by Dr. Amanda Gorlick
Parrot Analytics reveals that Netflix’s Love Is Blind has garnered significant attention since its release. Audiences follow individuals’ journeys in their attempts to fall in love and become engaged prior to seeing each other face-to face (i.e., blindly). The premise of the show questions whether the love formed in the pods can then withstand the distractions and realities of the world outside of the pods.
A potential draw of the Netflix show is human curiosity of the unlikely or unexpected. This premise of connecting under these circumstances can be considered unlikely or unexpected, especially when contrasted to the widespread use of social media and dating apps where profile pictures, age, or location, to name a few variables, could determine likability and whether a connection would be formed. Regardless of the specific circumstances, the fact that the individuals connected in the time they did was actually not unlikely nor unexpected.
Whether or not you have watched the entire Love is Blind series, here are four key considerations:
1. Humans are hardwired for connection.
If we consider foundational human needs, then the show’s premise is not so unlikely or unexpected after all. In fact, the desire for connection is a hardwired human need and the show depicts the human capacity for connecting on various levels of depth and within relatively short durations of time.
2. There are many forms of connections that humans experience on a daily basis.
Some connections are fleeting, including but not limited to smiling at the individual walking by, waving at the driver in the car behind you letting you merge into the lane, and making eye contact with the individual nearby who heard the same joke and laughed as you did. Just because these connections are limited in duration does not diminish the potential impact and felt experience of the connection.
Some connections involve emotional intimacy and individuals’ past experiences and belief systems about themselves, others, and the world can impact their level of emotional intimacy and emotional availability. It is also important to note that not all emotionally intimate connections are romantically or sexually intimate.
If we consider all the connections depicted on the show, within and between the various couples, we can appreciate connection in its many forms.
3. Distractions are inevitable and can impact our capacity to connect.
We live in a world of endless distractions, where we are often multitasking, detached from our environment, operating on autopilot, and feeling disconnected from both ourselves and others. These patterns are quite apparent if we consider the volume of people out in public with their heads face down toward their phones. Now, we do have another option.
4. Becoming more present can facilitate connection.
Imagine for a moment becoming more present and having awareness of our intentions, thoughts, body sensations, emotions, and five senses. Imagine maintaining focus on one thing at a time as best as we can. Although this practice can be challenging in our fast-paced worlds, it is worthwhile as it serves as the foundation for connecting to the present moment, to oneself, and to others.
Although it is unlikely to be completely free from multitasking and external distractions for sustained durations of time in our daily lives, it is important to appreciate our immense capacity and need to connect. What if the focus was less on a particular outcome of connection, such as engagements and marriages, and more about noticing and stepping into the many opportunities to connect with others?
You never know what you may find.
Amanda Gorlick, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist at one of the nation’s top public university health systems. Her interests include providing treatment for a wide range of mental health concerns with a specialization in trauma-related disorders as well as delivering trainings on mental health-related topics to broad audiences.