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Colleen regrets flirting with Cole


Spoiler alert! The following post contains details about the first seven episodes of “Love is Blind” Season 3. 

Word to the wise: What happens at the pool party never stays there. Especially if there are cameras rolling. 

Some contestants are learning the hard way on Season 3 of Netflix’s “Love is Blind” (first seven episodes now streaming), the highly addictive reality show where couples get engaged sight unseen and head to the altar after just four weeks of living together. 

In Episode 5, which premiered Wednesday, ballet dancer Colleen Reed and real-estate agent Cole Barnett reconnected during a Malibu getaway with their fellow castmates. The two casually dated in the “pods” – small rooms where contestants talk through walls without seeing each other – but ultimately decided they weren’t a match. Instead, they got engaged to other cast members: Cole to Zanab Jaffrey, a flight attendant, and Colleen to Matt Bolton, vice president of an aerospace manufacturing company. 

But when they stripped down to their bathing suits at a pool party and drinks started flowing, Colleen and Cole appeared to have second thoughts about turning each other down. While their fiancés were elsewhere, Cole confessed to Colleen that she looks exactly like the type of girl he usually dates. Colleen returned the compliment, saying he’s a cute guy and that she’d go for him in the “real world.” 

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Colleen, left, and Cole talk about their mutual attraction during a dip in the pool.

Did Colleen and Cole make a mistake? The repercussions

Naturally, Zanab and Matt were none too happy about their future spouses’ amorous behavior when they heard about it later. In a blowout argument, Matt said Colleen was playing him and threatened to leave her. And Cole dug himself into a deeper hole while explaining himself to Zanab: rating her a “9 out of 10” in the looks department and Colleen a “10 out of 10.” 

Both couples eventually resolved their issues, although Colleen tells USA TODAY that she regrets how she handled her encounter with Cole. 

“There was definitely more to the conversation that unfortunately wasn’t shown (in the episode), where I mentioned that there’s a reason why me and Matt are together and Cole and I are not,” Reed said over Zoom earlier this week. “I was very uncomfortable in that situation when Cole opened up that door (to flirting), and I didn’t know how to handle it. So I handled it with trying to make the situation nice and make nice comments, and now I know that is extremely inappropriate.” 

Since then, “me, Matt and Zanab have talked, and we’ve all moved past it,” she continues. “There was no intention of me trying to cross a line by any means.” 

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Matt, left, and Colleen cuddle up in Netflix's "Love is Blind" Season 3.

Nancy, Bartise and pregnancy views

Back home in Dallas, bride-to-be Nancy Rodriguez, 31, had some tough conversations of her own with fiancé Bartise Bowden, 25. The couple got on the subject of having kids, and how Nancy fears higher risk pregnancies the older she gets. 

She asked Bartise if he would consider aborting a baby if it had birth defects, to which he firmly replied “no.” But Nancy countered by saying that in her job as a speech pathologist, she’s seen the emotional toll that birth defects can take on children and their families. 

“If I knew I could try again and hope that the second time it’s better, then I would go that route, to be honest,” Nancy tells Bartise. 

“I’m so grateful we had that honest conversation,” Rodriguez says now. “He didn’t shut me down, although we have separate views. We’re both relatively respectful in that sense.” 

Bartise, left, and Nancy don't see eye to eye on important issues in Episode 6.

But later, Bartise raised the abortion topic again as Nancy was meeting his parents and sister for the first time. The discussion ended in uncomfortable silence. 

“He threw it back in my face and brought it up in front of his family, which I did not appreciate at all,” Rodriguez says. “It could have been a conversation he prepped me for before being on camera, that he was going to bring it up to his family. That was a big shock to me.” 

“Love is Blind” will stream three more new episodes next Wednesday before the Season 3 finale Nov. 9. 


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