Netflix's Love Is Blind: My Guilty Pleasure Reminds Me of Survivorship & Safety
I fell into the Love Is Blind Netflix show trap! 😄The concept was gripping and I am a sucka for reality shows (and it has been so long since I have watched a good "steamy" one), so here we are on binge-watching day #2 and I am loving it. Judge me all you want! Ha ha. I love psychology and I am also a hopeless romantic. I knew after date three that my husband was the one, but I waited one year to move in with him, one year to be engaged and another year to walk down the aisle. He could have moved faster, but I needed to take it slowly for many reasons. The Love Is Blind is an interesting game of trust, love and feeling safe. I talk about love and safety in my recent SWAAY article in which I give romance tips to the partners of survivors of sexual abuse. (It's really an essay for survivor sisters to bring to their mates!) Read it here.
This brings me to a really important point. The "pods" in Love Is Blind created an environment that felt so safe for these singles that they poured their hearts out to one another for multiple hours without digital distractions--ultimately, "falling in love" with someone who they thought they knew was "the one." The pod represented an unrealistic sense of security that was short-lived, but one that many of us deeply need, especially survivors, to feel like we can fearlessly be ourselves. As I watched the characters each tell their new fiances that they loved one another after 3 or 4 "pod dates," I knew that the love they felt was respect and even admiration for the other person's soul, but that the love would not really translate into the physical world unless it was lustful or a false sense of love for the sake of the experiment and going along with the game. I will be glued to Netflix on Thursday, February 27 to watch the finale.
Aside from the binge-worthiness of this 3-ring circus, you might be wondering why I am obsessing over it so much. Well, I've had a rough couple of weeks of panic attacks and my personal life being attacked by sneaky and disrespectful people, including by someone who is related to my childhood trauma. Feeling *safe* in every aspect of my life as a survivor of abuse is an obsession of mine and all of a sudden, my home (which is my sanctuary), no longer felt safe. Throughout my adulthood, I either threw my trust around too naively to men and women who didn't deserve it or I put up a brick wall to those who actually loved me. Watching the characters on Love Is Blind reminded me how fragile we all are, no matter our backgrounds, and how difficult it is to find love and trust someone enough to marry them.
It took me three years to be able to walk down the aisle and say, "I do," to someone who I knew after four weeks was the man I was meant to marry. If you are lucky enough to know and experience love in all of its beauty and ugliness, then you discover that true love is a test of will. It is blissful, fleeting, mercurial, heavy, scary, emotional and so on. It does not favor those who only scratch the surface and it cannot be experienced fully until you let your guard down. I am happy I let my guard down, but the road was winding, with twists and turns. If a survivor of child sexual abuse can find the right life long partner and feel safe, I believe anyone can. It just takes time.