Minor spoilers for the Love Is Blind Season 4 reunion. When reality TV hosts talk about “the most dramatic season yet,” their exclamations are typically overselling something pretty underwhelming (we’re looking at you, Bachelor franchise). But for Love Is Blind participant Bliss Poureetezadi, her journey on the fourth season of the hit Netflix dating show really was the most dramatic. At least if you consider a broken engagement, eventual reconnection and marriage dramatic. (We do).
The Season 4 fan fave fell in love with lawyer Zack Goytowski in the pods, with the pair bonding over their love of owls and Lee Ann Womack songs, only to be left heartbroken when he chose Irina Solomonova. Long story short, Zack and Irina didn’t work out. After a tumultuous Mexican vacation that left Zack down one fiancée, Zack and Bliss reconnected in Seattle and went on to get engaged and ultimately married. And, despite what people online may think of her decision — as she filled viewers in on during the incident-filled April 16 reunion — she has stayed happily married to Zack.
During the reunion, the couple took us behind the scenes into their lives as newlyweds one year on. They shared videos of themselves dancing together in their Seattle home and of Zack singing for Bliss. Bliss also revealed that she “can’t wait to start a family with Zack” (although they are waiting for now).
Despite the feelings people (including her dad) may have had about her final decision, ultimately what matters is that Bliss is happy. She has made her own decisions, without outside influence, and that takes some courage.
But we really wouldn’t expect anything else from the Seattle-based program manager, because that’s kind of her MO. Since viewers were first introduced to her it was obvious that Bliss, unlike some of the other contestants (*ahem* Irina and Micah *ahem*), had not only a crystal clear sense of who she is, but a distinct idea of what she wanted in a partner.
Mostly, for Bliss, 33, that meant a partner who would understand how great she is. “I realized that I really need someone to respect my brain, my intellect, and my opinions about things,” Bliss tells Refinery29, “that was something that I really decided I needed.”
This ability to make intentional and conscious decisions for herself is something we saw early on from Bliss. From the beginning, she made it clear that choosing a partner can be just that…a choice. Talking to friend Chelsea Griffin in episode 2, Bliss shared her fears about feeling good enough when it comes to finding love, but said she wouldn’t settle for just anyone, telling Chelsea “I literally will wait until I’m 50 [for love], if that’s what I need to do. And I’ll have kids by myself.” Talking to Zack shortly before their break-up, she emphasized that being with someone isn’t just about falling madly in love, but also about creating the life you want and envision for yourself, telling him: “To me when you are with someone, it’s about building a life together and the way you want it to look.”
During the brief period of time (a matter of weeks) between when the couple broke up and ultimately re-connected, a “really sad” Bliss overlooked her heartbreak to look towards healing herself. “Ultimately, it takes two to have to be on the same page about [whether or not someone is your person], and I chose to be okay,” she says. “ I was starting the process of trying to heal and trying to process everything that had happened.”
When she made the decision to get back together with Zack after the pair reconnected in Seattle, it was clear from the moment Bliss walked into the restaurant — the first time the pair had ever laid eyes on each other — that the connection they’d formed had been sincere and was obviously still very much there even with a broken engagement between them. “I had such a deep connection with Zach in the pods,” Bliss says, “I truly did love him. And because I believe in second chances, because I also felt like I could really believe in this person — he was never dishonest with me; even if I didn't want to hear what he had to say about something, he was always going to be honest with me.”
“Forgiveness and grace is something that I worked so hard towards…and so it was just a beautiful opportunity for me to practice what I am trying to [do] with others and how I want to be.”
But some in her immediate circle questioned the decision. Arguably the most vocally skeptical was Bliss’s dad, who subtly voiced his concern up until moments before Bliss and Zach were about to walk down the aisle, telling her: “Remember you’re the person who has everything to offer” and to “never settle, no matter what.” It was sweet, well intentioned, and made for great TV, but was also 100% relatable. “I expected him to react that way,” Bliss says. “Knowing his personality, I would have been floored if he had not reacted that way; I'm his daughter.”
But Bliss stood her ground; reassuring her dad that she’s a grown, intelligent woman who can make her own decisions, telling him: “I wouldn’t get married just to get married.”
“I love my dad and I respect him, but ultimately I do know what's best for me,” Bliss says. “There's plenty of times where I haven't trusted my intuition or listened to it and it's led me to something that wasn't right for me; so I just knew that that's what I could rely on.”
And at the end of the day, Bliss says, her parents just want her to be happy. “If they see me happy, if they see that this is the right thing for her, I know that they will support me in it, even if it's not necessarily verbalized.” (During the April 16 reunion, Bliss revealed that Zack and her dad are now “best buds”).
Ultimately, “it's really a story about second chances,” Bliss says. “ I really felt loved by Zack in the pods…and I feel like he knew that I was the right person for him. And let's be honest, we all have made mistakes, we've all needed a second chance and we all deserve second chances.”
Now, over a year since she said I do, Bliss wouldn’t change anything about her experience on the show, or how she handled herself throughout. In a world and genre of TV that can be pretty insincere, Bliss was authentic. “That's one of the things I'm proud of most is that I was really true to myself,” she tells Refinery29. “Even in my moments where I'm getting a little bit sassy about the candle thing [with Irina in episode 2], that's just a part of who I am. And no one is perfect.”