By now you’ve probably seen the Love Is Blind Season 3 finale and reunion, and if you’re anything like the rest of the Internet, you likely have a lot of opinions — especially about the end of Zanab Jaffrey and Cole Barnett’s love story.
In the finale, which dropped on Nov. 9, the temperamental couple made their way to the altar but ended up walking away from each other after Zanab said, “I do not.” Standing in front of all of their friends and family, Zanab listed out her reasons for saying no. “You have disrespected me. You have insulted me. You have critiqued me. And for what it is worth, you have singlehandedly shattered my self-confidence, and I hate that you have had that kind of effect on me. The messed up thing is I know I love you. I know you, I love you, but everything in me and the logical part of my brain tells me that love shouldn’t feel this way. Love shouldn’t hurt like this. I can’t marry you,” she said before walking back down the aisle as a newly single woman.
Cole seemed shocked by this development as his family and friends consoled him. “Why has she never said that to my face? She chose now because she knew it would hurt more in front of all of my friends and family,” he later said in a confessional.
During the reunion, the formerly engaged couple had a moment to air out their grievances. Zanab took the opportunity to claim that there might have been more upsetting things said off-camera that led her to that decision. Among many alleged things that Cole said about her weight and appearance, Zanab focused on a specific incident involving “Cuties” (small clementines) and was backed up by fellow Love Is Blind stars Raven Ross and Alexa Alfia.
According to Zanab, Cole admonished her for snacking on two clementines after she hadn’t eaten during filming one day. “He looked at me and he goes, ‘Are you gonna eat both of those?’ And I said, ‘Well, yeah. That’s a serving.’ And he goes, ‘Well, we’re going out to eat later. Maybe you should save your appetite,’” she recounted. Cole vehemently denied that he had ever tried to control her eating habits, and appealed to the producers to air the footage if they had it.
Well, the producers did have it and they dropped it in at the end of the Season 3 reunion episode — and sent the Internet into a tailspin in the process. In the clip, the couple is bantering in their kitchen while Zanab prepares what looks like a bowl of cherries to munch on. As they’re discussing travel plans and poking fun at each other, Zanab begins to peel a Cutie. Cole asks, “Are you about to eat two of those?” and Zanab replies, “Maybe. That’s a serving. You okay with that?” Cole doesn’t seem fazed and says she “better save her appettito” for their “big ol’ supper tonight,” not knowing that Zanab had apparently only eaten a banana and a scoop of peanut butter that day. When he asks why she’s eaten so little, she doesn’t say, and Cole jokes about her getting wedding dress ready.
Twitter had strong feelings about whether Zanab had blown the interaction out of proportion.
The “Cuties” clip made fans reconsider Zanab’s reunion allegation that Cole had gotten another woman’s number at the bachelor party.
Many who weren’t fans of Cole found themselves changing their tune.
Zanab had her court of defenders who were still convinced that something was off in the way Cole interacted with his fiancee.
One thing is for sure: the Internet loved the chaotic choice of the producers to drop in the footage and let it speak for itself.
After the episode aired, Zanab took to Instagram to post an “apology” to the Internet saying, “One thing about me, I choose my words carefully and I stand by everything I said.” She has turned off all comments on the post.