Love Is Blind 3 Is A Failed Couples Experiment — Especially For Black Women

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Season three of popular Netflix reality series Love Is Blind is finally upon us, and I think it’s safe to say that, after a few seasons of almost-weddings and breakups between couples that should’ve never been, love isn’t blind after all (and maybe it shouldn’t be). More than just a dramatic dating show that is so chaotic it feels scripted at times, Love Is Blind is a failed experiment — for pretty much everyone involved. 
When the show first aired in 2020, the world was a different place. We’d just entered lockdown, and we were desperate for something — anything! — to take our minds off the mounting collective anxiety that came as a side effect of entering a global pandemic. (Spoiler alert: we were absolutely right to be worried.) Love Is Blind showed up at the perfect time to distract us. Despite the genre of dating shows being incredibly saturated, the premise of the Netflix original was refreshingly unique: a group of lovesick people gets to know each other through a wall, and, sight unseen, gets engaged after falling in love through a series of intense, emotional conversations. Was it practical? Absolutely not. Was it entertaining? Undeniably so. 
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The first season of Love Is Blind was wild for a number of reasons, the most striking being the fact that it actually worked for some of the contestants. We were skeptical about the method, but as it turns out, doing the whole falling-in-love-backwards thing did bring about real, lasting results; fan favourites Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton have been married since their untraditional wedding in 2018, as have Amber Pike and Matthew Barnett. Although things weren’t as successful for the rest of their cohort, at least we knew that, if taken seriously, the process could surprisingly do some good.
That’s why the seasons that followed have been such a letdown. If season one of Love Is Blind showed us what love can look like when people show up authentically and ready to do the work, season two was a cautionary tale of how complicated falling in love can be when both parties approach it without intention and cohesion. And the latest iteration of the show? Just vibes. Nonsensical, unserious vibes.

The phenomenon of Black women being ignored or downplayed on dating shows isn’t new by any means; shows like The Bachelor, Love Island, and Too Hot to Handle have been treating Black women like the supporting cast of their own love stories for years now. Still, the premise did feel like it could be an equalizer of sorts, theoretically creating an opportunity for everyone to maybe find The One™. We were wrong.

Netflix’s new group of romantic hopefuls is nothing short of a mess. In the pods, we meet a host of people who keep saying that they want to find their soulmates but aren’t doing any of the necessary groundwork to position themselves for real love. The conversations that we watch play out are surface level at best and phony at worst, and as each day passes, it’s hard to believe that any of these couples have even a sliver of a shot in the real world. Nonetheless, a few pairs emerge from the pods engaged, and more chaos ensues — fiancés who aren’t physically attracted to each other, singles who are chasing clout rather than meaningful connections, and confusion from all sides. Respectfully, it’s a mess…and not even a super entertaining one.
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Even beyond the drama, another glaring issue with Love Is Blind 3 is its unspoken misogynoir, specifically in the way that the Black women seeking love on the show were used as bait for viewers, only to be tossed by the wayside. The show has never been particularly Black with a capital B — a sort of raceless casting is kind of the point for a series that forces people to connect beyond the intersections of their identities — but almost all of the Black women in the third season were essentially seat fillers for everyone else’s drama, cut from the plot just when things were getting juicy.
“I don’t like how LIB be cutting all the black women,” tweeted Lauren Speed-Hamilton after tapping in for the new season. “How come they are always in the trailer but not the show…”
“I know it’s slim pickings but about 85% of them couples be forced (just moving forward for entertainment purposes) anyway,” she continued. “Y’all could at least force some more sisters to move forward throughout the show. “
Lauren wasn’t alone in her observation — others saw it too, and they weren’t happy.
Netflix knew what it was doing, casting all these beautiful Black women to be on one of its most popular shows. It also knew what it was doing by limiting their screen time as well as the amount of suitors who could actually be interested in dating them beyond the pods. The phenomenon of Black women being ignored or downplayed on dating shows isn’t new by any means; shows like The Bachelor, Love Island, and Too Hot to Handle have been treating Black women like the supporting cast of their own love stories for years now. Still, the premise did feel like it could be an equaliser of sorts, theoretically creating an opportunity for everyone to maybe find The One™. We were wrong. (Again.)
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From heavy editing to contestants with everything but true love on the brain to the unfortunate real life fallout of these reality show unions, the intrigue and magic that drew us hopeless romantics to Love Is Blind to begin with is long gone, replaced with the heavy sighs and frustrated tweets that come with hate-watching a show.

As viewers, we’ve always been skeptical about Love Is Blind and what it seeks to do — while it shouldn’t be the only driving factor, physical attraction is an important part of romance and love. (Plus, who’s really falling in LOVE with a stranger in 10 days? Be serious, please.) Sure, we were somewhat swayed by season one’s success stories, but we’ve known that this format of reality dating just isn’t realistic from day one, and the lack of real romantic connections in the seasons that followed proved that. From heavy editing to contestants with everything but true love on the brain to the unfortunate real life fallout of these reality show unions, the intrigue and magic that drew us hopeless romantics to Love Is Blind to begin with is long gone, replaced with the heavy sighs and frustrated tweets that come with hate-watching a show. 
Realistically speaking, it was inevitable; as is common on most reality dating series, as more and more people realised what being on Love Is Blind could do for them (brand deals, increased social media following, etc.), it was only a matter of time before the intentions of a show focused on finding love shifted to something far less idealistic. And now that we can no longer suspend our disbelief, it doesn’t feel good anymore…just fake. 
Welp. At least we’ll always have Lauren and Cam. 

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