Imagine getting engaged to someone without seeing their face. That’s the premise behind Netflix’s wild new reality series, “Love Is Blind.”
Out Thursday, the show follows singles as they spend hours in “pods” chatting through a wall, unable to look at each other.
“I kind of viewed it as an opportunity of a lifetime,” one of them, 24-year-old Mark Cuevas, tells The Post. “I kept saying, ‘Why not?’ ”
Singles who fail to forge a connection leave the show, and several do. But those attracted to the person on the other side of the wall go on to propose. Only then do they meet their new partners, and test their relationship in the real world.
It’s part “The Bachelor,” part “Married at First Sight,” and part Stanford Prison Experiment, but for dating.
Cuevas, a fitness instructor in Atlanta, where the show was filmed, says his family and friends were skeptical but ultimately supportive when he told them he planned to go on the show, billed as an “experiment” to see what happens when physical appearance isn’t a factor in dating.
He says he told his mother, “Mom, I don’t know every detail. I just know that I have a really good feeling about this. I need y’all to trust me.”
Spoiler alert: Lauren Speed, a 32-year-old content creator also based in Atlanta, is the first to get engaged. By the end of the first episode, she accepts Cameron Hamilton’s proposal.
“How many hours did Cameron and I talk before we got engaged? It felt like a million even though it was a short amount of time,” she tells The Post. “I believe it was a little under two weeks total . . . There were no TVs, no outside communications with our friends and families. So all that we had to focus on was each other.”
Speed’s family and friends were just as cynical as Cuevas’ were, but later supported her decision. She says she liked how the “Love Is Blind” setup steered conversations toward what she calls “all the deep stuff” pretty quickly.
“I feel like dating nowadays is all about the swipe left, swipe right,” she says. “People aren’t themselves right out the front gate. So I really enjoyed on our first date, we jumped into, ‘What are your political views? What’s your family life? What motivates you to get up in the morning?’ We get so mesmerized by the way people look sometimes that we overlook the stuff that’s really important to us.”
Cuevas and Speed say they weren’t too concerned about whether they’d still be attracted to someone once they met face-to-face.
“Of course I want someone to look good, and I want to be attracted to them, but is that the main priority for me? No,” Speed says. “I want someone who’s going to love me and respect me and treat me right, other than someone who’s just sexy. I feel like attraction can grow.”
You’ll have to watch “Love Is Blind” to see Cuevas’ journey — no spoilers here. But he says the experience changed his outlook on dating.
“I think a lot of folks had a lot of voices in their heads when they’re starting to date somebody,” he says. “Or they look for their family’s opinions like, ‘Do you think they’re cute?’ And that’s OK — but a lot of times, too many people let too many voices in. I got to really look into myself and what I wanted, and [the show] allowed me to do that.”
“Love Is Blind,” hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, airs its first five episodes Thursday, followed by four more Feb. 20 and a finale on Feb. 27.
Author: Lauren Sarner