MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Let's face it - we're all looking for entertainment now that so many of us are locked down in our homes for who knows how long. And one show millions of people have been streaming over the past month is "Love Is Blind" from Netflix. It's a reality show where people date while never actually seeing each other. They communicate through walls, each person in their own pod. Only the couples who commit to a relationship and get engaged are allowed to meet in person.
Sounds crazy, right? But somehow, a little less far-fetched now that the coronavirus pandemic has forced so many people to live in isolation. OK, spoiler alert. We're going to talk now to a couple who met on the show and got married, and they are still married after more than a year after filming ended. They are Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed, and they are with us now from their home in Atlanta.
Welcome to you both. Thank you both so much for joining us. And congratulations.
LAUREN SPEED: Thank you so much.
CAMERON HAMILTON: Thank you for having us.
SPEED: Thank you for having us.
MARTIN: So how are you all doing right now? Are you sort of self-isolating some kind of way?
SPEED: We definitely are, you know, holding it down in self-isolation, trying to keep ourselves busy with, you know, working from home and playing with our dog, trying to teach him some new tricks (laughter), trying new recipes - all types of things just to keep ourselves busy.
MARTIN: Enforced nesting...
SPEED: Yes (laughter).
MARTIN: ...Not so terrible for newlyweds. OK. So is there anything that you think you learned from your experience on "Love Is Blind" that you think might be particularly helpful right now. You're isolated from somebody - I mean, you kind of had...
MARTIN: ...This weird experience that a lot of people are now having, even though they didn't pick it, which is - you've got to - if you're not partnered - let's put it that way - and you want to meet somebody, is there something you think you learned that might be helpful?
HAMILTON: Yeah. I think the power of communication is key here and truly listening to what the other person has to say. I mean, it's easy to hear them, but to really focus in and take a beat and try to process what they're saying and respond to that. I also went into it realizing that, hey, what I had been doing in the past wasn't working. I wasn't finding a relationship that was mutually fulfilling.
So I kind of had written down some of the biggest things I wanted to ask a potential partner, such as, you know, what's something that you've done that you're ashamed of? Or what do you really need in your partner in terms of attributes to feel like you could have a lifelong commitment? What are your biggest aspirations? We take it for granted that maybe people talk about these. But I think if you really ask people, they may not have ever broached these topics with their significant other.
MARTIN: Lauren, what about you?
SPEED: Well, pretty much I really do agree with what Cameron said. I mean, just the communication is everything. For me, basically just putting out the things that were priorities to me right up front, you know? Not holding back the things that I wanted out of a husband, children, how soon I wanted to do that. Like Cameron said, talk about their phobias, the things that motivate them.
And typically, you know, on the first date, you don't really talk about all those things. Usually, you kind of try to reserve yourself back. And maybe - I like to say some people even present a representative, right - not fully themselves, but someone that they think that other people may like or be attracted to. So I really, you know, enjoyed that I had to just really put myself out there right up front.
MARTIN: I've heard you say, you know, in a way, you did it backwards - is that you kind of got married and then you really fell in love, right - in a real way. Did the way you meet - the way you met and developed your relationship - do you think it informs the way you interact now as a couple? Cameron.
HAMILTON: Yeah, that's a great question. I think that we built a foundation in the pods based on tackling some really challenging questions first. And then, when we moved outside of that, it was a matter of building our relationship in the everyday sense. And we've been married for a year and a half now, so we've had a chance to really come into our own in our marriage and just continue growing.
SPEED: Really, now that we're married, you know, in the past year and a half, I really got to have fun and date and enjoy each other and meet each other's families. And, you know, it's not like we had things that - I don't want to say were hidden, but we know everything up front, you know?
And, like Cameron said, in a lot of relationships and even sometimes marriages, you will be surprised. People don't discuss tough stuff until two, three years into the marriage, right, which is crazy. So, luckily for us, you know, we kind of got all that up front. And, you know, yeah, we're just continuing to grow and flourish into our marriage.
MARTIN: Before we let each of you go, is there - I want to kind of loop back to where we started at the beginning, which is advice that you might have for other people who obviously aren't going to be on a reality show but who...
MARTIN: ...Do want to find somebody important. Because you can see a situation where you might have a hard time (laughter) saying to somebody you just met, I would like to have three kids. You know what I mean? I mean...
MARTIN: I don't know.
MARTIN: I mean, that might be tough for some people. Or I would like to retire at 50, right? So...
MARTIN: Can you think of something that might be applicable if you were perhaps advising maybe somebody in your family who would like to kind of skip the superficial part and get...
MARTIN: ...To the core of the thing but who doesn't have all those - the backstops that you all had, which was...
MARTIN: ...Like, a psychological evaluation (laughter) - I mean, multiple interviews.
MARTIN: There was a vetting process. What do you think? Lauren.
SPEED: Right. I actually definitely encourage people - I mean, I know that no one will - is probably gutsy enough to say on the first date, hey, I want to have three kids, and are you down?
SPEED: You know, that type of thing. But I for sure encourage people to prioritize the things in your life. Like, if you're dating someone, and if you're really looking for a long-term partner out of - you know, outside of just having fun with someone - and if those things are important to you, then lay it on the line - maybe not the first date, but maybe the second or third, OK (laughter)? Like, once you get to know someone...
SPEED: Because if they're really not a fit for what you want in your life, then why pursue it just because they're attractive? And, you know, sometimes through life, when you do fall in love with people, you're willing to adjust things to that person. But, you know, I say don't settle. You know, stick to your guns and really go after your, quote-unquote, "fairy tale," as I say. You know what I'm saying?
SPEED: Because honestly, I do believe that there's somebody out there for everybody.
MARTIN: That's Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed. They met on the Netflix dating show "Love Is Blind." They were fan favorites...
MARTIN: ...And they are now a married couple. Thank you both so much for talking with us.
Congratulations once again.
HAMILTON: Thank you so much.
SPEED: Thank you very much.
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