Spoiler alert! The following post contains important details about Netflix’s “Love Is Blind” Season 3 Finale.
It’s a time for the history books of reality TV.
After getting engaged without being seen and living together for four weeks, ‘Love Is Blind’ contestant Zanab Jaffrey said “I’m not doing it” to fiancé Cole Barnett – but not without some searing words about her blatant disrespect for her.
Throughout the Netflix dating show’s third season (all episodes are now airing), Cole and Zanab have repeatedly argued over how he undermined her. Like other couples on the show, Cole proposed to Zanab after about a week of dating in “pods,” small rooms where contestants can only talk through walls. They then met in person and moved in with each other.
Shortly after their engagement, Cole flirted with actor Colleen Reed at a pool party, telling Zanab that she is less attractive than Colleen. Later in the season, Just days before their wedding, Cole confronted Zanab about her apparent mood swings and asked her if she was “bipolar”.
So when it came time to get married, Zanab decided to take Cole to task in front of all his friends and family.
“The last two months haven’t been perfect,” Zanab said at their wedding. “You disrespected me. You insulted me. You criticized me. And for what it’s worth, you single-handedly shattered my self-confidence. And I hate that you had that kind of effect on me.
“And what’s wrong is I know I love you,” she continued. “But everything in me, and the logical part of my brain, tells me that love shouldn’t feel that way. Love shouldn’t hurt like that. I can’t marry you, and I do not do it.”
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Zanab ‘wanted to believe’ in her romance with Cole
In an interview with USA TODAY ahead of Wednesday’s Season 3 finale, Zanab says she tried to have “many” conversations with Cole about his callous behavior.
In return, “I’ve been called passive-aggressive, not nice enough, with a bad attitude — maybe even my sanity is in question,” says Zanab. And yet, “I wanted to believe in our love story and that we could find the man I fell in love with.”
On the morning of the wedding, Zanab still didn’t know whether she would say “yes” or “no” to the wedding.
“But when I looked at him and got up (towards the altar), I was like, ‘Wow, this guy has to listen to me here. He’s going to have to hear me. He can’t talk to because of me; he can’t fire me,” she said. “I took the opportunity to state the facts. …And I wanted him to understand very well why it was a “no”. ”
Despite her conciseness and confidence in addressing Cole, Zanab says she never rehearsed her speech before the ceremony.
“We didn’t know who would be asked (to say ‘yes’) first,” Zanab said. “I knew I wanted to be nice but still direct, and definitely let him know what our relationship with me had been like.”
Cole was ‘blindsided’ by Zanab’s speech, but says they ‘always care about each other’
Zanab called off their nuptials before Cole had a chance to say “yes”. Even in hindsight, Cole doesn’t know what his answer would have been.
“I wanted to marry her so badly,” Cole said in an interview. “If she had said ‘yes’, I really feel like I would have said ‘yes’ too, because we had reached the best place in our relationship. But looking back now, it’s hard for me to say, seeing where she was and how she felt. I was blindsided by the ‘no’ and the magnitude of the ‘no’.”
The former couple didn’t speak for “a long time” after the potential wedding, Cole adds. But “now that we’ve seen each other and are talking, we’ve really cleared the air. Our relationship is where it needs to be. We’re not romantic and we don’t love each other that way anymore, but we do care about each other. each other.”
Cole admits he was ‘too brutally honest’ on ‘Love Is Blind’
Cole and Zanab weren’t alone in their ill-fated unions: Bartise and Nancy didn’t end up hooking up, nor did SK and Raven. (Matt and Colleen and Brennon and Alexa were the only two couples to get married this season.) The exes say they learned a lot about themselves — and each other — after watching Season 3.
“My scariest moment was being completely naive until the pool party,” Zanab says. “Knowing how that conversation went, and Cole’s (confessional) interview afterwards, where he said he was physically very much in love with Colleen and not me… I didn’t like that. It stung. It stings for another second beat (watching).”
For his part, Cole has learned he needs to be “more careful” about what he says about others – especially when there’s a camera in his face.
“We were constantly asked what we thought of the other girls we were dating (in bands),” Cole says. “And then you see me flirting with Colleen and saying all these things about women, but I was asked about all these things (for the show). I should have just said, ‘I don’t want to answer these questions “, but in the end, I answered them – maybe a little too brutally honest sometimes, and it hurt my relationship.
“I shouldn’t have been so honest, but that’s part of this experience, isn’t it?”