If you've taken the time to binge-watch all of "Love is Blind" on Netflix, you're likely STILL reeling from all the drama, love and questionable life decisions made on the show. For those of you who haven't watched it yet, allow me paint you a little picture.
In a nutshell, "Love is Blind" follows 30 singles as they enter a 10-day experiment in an attempt to find love. It's repeatedly called an "experiment" because it is exactly that: An experiment, as hosts Nick & Vanessa Lachey say over and over again, to find out if love truly is blind. To find out if two people can meet, form an emotional connection and actually get engaged to be married -- all sight unseen. The contestants meet through a wall in separate rooms called "pods" and go on a series of dates over 10 days. The only contact they have, though, is talking to each other and seeing what kind of emotional bond they can form.
As we watch these singles speed date, we see fairly quickly that some of them form immediate connections, while others rules each other out from the moment they open their mouths. It seems almost too good to be true. Why have some of us spent years dating when these strangers can fall in love in just days?
Basically, it all comes down to that thin wall separating the people on these dates. Without looks as a distraction, the anonymity of it makes people more brave, and in turn helps them let their guard down and get to know someone on an intimate, emotional level that much faster.
"This is similar to texting or sharing anonymously on a website. You're hiding behind a screen, or in this case, a wall," dating coach Samantha Burns told Bustle. "It feels safer, and there's less threat of rejection."
"Here is a chance to lead with your personality and your values," she continued. "In the typical dating market, they don't always have that chance because one or both partners rule the other out based on initial impressions of appearance."
As one of the show's contestants, Amber, explained, the pods allowed her and her now-husband Barnett to focus on actually getting to know each other without any of the distractions that come with meeting IRL.
"We're so ridiculous together [that] we probably would have spent the entire time just goofing around," she said. "Not having the physical there in the beginning made us really concentrate on getting deeper."
OK, this is all well and great, but it still doesn't explain how this initial connection could translate to having a successful marriage and life with someone you've never met. As it turns out, it goes back to the familiar phenomenon that you can meet someone, talk to them for a few minutes and suddenly feel like you've known them for your whole life. We've all been there, right?
“You haven't known them your whole life, but you feel like you have because you've made a connection with someone in your past that you may have loved, or still love in some way, and you see those qualities in this person,” Judith Siegel, a professor at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work, told Vice. “So you make this rapid shift [and] bestow upon them even more qualities than you can possibly find out about in a short period of time.”
Meaning the person might not actually have the comfortable or familiar qualities you're looking for, but in that short period of time, it's familiar enough to trick your brain into thinking they do.
Beyond all THAT, "Love is Blind" invokes the isolation method of dating that, thanks to shows like "The Bachelor," we have seen (sorta) work again and again. Contestants reportedly spent upwards of 20 hours in the pods each day. They had no phones, no social media and no contact with the outside world -- nothing to focus on but hours and hours of blind dating. So, similar to that of "The Bachelor," what else IS there to do but sit around and think about your feelings?
That's also the reason why, more often than not, the entire relationship comes crashing down the minute these couples rejoin normal society. Although your entire relationship may have been based on one commonality in isolation ("We both love the Cubs!!!"), that just can't hold up in the real world.
Spoiler alert: Two of the couples who got engaged and walked down the aisle on-screen are still married. And one couple is still dating after electing to take things slow before saying "I do." So is love truly blind? Yes...but we probably shouldn't start setting ourselves up on literal blind dates to test it.