Nothing says romance quite like a “where are they now”-style reunion show that’s filled with tears, accusations, and a sort of, psuedo, proposal. On Wednesday, March 4, a select group of the most talked-about contestants from Netflix’s new dating show, Love Is Blind, reunited to give fans a glimpse into how their relationships unfolded after the cameras stopped rolling in fall 2018.
The premise seemed simple enough: 30 singles took part in a social experiment wherein they were asked to go on literal “blind” dates with one another, speaking through walls from their “personal pods” in an attempt to see whether or not the person on the other side was their life partner. The point was to strip away the usual dating parameters of physical chemistry and appearances and focus instead on how two people connected intellectually and emotionally.
The results were mixed: while some couples hit it off right away (see: Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed), others found themselves in messy situations that only got more complicated once the show came to an end and they had to make a decision whether or not to get engaged or to call off the relationship altogether.
Here, we take a look at where six of the Love Is Blind couples are now, and whether or not it’s safe to call Love Is Blind a “successful” social experiment.
Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton
The golden couple of the series got engaged on the show and are still happily married more than a year and a half later. The pair even share a puppy now! “I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out,” content creator Speed tells The Knot, of when she knew Hamilton was it. “On our second date when Cameron and I were crying together as we talked about our families, I knew for me, I had never experienced this before. This man is special. He has to be or stay in my life in some capacity… It showed on the show. When I walked out of the pod.”
The pair exchanged tearful vows in front of family and friends, and despite the unusual circumstances, Hamilton wanted to make sure that Speed had the wedding of her dreams. “I wanted Lauren to be able to have those things she had envisioned for our wedding,” he tells The Knot. “A lot of men don’t picture the finer details of the wedding ceremony … I didn’t want her to feel rushed. It was stressful.”
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Kenny Barnes and Kelly Chase
Even though they seemed to be one of the most emotionally steady couples on the show, Barnes and Chase ended the series in tears, with Chase ultimately rejecting Barnes at the altar in a move that shocked Love Is Blind viewers. On the reunion show Wednesday, Barnes revealed that the pair have both moved on since then, and that he’s actually happily in a new relationship and “couldn’t be doing better.” Though things ultimately didn’t work out between him and Chase, he said, “This experiment, whether I understood it or not, allowed me to find the person I am with today ‘cause it allowed me to open myself up and truly be vulnerable.”
For her part, Chase is not currently dating anyone, though she explained that the show has made her realize that she has constantly been putting men she could be dating in the friend zone, and that may be what has been holding her back from finding true love. Barnes also revealed in a lengthy Instagram comment that he and Chase had agreed to split up weeks before the wedding, so in the end, though emotions ran high, no one was truly blindsided that day.
Giannina Gibelli and Damian Powers
Drama, drama, drama. At the end of the season, Gibelli and Powers were not in a good state, to say the least: Powers left Gibelli at the altar, which caused her to make a movie-moment sprint out of the ceremony and into the streets in her wedding dress and stilettos. Imagine viewers’ surprise, then, to learn that the couple are actually very much happily together (not married, but dating), and that they are taking things a day at a time. “We are so together,” Gibelli said on the reunion show. “Like every single day, waking up next to each other, going to the gym together, I don’t wanna lose this and I didn’t.”
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And even though it was a mortifying way to spend a wedding day, Gibelli said she ultimately “respects” Powers’ decision, and recognizes that it was the best thing that he could have done for their relationship in the long run. “It was definitely a strong love since the beginning,” Powers said. “We pushed through a lot of challenges as did everyone here. I’m sorry I put her through that but I would stick by it again for where we are now.”
Carlton Morton and Diamond Jack
A lot of controversy has surrounded Morton and Jack, both individually and collectively, since the end of the show, wherein Morton revealed his bi-sexuality to Jack, and the pair called off their engagement. “It’s very awkward,” Morton said of what has transpired since the show. “I have gotten death threats. It brings you to a very dark place. The biggest misconception is that fluid people are like rabbits, just hopping around sleeping with everyone. That we have no self-control sexually.”
Morton also stood up for Jack, whom he said has been unfairly targeted with negativity following their split. “I want to make it clear that the woman I fell in love with, I never felt she was bi-phobic or homophobic and that she wouldn’t love me,” he said. Then, he did something even more unexpected: get down on one knee and pseudo-propose to Jack—not quite a marriage proposal so much as it was a token of “a significant piece of our friendship and the start of something beautiful without any plan.” Jack gamely accepted his apology/friendship proposal.
Amber Pike and Matt Barnett
Spoiler alert: Pike and Barnett are still very much together, and very much married, though their first year of holy matrimony hasn’t been without its ups and downs. Pike admitted that though they both loved each other and had high expectations of what it might mean to be a husband and a wife, “we were still learning [about] each other. … Seeing how we’re both so stubborn and strong-minded and bull-headed, we butt heads. It can be bad, it can be intense.”
Still, the couple has stuck it through, despite financial tensions and mutual annoyances about each other’s flirty behavior that nearly led to a divorce. What’s ultimately saved their relationship, Barnett said, is actually accepting the other person as they are. “We stopped trying to force what we expect of each other,” he said. “Once we stopped that, it’s been only really good things since then.” In the year and a half since they said “I do,” the pair have bought a home together to be closer to the city.
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READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. – Let’s talk about Amber & Barnett’s relationship. – This might be a bit controversial but it’s important for me to use the social platform I have to always share encouraging and empowering thoughts. – It really saddens my heart to see some of the negative comments that are being formed around Amber & Barnett’s relationship, and specifically Amber herself. – And trust me, I’m not naive to know that the internet is designed for freedom of speech on steroids even at the expense of trying to humiliate or bully people online. – That’s still no excuse for us a culture to encourage and promote publicly attacking people’s choices and journey’s in life. – I don’t have time to talk about all of the cast’s relationship, but I will say this: What I absolutely love about what Lauren and Cameron’s relationship represents to me, is how our generation in general is becoming more understanding and accepting of interracial romances. They have existed for many years, but not for many years have they been publicly praised and supported culturally. – Lauren and Cameron ARE the ultimate image of so many answers to our world’s indifferences. Not just romantically, but as a society. That despite coming from entirely different upbringings, histories and sometimes even religious views, we can all find a strong and authentic love for one another that’s greater than what’s different between us all. – Amber & Barnett represent something so beautiful to learn from as well, if we actually look for it and stop looking for ways to tear one another down. – Despite hearing possibly some challenging things about Ambers past, Barnett chose to love pass her past and see her for who she is becoming as a woman. Her ability to be so comfortable and authentic to who she is. Her confidence and strength to protect and fight for what she wants but also her care and passion to be supportive and by his side no matter what. Don’t we desire to have someone see us so purely not by our mistakes but by our commitment and growth? – Amber is so beautifully honest with what she is bringing to the table whether it can look bad or not. Amber shows her — continue reading in the comment below..
Mark Cuevas and Jessica Batten
Oh, Jessica. The self-professed “Messica” took full ownership of her messy relationship dealings with both her one-time fiance, Cuevas, and her longtime crush, Barnett, on the reunion show, offering up an apology to Pike and Barnett for the way she behaved in Mexico after the season wrapped up. “I do definitely owe a major apology to you, Amber and Barnett,” she said after Pike called her “shiesty” for trying to pursue Barnett while engaged to Cuevas. “I super respect them both. I respect their relationship. It was definitely not good of me to ever question that.”
Batten also apologized to Cuevas for standing him up at the altar, and for all the times she called him wildly unattractive throughout the series, making sure that the world knew she thought he was hot. Needless to say, the couple is no longer together, so no plot twist there.