Love is Blind: Do we judge too much on looks?

Love is Blind: Do we judge too much on looks?

Fans of dating show Love is Blind have gasped with shock as different couples made their way through the process of first dating ‘blind’ – from pods where they couldn’t see each other – and then meeting and deciding whether to take the huge step of marriage.

Following 30 different single people, the Netflix show began with a 10-day ‘speed dating’ process where talking without seeing was the key to matchmaking, before the couples all met together in a Caribbean resort.

Finally, they prepared to marry and had to say ‘I do’ or ‘I don’t’ at the altar in front of friends and family. It’s a risky concept, and shows that physical appearance does, of course, play some part in the dating and attraction process.  But experts agree that the show has proved that first impressions need to be based on something other than just appearance if you’re dating in 2020.

Dennie Smith runs Old Style Dating, a site where she vets profiles before they can go live, and encourages people to only load one photo – with no filters or sunglasses and modest dress as rules.

Arguing swiping on the basis of looks has gone too far, she says: “You can order food instantly, clothes easily, and that’s how we’ve got with dating.”

Instead of multiple photos, Smith insists her members concentrate on sharing their interests and giving a detailed profile so they get to know each others’ personalities and date “slowly”.

She says: “Everybody likes the old fashioned stuff – like Flirty Dancing and First Dates. I’ve started doing dating events too. If you’re genuine, I think people would rather meet face to face.”

Lynn Anderton is a dating coach who helps people decipher their attachment types through watching movies, combined with therapy and coaching.

“It’s a natural response to judge on looks and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but people have attractive qualities other than looks and when you chat to someone without a photo it can help you heighten your senses around emotions as well as whether someone is on the same page as you with regards to whether they view love in the same way.

“For example, have you ever noticed how it’s usually the person who you’d be less likely to choose on looks in a group that you most get on with? This makes for long-lasting relationship success.”

Meanwhile new dating site Blindlee works using blurred videos rather than profile pictures, tapping into the Love is Blind ethos. Co-founder Sacha Nasan says: “People are always looking for new, different dating concepts nowadays. Swiping is great fun but people like and want variety and – if you examine it carefully – many people will consider dating to be a numbers game. Most don’t just have one dating app, they have a few different ones installed on their phone, each with differing formats and features.

“Blindlee users go on speedy 3-minute blurred video calls with someone random, matching their criteria. During these 3 minutes (which is pretty short), women control the blur filter and the app will also suggest optional, thought-evoking questions for them to discuss. In same-sex calls, the one who accepted the incoming call has control over the blur filter.”

So the next time you’re swiping and feeling lovelorn, perhaps consider being a little more ‘Love is Blind’ about your approach.

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