Love Is Blind star Bartise Bowden has a lot to say about what went down between him and Nancy Rodriquez after this season of the explosive reality series wrapped filming!
While opening up to Us Weekly on Monday, the reality star insisted he and his former fiancée would still be together if he had said yes on their wedding day — but that’s not necessarily a good thing. He expressed:
That’s part of the reason why I said no, because I only wanna make that decision one time. Let’s say I say ‘yes,’ and we encounter problems or whatever, we’re sticking together.”
Um, yeah. That’s marriage. It kinda sounds like he isn’t ready for that kind of commitment…
While he still had a lot of love for Nancy when he denied her at the altar, he worried about what their relationship would look like in the future. But because of their pasts he knew he would have stuck it out even if they were miserable. He continued:
“Her parents are divorced; my parents are divorced. I’m not going through that. So yes, if I said yes, we would still be together.”
Together, but not happily ever after…
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But, of course, after he shocked everyone by telling her he wasn’t ready on their wedding day, any chance at romance was immediately shut down by Nancy. We mean, come on… you can’t come back from that… right? On where they stand now, he dished:
We took probably three to four weeks [apart] after [our] wedding day. Did not communicate at all. And then a month later, she texted me and said, ‘Hey, can we, like, talk and kind of decompress together and go through everything?’”
The Dallas, Texas native then spent “like five hours” catching up over dinner and drinks — but it did not lead to a rekindled spark, as he explained:
We decided to move forward trying to be friends.
Hey, it’s still great they were able to process everything together. It’s such an important step in letting go and moving on without resentment. And it’s not something every LIB couple can say they’ve been able to accomplish after breaking up.
Innerrestingly, if it had been up to him, though, he says he would have tried to give their love a second chance! Apparently, he never wanted to break up with the real estate investor, he just wasn’t ready to get married:
That was my plan. I was like, ‘I’m not ready to say yes for the rest of my life with you right now, but … if we keep going romantically then, who knows what we could be?’”
Obviously, Nancy wasn’t thrilled with this idea — which she made clear on their would-be wedding day. Somehow, this seemed to confuse him at first, as he explained:
“I’m like, ‘You realize you’re cutting me off right now, even though you just said yes to spending the rest of your life with me. Like, how does that make any sense?’ Which I mean, in hindsight, that was just a very emotional display from her because she reached out to me three weeks later.”
Well, yeah, guy! That’s how bad you blow it! Couples do not survive being jilted at the altar! We’re surprised they can even be friends tbh. Well, about that…
Despite trying to be friendly, Bartise admits he would only consider them “cordial work acquaintances” these days, and that’s largely because they’ve both moved on relationship-wise. He noted:
“Fast forward a few more months, [and] now we’re both in other relationships. And I found it hard to maintain the level of friendship that Nancy wanted with me while I was also trying to be respectful of a new girl I was dating because, you know, she would get jealous that I was talking to Nancy.”
Understandable. They were engaged, after all!
While he didn’t end up a married man after the Love Is Blind experiment, the 27-year-old still thinks it worked:
“I think the goal for everybody is to find out, can you fall in love with somebody based on who they are on the inside and have somebody fall in love with you for who you are on the inside? So, I think for me… the show worked. It didn’t end in marriage; however, the show is not a failure for me or for Nancy.”
Well, maybe don’t speak for her on that one…
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Bartise also dished on some other hot topics involving his cast members! First, there’s the shocking split between Sikiru “SK” Alagbada and Raven Ross, who Bartise was actually linked to in the pods for a bit. While the couple didn’t get married, they announced they were back together during the reunion… only to break up over the weekend after several women came forward claiming SK had cheated on Raven!
This is particularly noteworthy for Bartise since during the series he was caught on camera gushing about his feelings for Raven in front of Nancy (oof!). When asked what it was like to watch the moment back, he said:
“It was definitely hard and … embarrassing to watch [that conversation]. … I definitely feel bad about that.”
So what does he think about the couple’s dramatic split? While he didn’t have “a whole lot of thoughts” on the controversy, he did share:
“Their relationship really was, like, the most secretive I guess. […] It’s not my spot to reach out to them. I’ve come in between their relationship, you know, plenty of times already.”
Ha! Seems like he’s gotten more mature throughout this process!
Meanwhile, he also stuck up for his co-star Cole Barnett who was called out by fiancée Zanab Jeffrey during the reunion for destroying her self-esteem — in part by body-shaming her. In one instance, she claimed he criticized her decision to eat two clementines (AKA “cuties”) before a big dinner. The scene has caused TONS of controversy — and, interestingly, the internet has largely sided with Cole while the LIB ladies, Alexa Alfia (and her husband Brennan Lemieux), Colleen Reed, and Raven, has stood by Zay, writing supportive messages on social media. What does Bartise think about all of this? He suggested the incident was just “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” adding:
“I don’t think it looks bad for Cole at all. Zanab is not the most secure woman as it is, so, like, that is gonna be an issue for her.”
Yeesh. He’s really blaming this all on Zanab?? Ouch. Guess his loyalty lies with Cole! Hear him discuss the Love Is Blind drama in more detail (below)!
Reactions, perezcious readers? Do you think it’s good Nancy and Bartise didn’t get married? Sound OFF (below)!
[Image via Netflix]