Love is Blind: Zanab Jaffrey reveals why she rejected her fiancé Cole Barnett at the altar

Zabnab was initially blind to all negativity in the relationship because she had been swept off her feet by love.

Love is Blind: Zanab Jaffrey reveals why she rejected her fiancé Cole Barnett at the altar
© Getty/Paras Griffin / Contributor
Love is Blind: Zanab Jaffrey reveals why she rejected her fiancé Cole Barnett at the altar

When ZanabJaffrey, 32, and Cole Barnett, 27, appeared in season three of Netflix's popular reality show Love is Blind, it didn't take long for them to bond in the pods. Zanab did everything possible to please Cole, but it appeared that all her efforts were in vain. Cole didn't seem to pay much attention to Zanab. Instead of appreciating Zanab's efforts, he was apparently too preoccupied with pointing out her flaws, which clearly hurt her.

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Zanab didn’t hide the fact that she loved Cole, but she read very far into the future to realize she would make a big mistake if she went on to marry someone who only continually discredited her. In an interview published by Variety, Zanab said,

You have disrespected me. You have insulted me. You have critiqued me. And, for what it is worth, you have single-handedly shattered my self-confidence.

Hitting the bumps

It didn't take long for the relationship to fall apart when Cole repeatedly rubbed it in Zanab's face that she was a 'nine out of ten,' while claiming Raven Ross and Colleen Reed were '10s'. Zanab told Variety,

You know, 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. 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.

The final straw which broke the camel's back was when he expressed his attraction for Reed while repeatedly saying Jaffrey was not his type of girl. This was the precedent for increasing tension between the two, which resulted in their eventual breakup. Cole told Zanab:

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

Zanab’s self-realization

Finally, the speck in Zanab's eyes was removed when during an argument, Cole asked if she was bipolar. Zanab's soul was wounded. She then began to connect the dots to see how doomed their relationship was and how toxic it will eventually become if she doesn’t end things before it’s too late. She said,

I think weaponizing something like mental health, especially with the stigma around mental health — it’s like how you don’t call a woman crazy. I would never use that. There’s one thing I believe in having conversations: fighting clean, never hitting below the belt, not saying something you can’t take back.

Zanab accused Cole of body shaming, claiming that she altered her eating habits due to his preferences:

The things he was saying to me did hurt. I was somehow trying to make myself desirable to him, whether it be skinnier, or… [pauses and takes a deep breath] I’ve never had someone speak to me that way about my body or eating... 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

Nevertheless, she confessedher disappointment that she couldn’t realize her dreams of getting married to the love of her life. However, it was a good decision she made:

I did leave that relationship broken. I was devastated not to get married. I was sad that I had this great love and it didn’t result in a healthy relationship that turned into a happy marriage. I recognized some stuff on myself that I was like, "Wow, I need to go build myself back up... I need to get back to myself and encourage myself.” So that’s really what I’ve done for the last year.

Looking back on her relationship with Cole, Zanab said she has no regrets about loving him and the experiences she went through while they were dating:

Cole was the only one for me in that experiment. Our reveal, I loved. It was so genuine. I was so happy, and I thought I had met my person. The context of what I was trying to say was that I would do it again and choose him again knowing the outcome. It did send me on a journey. It forced me to dig deeper within myself. I learned so much about myself

Cole, on the other hand, told E News that if given the opportunity, he would have wanted to build on their relationship:

I want to say that I would have said yes, but now that I've seen it, it's so hard for me to say that, "If I wouldn't have said yes, I was hoping our relationship would continue, because one of the things that Zay and I talked about a lot was just the speed of the whole process. Because we were going through all these bumps, but we were working through things and finding smoother waters.

He had nothing to say about his infamous'bipolar' remark.

Sources used:

Variety: 'Love Is Blind’s’ Zanab on How Cole Tried to Control What She Ate and His Preference for White Women: ‘Everyone Heard It’

E News: Love Is Blind's Cole Reveals If He Would Have Said Yes to Zanab on Wedding Day

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