The third season of the popular Netflix dating series Love Is Blind released its final episodes last week, as fans finally learned which couples said “I do” and who was left at the altar. Matt Bolton proposed to Colleen Reed after they formed an emotional connection in the pods. However, the couple had their first major fight during the post-pods retreat in Malibu, which caused many viewers to point out “red flags” in their relationship.
Following the reunion special, which aired on Netflix last week, many fans expressed concern for Reed on social media. Some people claimed Reed appeared uncomfortable while sitting next to Bolton on the reunion couch, while others pointed out her tense body language. Recently, a Psychology Today op-ed even claimed that Bolton’s behaviour was “abusive” towards his wife.
Now, the couple are speaking out against criticism of their relationship and denying any allegations of abuse.
“Some of the comments are just laughable at how wrong it is or way off the mark they are,” Reed recently told Us Weekly. “[What’s] been hard is the criticism for each of us personally, because we know each other, we know the person. And I can see the things that they’re saying about him, and he can see the things that people are saying about me.”
“It’s like, ‘No, that’s not true. Don’t let that get to your head, let that affect you. Don’t let that change you,’” she continued. “We know us. But when it comes to the personal stuff, that’s what stings.”
Reed also maintained that the “harsh assumptions” about their relationship are both “absolutely not true” and upsetting.
“What’s frustrating with what people do say about our relationship is that these really harsh assumptions, that’s really tricky to talk about. And it’s just completely wrong. It’s completely not true. And it’s really sad what people are saying,” she said.
Amid the criticism, Reed and Bolton have been surrounding themselves with friends and family who are supportive of the couple. “Not once has someone said in our lives, in our everyday lives like, ‘Oh, should we be worried or listening to these comments?’ They’ve actually just told us the same thing – be true to ourselves,” Reed explained. “They know us, we know us, we’re fine. So I would say that’s the biggest thing that we would wanna clear up is that these things that people are saying are just absolutely not true.”
Meanwhile, Matt Bolton – who’s been at the centre of the abuse allegations – said that it’s been “tough to see” some of the online speculation about their relationship.
“The first day that it really started getting nasty online with some of these accusations and stuff, like, that was tough to see,” he told the outlet. “And to Colleen’s point, we know who we are. It’s unfortunate that the world doesn’t see it as that, but to some point, it is what it is. If that’s how they’re gonna feel, then that’s on them.”
He added: “We know who we are and we love each other to death and we’re just continuing to do our thing. That’s a tricky topic to discuss, but yeah, it hurt being accused of some of the things that people are saying.”
In episode seven, the 28-year-old sales executive confronted the 26-year-old ballet dancer about an interaction she had with her former fling, Cole Barnett, at a pool party. Bolton appeared upset that Reed didn’t “shut down” the conversation, and accused his fiancée of being flirty towards Barnett.
“It takes three words – ‘That’s my man’,” Bolton said, before an emotional Reed asked to “take a minute” and went into the bathroom. At the end of the episode, Bolton said he wasn’t going to be “played” and threatened to end their engagement. Since then, the couple seemed to be thrown off by their disagreements and miscommunications leading up to their wedding day.
The season three reunion special spent much time discussing Colleen Reed and Cole Barnett’s flirty poolside chat, while Bolton’s heated confrontation was barely addressed. Speaking to Us Weekly, the ballet dancer admitted that she wished more time was dedicated to discussing the couple’s blowout fight, so that they could clear up some of the speculation about their relationship sooner.
“I wish that we would’ve been given the time to talk about it. I think that we would’ve just gone through what we were…going through at the time because it was a pressure cooker situation and there were so many other factors that have led to our fallouts and our fights,” Reed explained. “If we would’ve been able to talk about it, we probably could have provided a little bit more context. And because from this audience standpoint, I understand where it’s like, ‘Whoa, where is all this coming from.’”
Bolton added that his trust issues from his past played a big part in his behaviour towards Reed, on top of the pressure of being filmed for a reality show.
“You’re expected to get married – not expected, but you have an opportunity to get married – within five weeks. So you really want everything to go perfectly,” he explained. “And when something little happens, and it’s not necessarily going perfect, for me, at that time, it was like, ‘Ok, well if this isn’t perfect, then I’m gonna run away and I’m not gonna do it.’ And that was kind of my mindset. Then looking back on it, watching it back, was tough. The way I handled it was dead wrong of me to handle it that way.”
As for speculation that Colleen Reed looked uncomfortable during the reunion special, she recently told Cosmopolitan UK that her tense body language was because she was not in a “good headspace” leading up to the reunion.
“Going into the reunion, I was not in good headspace as I was dealing with a lot of anxiety due to the negative commentary I had endured during the first few episodes,” she told the magazine. “While I knew what I had signed up for, at that point I was not prepared for the gravity of strangers critiquing my profession that I am incredibly proud of, my character, and tearing down my body/physical traits.”
Reed went on to say that she felt “embarrassed” having to rewatch the pool party scene, in which she and Barnett expressed they found each other attractive. While watching the moment during the reunion special, Reed was worried that reliving the scene would jeopardize her relationship with Bolton and the rest of the female cast.
“Not only was I was dealing with this stress, but I was embarrassed of having to watch the pool scene in front of everyone and having to discuss it,” she said. “I cherish my friendships with these girls so much. I didn’t want my actions to change anything with them or with Matt. I was anticipating more harmful comments as well.”
Since Love Is Blind season three wrapped, both Reed and Bolton have posted loving pictures of each other on Instagram. On Wednesday, Reed shared an Instagram post praising Bolton for his support amid speculation about their relationship.
“Thank you to this man for holding me up when I was not my best,” Reed captioned the post, which featured an image of the couple embracing each other. “Thank you for being my boulder as you promised to me in our vows. During the reunion, I was not okay given the negative commentary I had experienced. I’ll be honest in saying I let the internet tear me down and take the light away from me. Matt did not let this happen.”
“He has done everything possible to put a smile back on my face and bring me back. I held onto him for support. He reassured me that I was going to be okay. Watching it all back and filming the reunion only brought us closer than we ever thought we could get,” she continued. “I can’t thank him enough for being there for me.”
All episodes of Love Is Blind season three are currently streaming on Netflix.