Everything The 'Love Is Blind' Contestants Can & Can't Do In The Pods

by Rebecca Patton
Originally Published: 
Wedding dresses on Netflix's Love Is Blind

Netflix's latest foray into reality television, Love Is Blind, is a dating show masquerading as a fascinating social experiment. Putting together a group of Atlanta singles in a weird, Black Mirror-esque "pod" facility, the show seeks to answer if love is truly "blind" — in other words, if you can fall in love with someone you've never seen. Participants meet and get to know each other while isolated on opposite sides of a shared wall; it's only after they get engaged that they can see their new fiancé face-to-face. From there, they go on a pre-honeymoon-like vacation to Hawaii to build their physical connection, and then return home to move in together, meet each other's families, and get married all within the span of roughly a month.

With the Season 1 finale looming, the biggest questions on viewers' minds is which of the five remaining couples actually commit the rest of their lives to one another, and which ones back out. But there are also a lot of more minute questions still hanging in the balance. Like, how exactly do the pods work? What are they all doing when they're not on dates? Are they really, truly getting legally married? Fortunately, Love Is Blind creator Chris Coelen is here to answer them all.


How Does the Pods Set-Up Work?


This may seem like a straightforward question, but even though we do physically see the pods, it's unclear how they decide who gets to talk to whom. "In the beginning they spend time with everyone, speed-dating style," Coelen tells Bustle. "As time goes on, they get to pick the people they want to spend more time with. They make the decisions themselves."


How Long Does a Typical "Date" Last?

"In the 'speed-dating' at the beginning it's anywhere from seven to 10 minutes," Coelen explains. "Over time they'll spend many hours together multiple times per day."

Rory Newbrough told Women's Health that he and Danielle — whose relationship fans didn't get to see unfold — were talking as much as 19 to 20 hours a day toward the end of the experiment. "I started to realize there were parts of me — walls I put up — and I didn't even know they were there," he said. "I wasn't even aware of them, and they were just blown open. I was crying the whole time. It was this crazy-emotional experience."


Are They Able to Describe What They Look Like To Each Other?

"If they choose to! No one is told what to say or what not to say — it's completely up to them," Coelen says. "Ultimately, some people did talk about physical appearance, while others chose not to — because the whole point was to try and find someone to fall in love with for who they are on the inside."

Rory told Women's Health that he didn't ask what the women looked like, but did ask what they were wearing in order to "get to know their style and make them feel good, since I knew they probably spent time getting ready."


What Do They Do When They're Not in the Pods?

Just as in Netflix's other reality hit, The Circle, the Love Is Blind contestants spend a fair amount of time in small, confined spaces. So what did they do when they weren't talking to someone through a wall?

Coelen lists off all the obvious things like eating, stretching, exercising, and sleeping. "Although many of the participants told us they would rather spend time in the pods than sleep — and some people even fell asleep in the pods," he says.

Rory told Women's Health that the guys did lots of bonding, which he wished Love Is Blind had shown more of. "There's a lot of scenes of us galloping around the lounge and having pushup contests," he recalled.

The women, meanwhile, had their own party. "We baked, we had a twerk class," Lauren told Refinery29. "We would just have conversations, talk to each other about our experience, play pool. It was literally a sorority."


Are the Contestants Allowed to Read?

Courtesy of Netflix

"We tried to allow them to do anything they could do on a date, without seeing or touching one another or staring at screens," Coelen says. "So if they wanted to read, we'd certainly allow it, if we could find the book for them."


Can They Watch TV?

Unfortunately, the contestants couldn't Netflix and Chill, since Coelen said they didn't "have any access to devices or screens of any kind."

Mark Cuevas told Esquire that he went without a phone for three weeks, which he ended up actually enjoying. "I wish I could do that again," he said. "I need a phone timeout."


Did All of Their Families Know the Premise of the Show?

"The premise of the show was not a secret," Coelen says, "but as adults it was up to them as to when (or whether) they chose to tell their families."

Mark told Esquire that his parents trusted the process. "They see you happy and genuinely into somebody, and they don't care how. They're just like, 'We know what that feels like,'" he said.


Do They Get Legally Married?

Courtesy of Netflix

"If they choose to get married, yes, it's a legally binding marriage," Coelen confirms.


Did They Pay for the Weddings Themselves?

"Of course production supplies some of the basics but because these are their real weddings, it's up to them as to how to spend their money," Coelen explains. This leads to some friction between Amber and Barnett onscreen, as they argue over budgeting for Amber's dress.

See how all the weddings shake out when the Love Is Blind finale drops Thursday, Feb. 27.

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