Laying it all out there, even with cameras around, turned out to be surprisingly easy for them. “After we got over the initial shock—like, ‘Oh my God, there are cameras’—and once you really throw yourself into it, they just melt away,” Speed says. “You start focusing on what’s there in the center, and then the cameras are almost an afterthought. It’s just the background, like the wall or a painting or a light fixture. It’s there, you know it’s there, but it’s not the center of your focus.”
Hamilton and Speed focused on each other for the majority of Love Is Blind. They didn’t have eyes for anyone else, unlike some of their costars. “I had a lot of dates with Mark, Damian, and Cameron,” Speed says. “Once I knew that my connection was with Cameron, I would just be on the dates with them like, ‘So how’s Cameron doing? What is he saying about me over there? What’s he wearing today?'”
Adds Hamilton, “You had to use whatever resources you could to get information. We wanted more time. Even though we had these four- or five-hour dates, we still wanted more time.”
When Speed and Hamilton were talking to each other, those hour-long dates flew by. But with other people, not so much. There were plenty of awkward silences, they say, and even napping during dates that were just blah.
“If we were with someone and the connection wasn’t quite romantic but you still have three hours, we would take naps,” Speed says. “We would be like, ‘Let’s take a date nap. Just do that. Let’s rest up because we know that there’s no romance here.'”
Obviously, there was romance with Hamilton and Speed. Sparks flew quickly—and intensely. By their second date, they say, they knew it was love. Watching them rehash this only proves their feelings more. They finish each other’s sentences, bubbling with excitement at the other’s thoughts.
“The day we both talked about family and cried together for the first time,” Hamilton says, with Speed jumping in right after, “That was it for me.”
Hamilton then adds, “Yeah, that’s when we realized, ‘Holy shit, this is real.'” Speed completes his thought. “These are real feelings I’ve never felt,” she says. “This is scary. Almost terrifying. I really am starting to feel something now. Oh shit.”
Their feelings for each other were so authentic, they say, that not much changed when the cameras stopped rolling. When I ask what surprised them most about their relationship after the show ended, they give me a comforting answer: nothing.