In the first four episodes of the popular dating show, five couples became engaged after forming an emotional connection in the pods. Bartise Bowden, a 27-year-old senior analyst, proposed to 32-year-old Nancy Rodriguez, a speech pathologist. Despite his initial attraction to pilates instructor Raven Ross, Bowden and Rodriguez left the pods together for a pre-honeymoon vacation in Malibu, California with the other engaged couples.
Things took a turn when Bowden met Ross in-person during the retreat, and told his fiancée that he was still attracted to his old fling. In episode five, Bowden was seen chatting to Ross in the pool when he told the pilates instructor that he was “very impressed” with her physical appearance. Ross instantly shut things down and told Bowden that they wouldn’t have an emotional connection as a couple.
While many of the Love Is Blind couples faced their first fights and miscommunications during the post-pod retreat, the real challenge began when they left for their hometown of Dallas, Texas. There, the couples will live together, meet each other’s families, and learn how to build a life together until their wedding day.
In episode six, Rodriguez took Bowden to see one of the five rental properties she co-owns with her ex-boyfriend. While Bowden initially had reservations about Rodriguez still being financially connected to her ex partner, he was more shocked that his fiancée was able to buy the property for $100,000. This moment caught the eye of many fans, as some viewers started to share their suspicions about Bowden on social media.
“Bartise is a walking red flag (not in a good way), and Nancy needs to RUN,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Not you saying how attractive other girls are THAT YOU’VE DATED, but you’ve got a problem with continuing with her business with her ex????? Bye boy. Your insecurities are screaming LOUD”.
“I don’t know how many times I’m going to tweet Nancy run,” another user said. “Girl Bartise is only seeing a check now that he sees what you do in your business life”.
A third viewer wrote: “Nancy, girl run. Bartise’s eyes lighting up when she talked about her finances.”
Not you saying how attractive other girls are THAT YOU’VE DATED, but you’ve got a problem with continuing with her business with her ex????? Bye boy. Your insecurities are screaming LOUD
— Deyonce (@Xpensive_sb94) October 26, 2022
I don't know how many times I'm going to tweet Nancy run. Girl Bartise is only seeing a check now that he sees what you do in your business life #LoveIsBlind #LoveisBlindS3 #LoveIsBlind3 pic.twitter.com/ZkbWd6NQ7r
— Jordan Robin (@SettlesJordan) October 26, 2022
Nancy, girl run. Bartise’s eyes lighting up when she talked about her finances #LoveIsBlind3
— ilce rodriguez (@ohhhhilce) October 26, 2022
When it came time to meet the family, Bowden was expectedly grilled by Rodriguez’s protective brothers, Steve and Jesus. Steve, who was clearly skeptical of Bowden, asked him: “If my sister were to gain 400 pounds, you would still love her?”
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you physical attraction doesn’t mean anything,” Bowden replied. “I take care of my body and I hope that my future wife takes care of her body.”
He continued: “[Rodriguez] will be my future wife and if she gained 400 pounds, I would hope that we connected to where she’d be okay with me saying, ‘Hey let’s go on a little diet here,’ before it ever got to 400 pounds. I mean, I’ll say I’m not attracted to a 400-pound girl, right? And the conversations that me and Nancy had have shown me that we can get through that and that won’t be a problem.”
Unsurprisingly, the admission from Bowden surprised many viewers, and one fan even made a meme that captured their thoughts on the moment.
Nancy's Brothers: Would you still be attracted to her if she gained 400 lbs?
— Super Freaky Grandma (@GeneralMillz_) October 26, 2022
Perhaps the most talked about moment from the newest Love Is Blind episodes came when Rodriguez and Bowden had an honest conversation about abortion. The two were discussing their timelines for children when Rodriguez explained that she has an increased chance of a higher-risk pregnancy than women who have children at a younger age, considering she is currently 31 years old. She then asked Bowden what he would do if he found out his child had a birth defect and abortion was an option.
“I could not, f**k no,” he said.
Rodriguez – who works as a speech pathologist – told Bowden that because of her career, she’s been exposed to many different medical and learning complications, which has informed her stance on abortion. When she asked Bowden if his view on abortion would change if the pregnancy was unplanned, he said that “you can get one pass” for an unplanned pregnancy “but you can’t do it again.”
Rodriguez said that she doesn’t believe you can put a number on the amount of abortions someone has, specifically in the case of non-consenual sex. Bowden agreed, but maintained that an unplanned pregnancy between consenting partners is not an excuse for an abortion.
While the couple seemed to appreciate each other’s different perspectives, the scene seemed to not sit well with some fans.
“things the world did not need: Bartise’s opinions on abortion,” tweeted one viewer.
“Bartise saying women get one pass for abortion??? Like are you for real sir?” another user said.
A third person wrote: “Bartise thinking he can determine if and when a woman has an abortion and how many times she can is pissing me off…Nancy looks so uncomfortable.”
— meagan ✨ (@meaganforde) October 26, 2022
— Scarlet C (@ricksnemesis) October 26, 2022
Bartise thinking he can determine if and when a woman has an abortion and how many times she can is pissing me off…Nancy looks so uncomfortable #LoveIsBlind
— Danii Bella 💕 (@DaniixBella) October 26, 2022
The topic of abortion came up once again when Bowden introduced Rodriguez to his parents, Robert and Penny, and his sister, Amalia. When Bowden told his family about the differing views on abortion that he shares with Rodriguez, his sister became emotional after hearing about their conversation. While Bowden’s mother said they feel “very strongly” about abortion, she could still understand where Rodriguez was coming from.
After viewing the scene, one fan tweeted that it was “not Bartise’s place to bring up Nancy’s views on abortion” in front of his family, despite “knowing they’re clearly anti-abortion.”
it really was not bartise’s place to bring up nancys views on abortion infront of his family her first time meeting them, KNOWING they’re clearly anti-abortion. proper trash behaviour #LoveIsBlind3
— 444 (@ScarlPay) October 26, 2022
By the end of episode seven, Bowden admitted during his confessional that the physical attraction he once had for Rodriguez “is just not really there for me anymore.” Now, viewers will have to wait and see if Bartise Bowden and Nancy Rodriguez make it to their wedding day.
Elsewhere, fans have scrutinised fellow contestant Matt Bolton’s behaviour towards Colleen Reed, since the couple got engaged.
The third installment of Love Is Blind season three premieres on Wednesday 2 November.