Edward, Bella, and Jacob. Stefan, Elena, and Damon. Chuck, Blair, and Nate. They’re all iconic love triangles that we loved watching as teenagers. Luckily for us, Netflix’s Love Is Blind brought a love triangle to our screens with Barnett, Jessica, and Mark.
Barnett and Mark couldn’t be more different. Barnett showed little emotion and interest towards Jessica, whereas Mark fell in love with her quickly. Yet Jessica was more attracted to Barnett. This leads us all to ask: why do we tend to be more attracted to emotionally unavailable men?
Barnett: Emotionally Unavailable
Barnett fell for (and strung along) three different women in the pods: Jessica, Amber, and LC. As the relationships got stronger, Barnett dumped Jessica before choosing to propose to Amber instead of LC. It appears that all has worked out for Barnett because he and Amber are still married, but it wasn’t a blissful road to happily ever after.
With Jessica, I got this thought in my head that she was just a salesperson because I knew that’s what she had done in the past.
When it came to Barnett and Jessica’s relationship in the pods, it appeared to be fun and flirtatious. We didn’t see them having deep conversations about values or each other’s feelings, but he did mention the idea of wanting to propose to her. Jessica broke it off the next day and moved onto Mark, who later proposed.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Barnett explained why he decided not to propose to Jessica in the pod. He said, “With Jessica, I got this thought in my head that she was just a salesperson because I knew that’s what she had done in the past. It made me reevaluate if she was just trying to sell herself to me.” His connection to Amber was completely different though. Barnett continued, “Amber just had that fire that I needed in my life.”
Jessica’s feelings for Barnett created drama when she saw him for the first time in Mexico and was physically attracted to him. She began to question her relationship with Mark due to her physical attraction to Barnett (which goes against the entire premise of the show), and it’s no coincidence that when it came to emotional availability, Mark was the complete opposite of Barnett.
Mark: Too Emotionally Available
I felt for Mark at the end of the show. He put his heart out on the line and was treated like trash only to get his heart broken in front of his friends and family, and millions of viewers. Mark poured his heart and soul out to Jessica. He did it a little too much. He let his feelings for her get in the way of him standing up for himself, allowing her to walk all over him.
Mark let his feelings for Jessica get in the way of him standing up for himself, allowing her to walk all over him.
Unlike Jessica’s relationship with Barnett, her relationship with Mark was deeper than we saw it play out on screen. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mark said, “We really connected on a deeper level. We did a gift-giving day. We had a nacho and queso day. We did things. We were actually really goofy with each other and had a lot of fun. Because it is very intense and serious, what we’re doing, a lot of those relief moments of like, wow they’re normal people, I think got missed out. But other than that, all of it’s authentic and all of it’s real. By the end of it, Jess gave me a daily devotional and we really connected on that. I gave her my grandmother’s bracelet - my grandmother had passed away three years ago and so for me, that’s me being like, hey you’re a part of my family. It was deeper. That’s why I feel the connection her and I had was so real. We got to be vulnerable regardless of the age and all that other stuff.”
Don’t get me wrong, Mark seems like a very nice guy, and I hope he finds love in the future. But this is a perfect example of women preferring emotionally unavailable men over emotionally available men.
Why: Masculinity and Emotions
We’ve been tricked into thinking that being emotionally unavailable is a masculine trait that we should look for in a man. We’ve also been tricked into thinking that being emotional emasculates a man. The truth is that a genuinely masculine man shows his true feelings but is also reserved. It’s important to find a good balance, and Barnett and Mark show both ends of the spectrum, but the man we should be looking for is right in the middle.
The truth is that a genuinely masculine man shows his true feelings but is also reserved.
It’s simple if you think about it. Jessica fell for Barnett because he was emotionally unavailable. Since society has taught us that this is a masculine trait, it’s natural that we all fall for one (or several) emotionally unavailable men in our lifetime. She was also turned off by Mark because he simply had no backbone. Men sometimes see being emotionally available as agreeing with everyone a woman says, but nothing is sexier than a man who can show his emotions and stick up for himself.
While Jessica didn’t marry Barnett or Mark in the end, it’s very clear that she was more interested in Barnett than Mark. Barnett was more exciting to her than Mark and presented more of a challenge simply because he didn’t show his emotions. However, there is something else we can learn from this. Barnett was emotionally available to Amber and wasn’t to Jessica, proving that if you’re in the right relationship, a man will be open up to you.