Like any great trash reality show, Netflix’s Love Is Blind knows how to trumpet its unique brand of theatrics. Every three minutes, it seems, one of its many love seekers describes the show’s process — 10 days of speed dating, followed by engagement, without the betrothed ever actually seeing each other — as an “experiment.” They’re not wrong, though “mess” might be more accurate; that’s what happens when you drop 15 men and 15 women into a contest where getting engaged is the only way to guarantee screen time. Explosive moments abound, from drunken bachelorette parties to folks reneging at the altar.
Yet, the grand messperiment also produced one of Netflix’s more cringeworthy moments in a long while — a clash that cast a rare light on the unique challenges bisexual men face in the dating world, how their ongoing stigmatization perpetuates some truly vicious cycles.
In Love Is Blind’s fourth episode, Carlton Morton and Diamond Jack (the show’s lone Black couple, which tells you something else entirely about dating shows) celebrated their engagement by taking a premarital honeymoon in Mexico — at which point things began to implode. Carlton revealed to Diamond that his dating past includes both men and women; given that he’d proposed to her days earlier, she felt blindsided. The shitshow that followed the next day was disappointing not just for what it was, but for what it wasn’t: a frank conversation about how to own your full sexual self, and how to love your partner’s.
Things really escalated when Diamond attempted to express the pain of being deceived and asked for clarity around the situation and Carlton’s sexuality. “I feel you weren’t honest with me from the get-go,” she said. He responded with aggression and defensiveness, culminating in the grand finishing move of calling Diamond a bitch and hurling her discarded engagement ring into a pool that might as well have been an ocean. She was visibly taken aback by the whole scene — so embarrassed that she could only shakily spit Beyoncé lyrics, holding back tears while leaving her fiancé behind for good.