When Netflix premiered Love Is Blind, a “social experiment” about hot strangers falling in love sight-unseen, I laughed from the depths of my soul—and started watching immediately. I kept that same energy throughout the reality series as different contestants cried, fell in love, proposed marriage, quoted Beyoncé, (appallingly) gave their dogs wine, and “lost their butterflies.” Friends texted to say they wanted to date in pods, and I laughed harder because the thought of finding love in a fancy phone booth seemed ridiculous. Then, the new coronavirus descended.
Now, with social distancing measures in place, it feels like we’re all living the plot of at least three different Netflix shows. Life right now is weird, to say the least. So what are those of us who are single and hoping to somehow still date during this pandemic supposed to do? Naturally, I reached out to Love Is Blind contestant Lauren Speed for answers. (If you missed the outpouring of adoration for Speed and her husband, Cameron Hamilton, they’re by far the biggest fan-favorite couple to come out of Love Is Blind.) Here, Speed talks about how she and Hamilton are spending isolation, whether pod life can offer any lessons for pandemic dating, and what couples should do if they’re hunkering down together. (Yes, watching Hangin’ With the Hamiltons on YouTube is an option.)
SELF: You and Cameron have been together for a year and a half now. Are you learning new things about each other during this time?
L.S.: He’s going hard with Star Wars right now. It’s like, Okay, I get it, Cam. If I watch one more Star Wars movie, I’m going to explode. My favorite movie is Clueless and I recite all the words, so that gets on his nerves. But other than that, we both normally work from home, so we spend a lot of time in the house together.
How did you mentally prepare to go on a reality TV show and marry someone you couldn’t see? Did you have a prayer, a vision board, a list…
Honestly, all of the above. I prayed a lot, and I had in my mind what I wanted from my husband—someone who was loving, who was caring, who was family-forward. But at the same time, when you’re falling in love with someone, you can surprise yourself. And that might extend to spirituality and religion. I’ll tell you this: When me and Cam started dating, he was spiritual but had questions about God and the universe. Since we’ve been married, Cameron has started praying, and he told me that our relationship brought him closer to God, which I think is amazing. So, you never know.
That’s beautiful. When I think about dating during this pandemic, Love Is Blind comes to mind. Do you think quarantine dating is similar to pod life? Are single people all living in pods?
Well, it’s definitely similar because you can’t be physical, right? You can’t touch, hug, or kiss. But dating right now does give you a chance to grow with someone outside of physical attraction. I’m not saying that the physical is irrelevant, because we all need some now and then. But it’s important to build on other things, too.
So should everyone who’s pandemic dating right now ignore pictures and focus on profile blurbs instead?
It’s tricky on dating apps because you basically pick based on looks. So start off with a person that you’re attracted to, but jump into it. I’m not saying you should lead with, ‘Hey, I want three kids.’ But be upfront about things you can see being a priority in a long-term relationship. Lay it on the line: ‘This is who I am.’
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