Warning: Major spoilers ahead for the Netflix show Love Is Blind! Look away if you don't want details about Mark and Jessica!
Netflix's dating experiment, Love Is Blind, took viewers on a roller coaster of emotions in February. After debuting right before Valentine's Day, the show quickly racked up views and hot takes on social media about every aspect of the show and the people who decided to put their lives on hold for a while to see if they could fall in love with someone they'd never seen. Mark Cuevas thought he'd found love with Jessica Batten, but after getting engaged, and ready for the wedding day, she dumped him at the alter. Now, Mark is coming clean about his feelings during that difficult time.
If you've seen the show (and I hope you have, per the spoiler warning above), you will likely be feeling some tender feelings for Mark, who was all-in on his romance with Jessica, from quite early on. As with the other daters on Love Is Blind, Mark and Jessica only met and talked in specially designed pods which allowed them to converse without seeing or touching each other. Everyone had 10 days to propose or accept a proposal, and Mark asked Jessica to marry him within that time, with her accepting.
But, their relationship was hardly clear cut from that point on. Jessica seemed to have lots of issues (their 10 year age difference being one) with the potential of staying with Mark, and when they got to their wedding day (which was only a few weeks from when he proposed), she walked down the aisle and dumped him in front of their friends and family. Mark talked to Entertainment Weekly recently about how he felt on that fateful day, and you might be surprised by his reaction in the moment.
I haven’t seen any footage of the finale yet. At this point, it is what it is. It’s funny, you’re bringing me back. You find this love, I was 100 percent in it, you have this feeling of like, that person didn’t pick you. But the experience was so intense, I wasn’t even mad at her. I was upset and disappointed but I wasn’t angry. It just hurt, you know? You think for a little while, what’s wrong with me? What could have gone differently? But that is a recipe for misery. When you really think about it, everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen. It was a blessing in disguise and in the moment I was hurt but afterwards you look back and realize I am who I am because of it.
Man...I would say that Mark is a keeper, but it seems like he might still have a thing for Jessica, so I'm gonna amend that notion and say that he'll be a keeper one day when he's fully over his reality show ex-fiancée. Who amongst you can actually say you saw Jessica walk up the aisle, hold Mark's eager hands and then respond to his "I do" with "I cannot" without at least a flash of anger coloring your heart? Certainly not me. Mark just might be a better human than most of us.
Having said that, his hurt, disappointment and "upset" certainly make total sense. Jessica spoke about her time on Love Is Blind recently, as well, and she said two things of note. First, that she tried to leave the show and break things off with Mark much earlier, because "I kind of knew [Mark and I] weren’t going to get there," but the producers wouldn't let her leave. And, while that made me want to give her a bit of a break, the second thing of note she said gave me pause again.
What did Jessica say? Well, take a look:
...when you’re planning a wedding with someone that I knew I didn’t want to marry him, we weren’t ready for that, and we actually had multiple conversations and we were both on the same page about that. We weren’t ready to marry each other in that allotted amount of time that we had. We were very much on the same page about that.
Ummmmmm. Alright, Jessica. I know there's no way we saw everything that went on between the six couples that got engaged on Love Is Blind, but at no point on the show does Mark ever seem to waver in his dedication to spend the rest of his live with Jessica. To me, even if the show didn't air these supposed conversations about neither of them wanting to marry, we would have gotten some hint that Mark was just as shaky on the concept of marrying Jessica as she obviously was with marrying him.
Mark was asked about what Jessica said, and here's how he responded to her claim that they both knew getting married in only a few weeks wasn't a good idea:
Honestly, with Jess I didn’t know what to expect. I went in same as the experience as I’m just going to be myself and whatever I feel in the moment. I saw her walking down the aisle, I saw the wedding dress, originally she told me she wasn’t going to wear a wedding dress. But she walked down that aisle and it’s this moment of holy shit, this is what the pods, this whole thing, was all about. I don’t know -- I like blacked out because I was so present in the moment of what I was feeling.
OK, I'm mad at Jessica again! How sketchy is it to say you're not going to wear a wedding dress and then walk in decked out in the full regalia? Also, Mark is clearly trying not to throw Jessica under the...wedding bus, but it sounds a lot like he didn't have any idea she was gonna say no to him and had, apparently, known that for days, if not whole weeks. I'm gonna have my own blackout soon, but it'll be due to Jessica-rage if I don't self soothe right now!
Really, Mark makes a good point when he said that everything happens for a reason. It was clear to pretty much everyone watching Love Is Blind that he and Jessica weren't meant to be, so if she felt she had to break things off at the wedding, at least it was done before an actual marriage occurred. Those are way harder to get out of than engagements!