value stability, security and loyalty for their forever relationship and be genuinely in love with the person who can offer them all of that.
In Season 2, Abhishek ‘Shake’ Chatterjee (right) faced furious criticism from viewers after sharing he was not ‘physically attracted’ to his new fiancée Deepti Vempati (left)
Deepti Vempati turned down her husband-to-be at the altar in Season 2 of Love Is Blind
‘So whilst there isn’t a need for sexual attraction in love, there is a need for some kind of attraction to be present, be it emotional, physical or mental. There needs to be a belief that your person can offer you something that most others cannot.’
Similarly, Ms Goddard-Crawley added: ‘Both parties would need to agree that the physical part of a relationship is not as important to the relationship for the relationship to work.
‘If only one person feels this way whilst the other doesn’t; the chances of it working are not good. This type of love sounds more like what we know as platonic love or familial love.’
If their relationships work out, Love Is Blind couples take their vows as each season concludes.
While some are rejected at the altar, numerous couples have tied the knot, with some still married to this day.
Despite going through hardships as a couple, Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton have stayed married since their big day in Season 1
Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton from Season 1 have now been married for four years athough they admit this has not been without its challenges.
Amber Pike and Matt Barnett have also remained together after getting hitched in the first season despite considering divorce in the past.
Ms Kavanagh added: ‘Whilst falling into love can be blind, staying in love and maintaining a marriage isn’t which is why so many of the relationships fail.
‘Real love is complex and involves emotional and physical intimacy, conflict resolution styles that match, complimentary lifestyles, shared values.
‘All these things take time and shared life experiences to cultivate and grow. And equally, it takes time to see if all these factors are present initially – something that Love Is Blind doesn’t give its contestants.’
Is love at first sight real? Perfectly-matched couples become biologically in sync within 2 MINUTES of a date, study finds
A new study suggests the actual time for romance to blossom is around two minutes.
Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have investigated how skin sweat and physical movements change when men and women meet during speed dating.
Couples who were interested in each other romantically had similar skin sweat rates – an indicator of being biologically ‘in sync’ – within two minutes, they found.
But women are more attracted to in-sync men, than men are attracted to in-sync women, the experts claim.
Interested couples also synchronised their physical movements throughout the date – such as smiling, nodding and moving arms and legs.
Read more here
This illustration shows the experimental set-up – volunteers were filmed as they had a date lasting five minutes. Electrodermal activity was also recorded using wristbands
Source: Read Full Article
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