Warning: This post contains spoilers for “Love Is Blind” on Netflix.
Tumultuous relationships are part and parcel of reality shows like “Love Is Blind,” where couples get engaged after a few days of knowing each other (and never seeing each other), as the past two seasons have shown.
Still, the heady dynamic between Cole Barnett and Zanab Jaffrey in the series’ third season could put a new name to the genre.
In the early days of the pods, Barnett and Jaffrey sparked a quick and easy connection over their careers in real estate, shared religious beliefs and their shared ability to “go deep.” They entered their dates in the pods, constantly feeding off each other’s sense of humor and eagerness to grow a large family to call their own.
Soon after Barnett got down on one knee to pop the question, Jaffrey tearfully accepted his proposal. Then, the two experienced their first face-to-face meet cute, which was one for the books: Barnett literally swept Jaffrey off her feet, and when the two parted ways, it was with all smiles.
With the Season Three finale out on Netflix as of Nov. 9, we’re reflecting on what led up to the couple’s final decisions at the end of the aisle.
After the pods: sexual chemistry with a hefty side of miscommunication
Once outside of the pods, Barnett and Jaffrey took to Malibu for some one-on-one time with romantic sandy beaches as the backdrop to their budding relationship.
It didn’t take long, however, for Barnett and Jaffrey to find themselves out of sync, with the two often saying they were “misreading” or “reading too much” into one another’s moods at any given moment.
The morning after their first night together, Jaffrey and Barnett appeared to be at a standstill. While Barnett quietly got ready in the bathroom, Jaffrey told cameras she felt like she was being stonewalled and questioned whether her fiancé’s silence was a result of him being disappointed by their intimate time together.
Later in the episode, the two came to another impasse when over a disagreement about which word was better to use when speaking about their time together: “Good” or “great.”
For better or worse, the two remained determined to push through and strike up the same congruency with each other that they discovered while in the pods.
Then, maybe a little too much communication
From first sight, Barnett was vocal about how profoundly attracted he was to Jaffrey and after, never came up short of compliments about her appearance.
During the Malibu couples’ reunion, all of the engaged couples were given a chance to see some of their potential interests in the pod for the first time. During that time, Barnett had also been seeing Colleen Reed but ended things when he decided she couldn’t go “deep” enough for him in conversation and emotional connection.
However, once given a chance to see the ballerina in person, Barnett eventually admitted that his attraction to her was undeniable — even though he was engaged to Jaffrey and Colleen was engaged to Matt Bolton.
“Zanab is the girl I emotionally connect with,” he told cameras upon seeing her. “Colleen is the girl I physically connect with; where’s the in-between?”
Later, Barnett and Colleen confessed to being each other’s type physically, creating a dominant thread in their future disagreements with their partners.
This included an episode that took place after the couples’ pool party hangout. In the episode, Jaffrey shared that she’d asked Barnett to rate her physical appearance on a scale from one to 10. Barnett, she said, rated her a nine out of 10 but then rated Colleen and Raven as 10s.
Problems continued into the later end of the season, with Barnett questioning Jaffrey if she had bipolar disorder because of her moods and making certain suggestions about her name.
“I proposed to a girl like Jaffrey, do you think I thought ‘Jaffrey’ looked like the girls I’ve dated in the past that were named like Lily?” he asked in the seventh episode.
Barnett also pointed out that Jaffrey communicated with passive aggression. This was particularly true when it came to addressing Barnett’s struggle to keep their apartment in the tidy state she preferred. And don’t even get her started on how Barnett decided to cook chicken on their last night before their wedding.
Are they together now?
The finale is out on Nov. 9, which will provide a resolution. For now, we’re trawling their social media accounts for updates.
“Who’s here for our love story? This is one of my favorite memories,” Jaffrey captioned a post of a photo their first meeting.
“Our reveal is my fav memory and the thrill of my life!” Barnett replied in the comments.
Throwback photos of the couples’ time together have appeared on both their Instagram stories and both comment on each other’s posts. However, only Barnett follows Jaffrey on Instagram, as of Oct. 28.
Guess we’ll have to wait for more information on where things stand between them now to unfold during the “Love Is Blind” Season 3 reunion.