Is love truly blind? Reality stars Natalie Lee and Deepti Vempati seem to think so. “You can absolutely fall in love sight unseen,” Lee said. “It’s just [about] going in with an open heart believing that.”
The “Love Is Blind” premise takes 15 men and 15 women looking for love and allows them to essentially speed-date using the show’s infamous “pods,” in which contestants can speak but neither can actually see the other. Participants are allotted longer dates with the person of their choosing, but pairs are only allowed to meet face-to-face once a marriage proposal is made and accepted. As an engaged couple, the two then travel to a couples’ retreat with other engaged participants, try their luck at living together back in their respective cities and finally, either choose to stay together or break up on the day of their wedding.
Of course, not everyone finds a partner through the process. But according to Vempati, the experiment is still not without its merits. “Even if you don’t find love you’re going to find out so much about yourself, and meet so many amazing and unique people—it will only add value to your life,” she said.
Besides friends and significant others, the show also provided the reality stars with the opportunity to showcase their cultures as they saw fit. “You hear the words ‘submissive’ or ‘quiet,’ and that’s not who [Asian women] are,” Lee said. “My mom’s not like that, my grandmother is not like that—the women in the Korean community are definitely not like that. We are sometimes put into a box because of those stereotypes, so this experiment was really great to prevent that from happening.”
Vempati also shared her feelings about balancing heritage on the reality show. “I was extremely terrified just because of my culture,” she said. “My family likes to stay private, so going on television and broadcasting my romantic life and speaking on intimate things was very tough. There were a lot of mixed feelings going into the experience.”
To hear even more about love, friendship and culture from Lee and Vempati, check out the full video above, and don’t forget to stream “Love Is Blind” season 2 on Netflix!