With his warm energy and earnest intentions to find a lifelong partner, it was easy to enjoy watching Mark Cuevas on Love Is Blind… but with all his heartbreak throughout the season, it was also hard AF. After seeing Mark and his fiancée, Jessica Batten, struggle to get on the same page with one another — all the way up until their make-or-break moment at the altar — fans are desperate to know if they were able to work things out, or if Mark is single after Love Is Blind.
Warning: Don’t read this post if you haven’t watched the Love Is Blind Season 1 finale, unless you’re looking for a major spoiler. Mark and Jessica’s courtship was one of the most frustrating and nerve-wracking relationships of the season (and considering all the other pairs featured, that’s saying something). They hit it off early on in the pods, but even though Jessica eventually agreed to Mark’s marriage proposal, he wasn’t her first choice (Barnett was), and the rest of the season focused on Jess’ inability to get on board with her future with Mark — who, for his part, had no doubts about his betrothed. This all culminated in their heart-wrenching wedding, during which, when asked the big question at the altar, Mark said "I do," but Jessica said, "I cannot," and left the ceremony.
Fans were crushed to see Mark hurt, but don’t worry — he’s doing just fine. Following the called-off wedding (which was filmed back in November 2018), Mark used his experiences on the show to do some soul-searching, and has come out stronger than before. “I think the one thing I learned was to dive deep, and not just [with] myself but with other people,” he tells Elite Daily. “And setting healthy boundaries, and understanding myself. I think that was something that happened to me during the show — I felt my self-worth kind of get down. Now, I look at myself and I'm very confident. As long as I stick to my character, my morals, and my values, then I feel like I'm 100% confident with myself.”
For anyone holding out hope Mark and Jessica would work things out off-camera, I’ve got news for ya: “I haven't seen her since the wedding,” he reveals. But there don’t seem to be any grudges lingering. “She is a great person, and I think that deep down she just wasn't right for me ... Jess went through her own journey and I went through mine. I have a lot of love for her because of the man I've become now through this whole experience. So did we work out? No. It is what it is. But I was given that opportunity to see who I needed to be and who I need in my life and what type of person I need.”
Mark jokes about the entertainment value of his “emotional torment” on Love Is Blind, but hopes fans can also take away some valuable lessons from his time on the show. “This should give people a wake up call … What I realized through that whole experience is that you can't change someone. You have to take them for who they are. People can change habits, but they can't change who they are to the core … [and] you can't force someone to love you. They either do or they don't and you feel it; you know.”
So, with all this relationship knowledge in his arsenal, is Mark back on the battlefield of love? As of now, he’s “definitely single, 100%,” and is open to exploring new opportunities. “I don't think I completely healed, initially, right after the experience … I realized that I needed to take that time with myself to really figure out what I want.” He says he’d even consider giving reality show dating another shot: “I wouldn't be opposed to it. I love taking chances because only through change do you learn. So if I viewed it as something I believed in, I think I would do it."
For now, though, Mark is still focused on the after-effects of his first public attempt to find love. “I want to be an inspiration to somebody,” he admits. “I know it sounds cheesy, a reality TV star wanting to be inspiring, but this whole thing was a journey … If that's the change that I see in my life, where I'm inspiring people, I feel like then this was a win."