By Regina Yohana
Disclaimer: there are some spoilers in this article.
Netflix reality show “Love is Blind” might be one of their most successful reality shows yet. The show has been in the most popular titles list in the US since it aired on February, according to Business Insider.
“Love is Blind” brings literal meaning to its title. This ten-episode show is a video documentary of an experiment where producer Chris Coelen tries to match couples from a group of men and women without letting them see each other.
In this era where it’s common to find your date through dating applications such as Tinder and Bumble, Coelen believes that one’s physical features have become the most crucial factor in dating. His show tries to prove that it is still possible for people to fall in love with their significant others based on their personalities rather than looks.
The series focuses on five couples who get engaged after talking “blindly” through pods for a week. The main goal of this experiment is to have them married by the end of week three. The five couples could finally see each other face to face only once they’re engaged.
This is how the first season went: Followed by a week-long vacation to Mexico as their pre-honeymoon, one by one, they start to grow apart. Why? There are several factors: looks, personal traits and age differences. In the end, only two out of the five pairs said “I do” to each other on the altar.
There’s no conclusion of the experiment at the final episode of the show. Two out five have proven that love is blind, but does it really?
Greene Park, a dental hygienist student at George Brown College believes otherwise.
“We’ve all seen it in movies and real life. For example, Taylor Swift’s music video ‘you belong with me,’ the handsome, popular guy only goes for the hot cheerleader. That’s the truth, that’s real life,” she said.
Park thinks that even before dating apps existed, someone would be attracted to someone based on their physical features first.
“Dating apps didn’t change the things that someone is looking in their significant others, it just changed the way they meet,” she said.
Over the past decade, dating apps have become very popular. One of the most popular ones is Tinder. According to 2018 statistics, about 50 million people use Tinder worldwide. The number is only growing.
The principles of social psychology say that the initial attraction comes from interpersonal interaction, of which physical attractiveness comes as most crucial, and that’s the philosophy dating apps use.
Tinder uses the underlying psychology of attraction: Physical features. You can swipe right (thumbs-up) or left (thumbs-down) based on an average of five seconds of looking at someone’s profile.
“It just gives you control over whom you want to spend your time or energy on,” says Gayatri Menon, an international student at Humber College.
“I hate that Tinder has gotten such a bad reputation. It is possible to find true love there, you just have to find someone compatible,” she said.
Gayatri has been using Tinder for almost 2 years now. She started using the dating app when she moved to Canada as she looked for a companion.
“I have to feel physically attracted to them to fall in love,” she said.
Dating apps have subjected millennials to a different approach to dating. Gone are the days where people relied on “meet-cutes” to find someone to love. It is not organic anymore. Various stimulants influence how someone meets new people. With alternative approaches to the idea of love altogether (mostly the hook-up culture), dating apps are bringing likes together.
“It’s essentially the same as meeting someone in real life. You like their appearance, you talk to them, and if you click, go on a date and see where it goes,” Park said.