Warning: There are major spoilers for the full season of Love Is Blind ahead.
What happens when a bunch of single men and women in their mid twenties to mid thirties are placed into “pods” where they can only hear each other? Well, apparently they fall in love and propose to each other. That is exactly what happens on Netflix’s latest dating show, Love Is Blind. Couples become engaged without seeing each other, meet, and then decide over the course of 28 days if they want to get married. And you'd think that would eliminate the opportunity for love triangles that drag on and on, but instead we get the love triangle between Matt Barnett, Jessica Batten, and Amber Pike.
Who Barnett "Dated" In The Pods
Since all the contestants have the opportunity to speed date each other and this a reality television show, that's where the opportunity for triangles comes in. The complicated mess between Barnett, Jessica, Mark Cuevas, and Amber is one of the main sources of drama in the first season of Love Is Blind and delivers some of the most intense moments from the show.
This all begins with Matt, who goes by Barnett, in the pods stage and actually forms a square at one point. After Barnett’s first conversation with Amber, it is clear that he is a major flirt, making multiple, sexual jokes with the women (which they find charming for some reason). When the women discuss their conversations at the end of the day, Amber, Jessica, and LC (the other woman briefly in this love square) all realize that they have strong connections with Barnett. Barnett doesn't know what he wants and continues to talk to all three women about marriage and his strong feelings for them.
At one point, he mentions proposing to Jessica, indicating that it could happen the next day. This is where it gets complicated because Jessica decides to pump the brakes on her relationship with Mark to fully pursue Barnett (she says she worries about Mark being 10 years younger, but Barnett is seven years younger and she never mentions this). Unfortunately, when she asks Barnett the next day if he still wants to purpose, he has changed his mind. Jessica tries to warn Amber about him, but Amber is steadfast in her belief that her connection with Barnett is special.
Jessica & Mark, And Barnett & Amber
Jessica removes herself from the love square, and Barnett charms Amber and LC, but ultimately proposes to Amber and she accepts.
Jessica returns to Mark and says “Barnett is definitely not want I want," effectively convincing Mark that she doesn’t want to date anyone else. Despite Mark voicing his concerns about being second best, he proposes to Jessica. She accepts, but the saga is far from over.
When Jessica Starts Flirting With Barnett
When the couples arrive in Cancun, Mexico (it's actually Playa Del Carmen, but whatever), it’s clear that Barnett and Amber are not lacking physical chemistry. But Jessica seems like she barely wants to touch Mark and says multiple times, to Mark’s face and in her interviews, that she is having a hard time connecting “pod Mark” to the physical person.
Jessica and Mark hit another speed bump in episode 4, “Couples Retreat,” when hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey introduce the couples to each other. Jessica and Barnett finally get to meet face to face and she is practically swooning. She tells the camera that she is attracted to Barnett and says that their bond will never compare to any other relationship. She is also extremely touchy toward Barnett which is a huge contrast to how she acts when she is around Mark.
Meanwhile, Mark comments on the interaction, saying Jessica is with him now and he isn’t letting her go. Amber is much more direct. She tells the camera, “The odds of Jessica putting up any kind of a fight with me are so low, it’s sad. Not sad. Laughable.”
Does Anything Happen Between Jessica & Barnett?
Throughout the rest of the episodes, Jessica and Mark continue to struggle. She mentions their strained physical connection constantly. She also initiates a couple of conversations with Barnett when all the couples cohabitate in the same apartment complex. At a group party, she tells him (under the apparent influence of at least a few drinks) that she didn’t see him ending up with a girl like Amber.
Later, in episode 6, Jessica picks a fight with Mark and brings up Barnett. She calls Barnett “sexy” and “hot,” upsetting Mark. Meanwhile, Barnett voices some concerns about Amber’s finances and how she will get along with his family, but it is apparent their physical and emotional chemistry is still strong.
Jessica’s biggest concern, her 10-year age difference with Mark, is confirmed to be an issue that she (and she alone) can’t get past as the show progresses. She is convinced her friends, Mark’s friends, and his family will all have concerns about her being 34 and Mark being 24. But everyone is supportive. She is also still preoccupied with her feelings for Barnett, which he explains to Amber.
During their bachelorette party, in episode 9, Jessica and Amber have a very passive aggressive conversation in which Jessica apologizes for acting like she was interested in Barnett and Amber tells her to back off. I challenge you to get through this scene without cringing.
But then, that seems to be the end of the conversation on Barnett and Jessica. Episode 10 is the finale, the moment at which we learn who actually says "I do." It's not an episode about love triangles or potential flirtations outside of engagements. It's about where all of this tumult and this speedy coupling actually leads.
What Do Barnett & Amber Think Of The Jessica Drama Now?
After the finale of Love is Blind went live on Netflix, fans now know that Amber and Barnett did end up getting married. What you might not know is that despite the episodes being filmed over a year ago, Amber and Barnett are still together. And they answered a few questions about the drama their relationship made it through via email for Refinery29.
When asked if Amber and Jessica were able to remain friends, Amber told Refinery29 "Absolutely not" on February 26. "I genuinely hope she is able to become a better person after this experience, but I’m not interested or willing to stick around to find out. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… that just isn’t happening," she added.
For his part, Barnett confirmed to Refinery29 that "I do not have any relationship with Jessica."
On the other side of all of this is of course Jessica, who told Refinery29 in another interview that the backlash from fans has been really rough on her. "I understand a little bit where it comes from. But people have been really cruel," she said.
Update: This story was originally published on February 20, 2020. It has been updated to reflect new information from the Love Is Blind finale.