Love Is Blind just dropped the rest of season 3 (plus a reunion episode!!), and everyone is going to be glued to their TVs for the rest of the week. There's just something about blindly dating, and proposing to someone, in octagonal "pods" that keeps people hooked from start to finish.
In case you're not familiar, a group of singles test hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey's theory that "love is truly blind" by building and maintaining a connection with someone they've never, ever seen before. They go through speed dating while separated in "pods," and decide whether to get engaged...without ever seeing their partner. After that point, they try to make it work IRL. After two seasons, the show has only logged a handful of "happily ever afters," some more long-lived than others.
With 30 contestants this season, one couple hit the ground running: Cole Barnett, a 27-year-old realtor, and Zanab Jaffrey, a 32-year-old realtor. The couple has chemistry from the very start (love at first...talk?), and Cole literally shouted, "You're beautiful!" after meeting her in person for the first time. But there was definitely a lot of trouble in paradise as episodes dropped each week. Zanab and Cole just didn't seem to be on the same page, and all of the passive aggressive comments that seemed to be made in good fun at the beginning of the season weren't well received.
Everyone wants to know if they were able to stick it out. So...Are Cole and Zanab still together? Here's what to know so far:
What happens on 'Love Is Blind' Season 3?
Although Cole has a fleeting interest in Colleen Reed, a ballet dancer, early on, he connects with Zanab on a deeper level. The couple talks extensively in the pods, and together, they tackle some pretty big topics.
Zanab shares that both of her parents died when she was a teen, and Cole tells her that he was briefly married when he was younger, so he has a better sense of what he's looking for in a partner, now. Off to a good start, guys!
During their chats, these two bond a lot over their shared religious beliefs. Both seem to be looking for a partner who shared their Christian background. In fact Zanab tells Cole she wants to have a prayerful relationship. So, bingo!
It comes as no surprise that Cole drops to one knee in the pods and asks Zanab to marry him. They seemed totally obsessed with each other before even meeting. So, of course, things heat up when they finally get to, you know, see each other for the first time after getting engaged.
Upon meeting, Cole tells Zanab that she looks like a model, and they share a few pretty steamy kisses.
He asks Zanab if she is "bipolar" during an argument.
Understandably, she gets really angry and leaves the apartment. This is not their first fight, but it's definitely one of the worst.
“I don't love that for me. I don't love that for any woman that's ever questioned,” Zanab tells Women’s Health after filming. “It’s that really awful statement like 'Are you crazy or something?' Like just men having that blanket statement when a woman acts irrationally. I don't like it. I didn't like it in the moment.”
Cole came after her and they had a conversation about it, Zanab explains, and they spend the night together. But in retrospect, she says, “I just—I hate it… I was putting him in the hot seat for something he had said and he had done, and he didn't like it, and so it was deflection, it was projection, and I hated to see it play out again.”
Cole also shared his thoughts about that moment with Women’s Health. “I mean, the way it looks, I regret that massively,” he says. Cole claims he asked Zanab if she was bipolar because she had previously used the term, and because he said she kept giving him mixed signals about her feelings for him and their wedding.
“I don't think you should question anyone's mental health or ever ask that question. It sounds really bad. When I heard it, it broke my heart to see that play out and to see her face afterwards,” he says. “But I didn't just out of the blue like, 'Hey, I'm gonna go and ask a very difficult question or just like a question that shouldn't be asked.’”
They get into other intense fights, too.
After the two get physically intimate for the first time and Cole describes it as "good," while Zanab says it was "great." She takes issue with his statement, and she's none too pleased with Cole the next morning.
Then, during their last night in Malibu, Cole started talking to ballet dancer (and former boo) Colleen in the pool, asking if she had reservations about her engagement. Colleen said no, but Cole kept digging.
“She wouldn’t have been the first girl I picked out if I was basing this on physically," Cole says about Zanab. He then tells Colleen she is actually his type.
Cole gets himself in more trouble when Zanab asks him to rate her. He gives her a nine, and tells her that two girls from the cast—Colleen and Raven—are tens. Zanab is, understandably, upset by this and tells Cole it is “really sh*tty to hear.”
In an interview with Women’s Health, Cole says he regretted this. “I crossed a line. Like undoubtedly, that was stupid.” And Zanab added, “ It just should have never came out of Cole's mouth. And it was a foot-in-a-mouth moment, and hopefully he's grown from that.”
There's some family tension.
Cole and Zanab run into some more issues when it is revealed that Cole’s family has no interested in meeting Zanab until after they are married. His parents are also upset that the two are living together before marriage, Cole shares.
What happened to Zanab's parents?
Sadly, Zanab's parents are no long living. Her mom died from a brain tumor when she was 18 and her dad died when she was just 13 during a waterskiing accident, she shares on the show.
But Cole does get to meet Zanab’s stepmother and step brother who were supportive. “It’s so vulnerable what you have to go through,” Zanab’s step-mother, Beverly, said, adding that she has been praying for them constantly. Cole and Beverly have a sweet conversation about Cole’s family, and even say a prayer together.
What happened with the cuties?
During the reunion, Zanab rehashes a moment with Cole where she suggests that he questioned her eating habits and that it had a bad effect on her body image and self-confidence.
Specifically, she mentions a time when she wanted to eat two cuties before they headed out to eat a big dinner, and Cole asked if she was going to eat the fruit before their dinner. When Zanab brings this up, Cole defends himself saying, "Please air it, if you have it, please air it."
In the clip, which was not included in the regular season but is played after the final credits roll, viewers see the incident in question play out.
"Are you about to eat two of those?" Cole asks Zanab as she peels a cutie in their kitchen. "Maybe, that's a serving, you okay with that?" she sarcastically responds. "You better save your appetito," he says.
Zanab then says she has only had a banana and a scoop of peanut butter that day so far, which seems to confuse Cole, and he asks "why?"
"I could definitely tell you but I probably shouldn't," Zanab responds. She's clearly upset, but Cole seems none the wiser in that moment that his fiancée is struggling.
The two discuss this scene during the reunion, and she tells Cole that she "could have dragged" him for the way he treated her, "but I do not think you're a bad guy." He later apologized for "destroying" Zay's self-confidence, and cried, saying he regretted coming on the show if this is how things ended up.
Are they still together?
That would be a big, fat "NO." These two had a brutal breakup at the altar, with Zanab deciding to tell Cole what she really thought about him in front of everyone. And it was really intense.
“You have disrespected me, you have insulted me, you have critiqued me, and for what it’s worth, you have single-handled shattered my self-confidence,” Zanab says. “I hate that you have had that kind of effect on me, and the messed up thing is I know I love you.”
Zanab then says "no," obviously, and her guests clap as she walks back down the aisle. Cole is left tearing up as his pals try to console him.
Later, Cole tells WH that it was a really hard moment for him. “I was crying my eyes out because I care for this girl and love her to death and wanted a life with her, wanted a relationship with her, wanted to marry her, and here's all of her people cheering not [about] that she didn't just get married, but that she buried me,” he says. “That was very blindsiding and difficult to experience.”
The two air all their grievances at the reunion, with Zanab explaining how he had "shattered her self-confidence" with comments about what she was eating, and telling her he wanted to kiss another girl the night of his bachelor party. For his part, Cole denied that this conversation with another girl ever happened, and he said the scene with the comments asking Zanab if she really wanted to eat some fruit before dinner was misconstrued. He also said during the episode that he regretted coming on the show and hurting her self-confidence, and began to cry.
All in all, the love definitely doesn't seem like it will be repaired at this point, but I wish these two the best in their search for love!
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