Love is Blind’s Zanab says Cole tried to control her eating and had preference for white women

Warning: Spoilers forLove is Blind’s season finale

Love is Blind’s Zanab Jaffrey has said her former fiancé, Cole Barnett, tried to control her eating and had a preference for white women.

Jaffrey said she left the relationship “broken” and was “devastated” to not get married in the season finale of the dating show, which aired on Wednesday 9 November.

“You have single-handedly shattered my self-confidence,” Jaffrey told Barnett as she made the choice to reject him at the altar.

Jaffrey, 32, and Barnett, 27, seemed to start off strong after bonding in the pods, but things quickly worsened, notably when he told her she was a “nine of out 10” and other contestants Raven Ross and Colleen Reed were “10s”.

In an interview with Variety, she said the comment was “painful to hear”.

“I think a nine out of 10 would be OK. But when you get the follow up that there were two 10-out-of-10s in a group of just five women, statistically it didn’t really add up,” she said.

“That was a good foresight for us for what was coming up. I really struggled with, ‘Oh, we’re already off on a bad foot if you don’t think I’m a 10 out of 10.’ Obviously, I loved him. It was painful to hear.”

Barnett also compared Jaffrey to his previous girlfriends, saying she was not the type of girl he usually dated.

“I proposed to a girl named Zanab,” he told Jaffrey. “You think I thought Zanab looked more like the girls I dated in the past that were named like, Lily?”

On the comparisons between Jaffrey – who is from a Pakistani background – and his previous girlfriends, she said it showed his preference for white women.

“Everyone heard it. Even watching it back, I was like, wow, I really didn’t hear that like everyone else heard it.

“In the heat of that moment, I didn’t necessarily hear it, but we’d had conversations about women he previously dated. There were many conversations about how I did not look like it or live up to it,” she added.

Jaffrey said she is now “doing great” after her rocky relationship with Barnett (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)
Jaffrey said she is now “doing great” after her rocky relationship with Barnett (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

She also shared that she developed some unhealthy eating habits because of her relationship with Barnett.

“The things he was saying to me did hurt,” she said. “I was somehow trying to make myself desirable to him, whether it be skinnier, or…  I’ve never had someone speak to me that way about my body or eating.

“That was very real for me. I did change what I was eating. I was just eating a banana. I did lose weight by the wedding day. It had nothing to do with fitting into my wedding dress,” she continued.

Jaffrey said she is now “doing great” after the show, and is in therapy to work on herself after the relationship. She added that she has received a lot of support from women.

“I think what is beautiful to see is the amount of women that are supportive and saw what I saw. I think that’s a beautiful community. No one should have to accept disrespect in a relationship.”

The season finale of Netflix’s Love Is Blind aired on Wednesday 9 November.