Let’s Break Down Cole & Zanab’s Love Is Blind Reunion Drama
Including that clementine scene.
Spoilers to follow for Love Is Blind’s wedding and reunion episodes. You can always count on Love Is Blind’s final episodes to deliver on the tea, and Season 3’s reunion was no exception. In the special, which dropped Nov. 9 on Netflix, the cast shared updates about their love lives in the months since filming — and rehashed the buzziest moments from the show. The messiest revelations came from Cole Barnett and Zanab Jaffrey, who contradicted each other about why their relationship didn’t work out.
ICYMI, Zanab and Cole’s wedding was a major plot twist moment of the season. When Zanab said “I don’t” at the altar and told Cole he had “shattered [her] self-confidence,” Cole was blindsided by this accusation. “Why has she never said that to my face?” he wondered after the wedding. “She chose now because she knew it would hurt more in front of all my friends and family.” For Zanab’s part, she said that even though she loved Cole, she couldn’t get past the way he made her feel bad about herself. “My forever love isn’t supposed to feel the way I felt,” she told her mom that day.
Based on how they left things, it was pretty obvious they still needed to have some tough conversations about what went down — and that’s exactly what happened at the reunion. A lot was said, so if you’re confused, fear not. Here’s a full breakdown of Cole and Zanab’s LIB reunion drama.
1. Zanab claimed Cole didn’t apologize for flirting with Colleen at the pool party until “weeks later.” Cole said she was lying.
During an all-cast pool party shown in Episode 5, Cole told another contestant on the show, Colleen Reed, that she was the “type of girl [he] would approach at a bar.” This was only the start of numerous comments he made about Colleen’s appearance — many of them right in front of Zanab. (In one scene, he literally rated Colleen’s looks as “a 10” while calling Zanab “a 9.” Understandably, that was hurtful to her.) At the reunion, Cole said he apologized for his inappropriate comments that same night, but Zanab disagreed. “I didn’t get an apology from you until dinner weeks later,” she said. Cole countered, “I think that you’re lying to say that I didn’t apologize for two weeks.”
2. Zanab accused Cole of asking for another girl’s phone number at the cast bachelor party.
When Raven Ross mentioned that Cole had “gotten a girl’s number” at the cast bachelor party before the weddings, Cole denied it, but Zanab backed her up. “Cole, you told me that the night before our wedding,” she said. “We didn’t see a single girl,” Cole replied. “I’m not trying to hurt you right now, [but] you’re making up a story.” Host Vanessa Lachey was perplexed. “Cole, do you really not remember this or is she making this up?” she asked. “This is literally impossible. I don’t know what to say, Zay,” he replied. The other guys didn’t provide clarification about whether they had seen anything go down.
3. Zanab said Cole body-shamed her during their relationship, and claimed a lot of his comments about her appearance weren’t aired.
After Cole denied telling Zanab he got a girl’s number at the bachelor party, she said it was to his benefit that the footage wasn’t aired. “That is your saving grace, Cole… is that they did not use it,” she said. “So much of that stuff — the pushing food away from me, asking if I’m gonna eat that, trying to get me to order a salad, the daily comments about my face and my body were not used. And that’s great because it really did protect you. And you are now denying it and now calling me a liar in front of all these people.”
4. Zanab revealed that she still had hope for their relationship the morning of the wedding.
Apparently, Zanab wasn’t sure of her decision to say “I don’t” until the last minute. “Wedding day morning, I still wanted to fight for [the relationship],” she told Cole during the reunion. “I was so concerned about you because I still cared so much.” Cole seemed confused, asking her why she stayed in the relationship for so long if she thought he was treating her badly. “You know I was doing my best to work things out with you,” he said. She responded, “I could have dragged you for everything … I still don’t think you’re a bad guy. You treated me badly, but I do not think you’re a bad guy.”
5. Cole said he expected Zanab to reach out to clear the air after the wedding.
Cole admitted that he thought he would hear from Zanab after their wedding day. He recalled a conversation with his friends that day: “I was like, ‘Guys, that’s not her. She’s gonna text me. I think she got caught up in the moment or the TV.’” He continued, “I was just crushed and I was expecting her to reach out to me, and if she didn’t, I wasn’t going to reach out to her because then I knew that I had just been fooled.” Zanab confirmed the two hadn’t spoken since their wedding day.
6. Zanab said she didn’t regret her relationship with Cole.
At one point, Nick and Vanessa Lachey asked the cast if any of them regretted their experience, and Cole said he did. “If I destroyed someone’s self-esteem, then I regret it.” Zanab said she had forgiven him. “I forgave you the moment I walked away from you at the altar … I loved you very, very much, and I wanted to get married. I did. But you and me, it wasn’t good.” She told him she didn’t regret their relationship. “There was no one else in this experiment that I would have done this with,” she said. “It was always Cole or bust.”
7. The show aired unseen footage where Cole asked Zanab why she was eating two clementines before dinner.
During the reunion, Zanab repeatedly claimed Cole made comments about her body. “I stopped eating,” she said. “I was eating like a banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter just so I wouldn’t pass out on the long days we were filming.” Cole claimed he “never once cared about what [she] ate,” and Zanab repeated her assertion that he was lucky they didn’t air footage of his comments. “If you have it, please air it,” Cole said — hence the clementine scene, which did back up Zanab’s side of the story.
Ooof. While Cole and Zanab didn’t resolve most of their disagreements, it does sound like they gained perspective on why things didn’t work out. Now that the season is over, hopefully they’ll both be able to move on to relationships better suited for their needs.