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My Instagram feed has recently been flooded with Love Is Blind content, so it’s only natural that I’d write more and more about it. The latest season especially was such a cringe that I decided it’d be a shame to just let it all go to waste. I might as well as use my time wasted to my benefit, am I right? The couples on the show, with the exception of Brett and Tiffany and Zack and Bliss, just didn’t make sense to me at all. I wrote about Brett and Tiffany in my previous blog post, which you can check out here. Now I want to put an emphasis on Zack and Bliss. I don’t necessarily want to talk about Zack and Bliss’s relationship, but rather about Irina and the effects her attitude can have on people like Zack, as well others who experienced the same or similar traumas that Zack experienced in his life.

If you haven’t watched this season, or the show at all, Zack initially chose to propose to Irina while they were in the pods. That’s despite the fact that Bliss baked Zack cupcakes for his birthday, whereas Irina didn’t even remember his birthday in the first place. Once they meet face-to-face, it’s evident that Irina just doesn’t like what she sees and regrets accepting Zack’s proposal. She almost looked disgusted by him. During the reunion, she admitted that she tried to get out of the show and didn’t want to move on to the next phase of the relationship, which was a honeymoon in Mexico with the rest of the engaged couples. Considering all that has been said by former contestants about the show and how producers treat them, which I’ll be talking about in a future blog post, I believe that statement,

I couldn’t decide whether watching Irina and Zack during the Mexican getaway was hilarious or the mere definition of the word ‘cringe’. She treated him like utter sh*t. She seemed uninterested in him and did everything she could to avoid him. Whenever he did try to have a conversation with her, she’d make every excuse in the world to avoid him. She even admitted that she had feelings for someone else who was also engaged on the show and who became close friends with Zack. The engagement was inevitably short-lived as Irina and Zack end the engagement in Mexico, and they almost seemed relieved that they wouldn’t have to tolerate each other anymore.

It was entertaining, and yet it was so painful for me to watch the couple, mainly Zack, go through what they went through. It was entertaining to watch because it was all dramatic and dumb and a waste of time. It was also sad, almost tragic, to watch as it was hard to watch how Irina’s treatment affected Zack considering his past. For those of you that never watched the show (honestly, lucky you if you never did), Zack went through a lot of trauma in his life due to his upbringing. His mother was a stripper. His family moved a lot and never had any stability in his life. His mother was an addict and, at one point in her life, became homeless. Later in his life, he ended up making amends with his mother after a period of estrangement, and became a united front until her death in 2014.

Having someone close to you struggle with mental health, especially as a child, and having to watch the person that’s closest to you struggle as much as they do can be the toughest thing anyone could ever go through. Not only does it affect a child during the time of it happening, but also affects them in the future as adults. I know this because I experienced it myself. I won’t get into too much detail about that aspect of my life, but what I will say is that it impacted my life more than I’d like to admit. It affected my views romantic relationships, my friendships, and at one point, my decision on whether or not I wanted to bring a child into the world.

It wasn’t a surprise to me that Zack initially chose to propose to Irina over Bliss. Zack probably wanted to hold on to Irina because he saw a potential in her even though all the red flags were right there even before he met her in-person. He probably saw the good in her that others didn’t. He probably though he could ‘fix’ her and make all her bad traits disappears. No matter his reasonings for choosing Irina over Bliss, Irina was obviously the wrong person for Zack to spend the rest of his life with. At the reunion , Irina apologized to Zack for the way she treated him. He, in return, accepted her apology, and added that she came to the show for reasons that aren’t to find her person, but rather for fame.

Irina didn’t deny his statement, which could imply that his statement is true. It seems that her plan backfired, though, as (and I’m not sure if it’s true or not as it’s something on Instagram) it looks like her business website mainly gets visibility through paid clicks. I actually looked through her website, and I couldn’t even understand what her business was about until I got to the last page. It was nice looking, but terribly written. In fact, before the show aired, Irina did a whole rebranding for her company, so Zack might not be that far off when he told Irina to her face that she came to the show for all the wrong reasons. Once the season was finally over, she gained less than 100K followers on Instagram. If we compare it to Tiffany’s Instagram growth (she gained more than 500K followers since her time on the show), on top of her business not growing as much as she intended it to grow, I think we can all agree that Irina’s plan totally failed.

During the reunion when she apologized to Zack, Irina blamed her behavior on the mental health struggles she endured while filming the show. As I previously said, based on all that was said on how contestants are treated while and after filming, I believe that statement. Bliss immediately called Irina out on her statement by saying that while it was understandable that she was going through mental health struggles while filming the show, it wasn’t okay and it didn’t make it okay for her to then do malicious things.

It was a good point to make. But then again, and I’m not saying Irina’s behavior was justifiable by any means, as the saying goes, hurt people hurt people. There is never just one way to cope with mental health, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a woman OR a man. As she admitted herself, Irina’s behavior was a coping mechanism. It was a terrible way to cope with her mental health by trying to uphill her self-esteem by degrading others, but it was a coping mechanism nonetheless. There’s nowhere for her to but up from where she started, so hopefully, she gets there…in time. And someone like Zack deserves to be happy with someone like Bliss – a partner who doesn’t need to be saved or cared for by him just like he had to care for his mother; someone who will help him heal and move forward with his life post trauma rather than someone who would potentially trigger it.

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