It’s rough out there for the Singles of Seattle.
Micah Lussier was once on a first date at a Mexican restaurant where they each had one or two drinks. At the end, he made a “get out of here” hand signal and asked if she wanted to come back to his place.
“I was, like, ‘Who are you talking to? I know you’re not talking to me,’ ” Lussier, a marketing manager, recounted. “I was, like, ‘Bro, I’m out of here.’ ”
Chelsea Griffin, a pediatric speech-language pathologist, discovered on a first date with a man that, despite him being in his mid-30s, he was using dating app photos from when he was 22. Jackelina Bonds, a certified dental assistant, realized whenever she went out in Seattle, it was “the same people with the same clothes, talking to the same girls with the same music, and that worried me.”
It was those moments (and many more, they add) that led them to “Love Is Blind,” a Netflix show where singles date in “pods” separated by a wall so they can’t see each other. The couples don’t reveal what they look like to each other until they’re engaged; they then test whether the relationship built only on blind love can survive outside the pod.
Season 4 of the reality show based in Seattle premiered Friday, with 30 men and women, including Lussier, Griffin and Bonds, who haven’t been able to find The One in the Pacific Northwest. Ten of them spoke with press this week before the first episodes.
The 30 are all good-looking (casting directors appear to have made sure the laws of blind love don’t have to bend too far), in their 20s and 30s, with impressive careers. So why haven’t they had luck with the dating scene? Several blamed the “Seattle freeze” and the churn of transplants.
“There’s a very unique culture here, at least, like, the social-cultural dynamic is pretty different from where I’m from down in the South,” environmental scientist Paul Peden said. “In Louisiana, people are very open and warm. I think that can contribute … if you’re, say, a transplant from another area trying to date Seattleites, you just don’t quite match.”
Others said it was a focus on dating apps instead of meeting people in person – and the lack of places to meet someone in person that’s not a club or a hiking trail – that’s stumped them. Or finding people at different stages of their lives, with different goals.
“The biggest issue I think I had was I kept encountering different aspects of different people that I felt like I really, really like this about them, but it’s really, really difficult to get on a different level, right?” Kwame Appiah, a sales development manager, said of his life before “Love Is Blind.” “And so it was tough for me to meet someone who I felt I was compatible with on a well-rounded level.”
The show filmed in Seattle in April and May of 2022, so the cast has had to keep things – including relationship statuses – quiet for nearly a year. Their social media inboxes have blown up with messages from friends, acquaintances, even exes.
“Oh yeah, the exes are crawling,” Lussier said. “Get out of here. They need to stay gone.”