‘Love Is Blind’: Bartise & Nancy Look Back on Wedding Blindside, Reunion Reveals
[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for the Love Is Blind Season 3 finale and reunion.]
Women were demanding accountability in the Love Is Blind Season 3 reunion, streaming now on Netflix. Months after their weddings ended in either joy or heartbreak, the season’s 10 stars met with Nick and Vanessa Lachey to look back on their time in the experiment. And it wasn’t just their own relationships the women commented on.
Alexa Alfia and Raven Ross, still with their pod partners Brennon Lemieux and SK Alagbada, made sure to bring up the moments off camera where they felt Bartise Bowden and Cole Barnett mistreated their fiancées, Nancy Rodriguez and Zanab Jaffrey. Nancy and Zanab spoke strongly for themselves throughout the reunion, and TV Insider spoke with all four from these pairs about these conflicts.
Bartise rejected Nancy at the altar in the Love Is Blind Season 3 finale, saying he couldn’t get past their “issues” about abortion, Nancy’s ex, and other things viewers didn’t see him express problems with after the initial conversations took place. The rejection rightfully enraged Nancy’s family, who swiftly came to her defense after the couple walked back up the aisle to hash out what just went down.
In the reunion, Nancy said she shut down her emotions in this moment to cope, explaining to confused fans why she wouldn’t defend herself along with her mother, father, and brothers. As she explained, her family was fighting the fight she didn’t have the strength to begin that day.
Nancy confronted Bartise about this moment, saying the “I do not” isn’t what broke her heart — it was the unexpectedness of that answer that drove her to break things off cold turkey on the steps of their wedding venue.
Through tears on the reunion couch, Nancy told Bartise he betrayed their agreement to be forthcoming about their altar rejection, should they know that was their choice. Nancy reveals to TV Insider that she kept her end of the bargain earlier in the experiment when, off-camera, she told Bartise she was going to say no.
“We had a turning point in our relationship. About two weeks into being in the real world, I pulled him aside off camera and I told him I was going to say no. You’re not the man that I fell in love with. You don’t love on me, you say things that are not nice to other people then you come back and say them to me as well. So I was going to say no, and he asked me to give him another chance,” she says.
“He said we have two more weeks to figure it out. At that point, we had worked so hard to get where we were, for me to give up on love, instead I offered grace and kindness and the opportunity for him to turn it around,” she continues. “The doubts that he was having leading up to the wedding day, I didn’t know those doubts. I didn’t know that he was still worried about the abortion conversation and differences. I didn’t know that he still had an issue about my ex, which is not even an issue that he brought up to me. He said it was cool! That’s where my feelings of being blindsided are very prevalent.”
In the reunion, and in our interview with Bartise, he said he understands why Nancy didn’t want to see him again after the altar.
“I understand exactly where she was coming from,” he shares with us. “That was the ultimate moment of our relationship being able to blossom after the altar, and she said yes and I said I do not. Just like she said, it was black and white. I respected her thoughts there, and if she doesn’t want anything to do with me, that makes sense.”
As for his reasons for saying no, Nancy’s comments in season, the finale, and the reunion align with what she tells us in our interview. Bartise stirred up turmoil in their relationship when he brought up their differences of opinions on abortion to his parents and sister within the first moments of their introduction to his fiancée. Later, he implied that was a bombshell moment that happened unexpectedly, acting as if he wasn’t the one to bring it up. The revisionist history of their “conflicts” became Bartise’s argument defending his rejection. Nancy rightly called him out for this in the reunion, saying his being 25 at the time of filming was reflected in his string of immature decisions and behaviors.
“Instead of finding his own reasons for saying no, he pointed the finger at me,” Nancy tells us. Even Bartise admitted to this in the reunion, saying he found himself rooting for a different ending between him and Nancy when watching the season back, again as if he’s just a hapless bystander free of responsibility as the consequences of his decisions (and his decisions alone) played out.
The women wouldn’t let Bartise get off without addressing what happened after the wedding in the reunion. As they revealed to viewers, he went on a grandiose date with a brand-new woman just three days after breaking Nancy’s heart at their wedding. It was a Fourth of July party on a boat, they said, and according to Bartise, he met with that woman to “cope” with Nancy wanting to cut ties completely. But as just about everyone at the reunion (except Cole, Matt Bolton, and Colleen Reed) said, going on a date three days after rejecting Nancy — but claiming to still want to be with her — raised suspicions about his intentions for the whole experiment.
Bartise basically declined to comment on it all, saying he wasn’t comfortable talking about his sex life on camera with the group. But no one asked if they had sex.
Love Is Blind, Season 3, Streaming Now, Netflix