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Love is NOT Blind (According to Science)

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by Laurie Riihimaki

It’s no big shocker that the modern dating world totally blows. Over the past decade, social media and dating apps have become a necessary evil in the pursuit of love. And singles are feeling more desperate than ever as they swipe left on Tinder, scroll down Facebook feeds, and double-tap on Instagram, interacting with the worst of the worst. 

The game of love has gone from simple dinner and movie dates with the hopes of a budding romance to straight-up climbing into a stranger’s bed to ‘Netflix and chill’ on their dirty ass sheets.

Assuming they have sheets

However, despite these gasp-worthy attempts to find a decent partner, people have not stopped feverishly leaping into relationships and hookups like it’s their last day on earth. It’s true that love makes the world go ‘round, but really people, at what cost? 

Of course, it only makes sense that Netflix would design a reality love show to profit off the insanity that is modern dating and prey on innocent people who haven’t had any luck scoring a ring (spoiler: there’s a reason for that).

The show is called Love is Blind and if you haven’t heard of it, then you’ve been living under a rock or maybe you just have better taste in TV than me. This show is like a mix of The Bachelor and Married At First Sight, both of which I am a loyal fan. Trash TV is holy time. The premise of this show, according to co-hosts and couple Nick and Vanessa Lachey, is to answer the question: Is love truly blind?

The concept of being blind while in love is transformed into the idea of never seeing the person you fall in love with until you get engaged (anyone else getting Catfish vibes? Nev, where are you?). The eager love-seeking men and women of the show are put into these rooms called ‘pods’ where they go on ‘dates’ with other singles. Really, all these people are doing is drinking a shit ton of free alcohol and talking to a blue wall that looks like something out of a B-grade sci-fi film. Legit the show is weird and everyone is wasted. 

But even more than that — it’s just not natural and science doesn’t support it. 


Sexual Chemistry is Key

It’s a super romantic notion that you could fall in love with someone just by developing an emotional connection, but it’s not recommended. Relationships work on both a physical and emotional level. That means you can’t have a successful fully satisfying romantic relationship without being connected both physically and emotionally. This might sound extremely superficial, but don’t argue with me on this, I know what I’m talking about. Good sex matters and science will back me up.

Our biological systems carry our ancestral genes that carry mate-sniffing capabilities. This magical sense helps us to determine who would make a good match for us based on evolutionary needs that need to be fulfilled. Basically, by seeing a partner with our eyes and feeling their presence close to us, we can accurately determine (though not consciously) who would be able to assist in reproducing and providing for a family. Though babies may not be on your agenda, there is something to be said about this innate attraction to another person. Aren’t our hormones amazing?

Now, this natural feeling of attraction is important to establishing an intense physical connection that will have you curling your toes. Oxytocin, or the love hormone, is released during sexual pleasure. This natural chemical helps partners to feel a closer connection with each other. However, if the physical attraction is not there from the get-go, it’s much harder for this cuddle chemical to flow.  

How Did We Get Here?

So — if the physical connection has been scientifically proven to be as important as an emotional connection, then why are we trying to screw with the ancient system by putting a bunch of desperate drunk singles in pods?

My guess is that through our social media and dating app pursuits of true love, we, as a generation, have become heavily reliant on appearance. Images of beautiful singles are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that their personality match. Attraction, itself, does not nurture a lifelong relationship. Emotional intimacy needs to be present too. 

Though the contestants of this show had me pulling my hair out, screaming profanities at the TV, and wondering if they were fucking nuts for getting down on one knee to propose to a shimmering blue wall, I understand where their hearts are coming from. We all want someone who will love us, for us, no matter if our mascara is smudged or our pants are fitting a little tight. As humans, we crave connections both physically and emotionally. And because of that, I do believe love is NOT blind.

Sorry, Nick and Vanessa, a successful relationship needs the full package.

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