When we talk to teens in the classroom, we bring up the idea that sometimes “Love is Blind.” The strategies we teach help them enter into a dating relationship only when they are ready, and with their eyes wide open. We teach the importance of really knowing someone before trusting, relying, and committing…so you don’t end up dating a jerk. So I was curious when I read about the Netflix show that came out in February: Love is Blind. The idea behind the show is, yes, to make money (a la The Bachelor, or other reality type dating shows). But putting that aside, it’s based on the idea that getting to know someone by talking without seeing them can help them base the relationship on more than looks, physical attraction, or sexual chemistry. Sounds good…but let’s examine this a little more. For ten days, in a speed dating format, the men and women date each other in different “pods” where they can talk, but not see each other. Then, there are some proposals (after not even 10 hours of interaction), and engaged couples meet face to face for the first time. Finally, couples travel to Playa Del Carmen to know their partners and meet the other couples participating in the experiment. On the wedding day (38 days after first talking from the pods), each person decides at the altar if it’s yes or no.
The biggest drawback of this format is the idea that talking alone is enough to get to know if you want to commit to someone. And the second is that it can happen in a little over a month. In the Bachelor or Bachelorette, another problem is that the physical is front-loaded before getting to know someone, even romantic and/or sexual physical contact with multiple people before making a final choice. No wonder so many on that show were “confused” by feeling in love with more than one person at the same time.
Both shows’ formats don’t allow for what we teach teens is needed to really know someone: Time, Talking, Together (in person). Our website has an article for teens, that explains how important it is to have all three, at the same time, without sexual touch involved, over a period of months to even begin to get to really know someone.