Warning: This post contains spoilers for Love Is Blind season 4.
A mistake to begin with? While Zack Goytowski and Irina Solomonova’s Love Is Blind engagement did not make it past the couple’s post-pod vacation, the writing had been on the wall from the start.
“I would say I made a mistake with not picking Bliss [Poureetezadi in the first place], and I think that was the real mistake,” Zack, 31, exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the Love Is Blind season 4 premiere on Friday, March 24. “I knew that when I ended it [with Irina] and was kind of dealing with that. I don’t know how much you could see of the turmoil that I was going through, but when I did end it, then my very first thing was I wanted to go and tell [producers] to bring [Bliss] back and that I had made the wrong choice, but I knew I had to live with the decision.”
The criminal defense attorney, one of the suitors on Love Is Blind season 4, was initially torn between his feelings for Irina, 26, and Bliss, 33, in the pods. After weighing his proposal options, he ultimately dumped the senior program manager for Irina. “At that point, I had fallen in love with two different people and I made a choice and I was gonna go forward with that choice,” Zack told Us earlier this month. “So yeah, that was how I felt.”
The Solo boutique owner, for her part, happily accepted Zack’s proposal after a slightly off-key serenade in the pods. However, their emotional pod connection was slow to transition into the real world as Irina wanted to wait to explore their physical intimacy.
“I think there’s a reason that we chose each other, in that sense, and I knew that it was gonna be difficult seeing him in general. We talked about it,” Irina — who even sported her engagement ring on her pointer and middle fingers, respectively — confessed to Us in March. “We talked about that I [didn’t] think I’d want to kiss him or have sex before marriage.”
She added: “[Meeting him] was a lot more challenging than I thought it was gonna be. Like, it was really hard to connect the connection we made in the pods versus being together. I will say that when I saw him it wasn’t anything about his looks or anything, but I just had this gut feeling that something just didn’t feel right and I didn’t feel safe or comfortable. … It was just something that grew and I feel I was kinda trying to force or pressure myself to feel these feelings for him.”
Zack, who could sense that his fiancée wasn’t feeling a romantic vibe, frequently questioned where Irina was at in the fourth and fifth episodes of Love Is Blind season 4. The Russia native, for her part, kept quiet about her emotions to his face but confided in pal Micah Lussier that she got a “major ick” whenever the lawyer attempted to touch her. Irina eventually told Zack that she did not want to sit beside him on their flight home from the Mexican getaway, leading the Seattle resident to ask if they should “call it” on their relationship.
“It sucks. I do think, like, you’re a really — I’m not done talking,” Irina told him during the episode, jumping in after Zack interrupted to ask if they could stay friends. “I still know that you’re one of the best people that I met. I loved our second day talking, like, my heart was just like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ … I just hope you know I don’t have any regrets.”
Irina further revealed that having a five-minute conversation with Micah’s fiancé, Paul Peden, made her see the light.
“I think maybe after I saw Paul — because I had an easy energy feeling with Paul — that I was like, ‘Wow, I really wanna have what I have with Paul [with my future husband],” Irina explained to Us of trusting her gut to break off her engagement, noting she did have an “amazing” pod connection with Zack. “I just felt, like, even [if Paul is just] a friend, I’m trying so hard with Zack and I don’t have that [same feeling], and I wanna have that in my future and with my future spouse.”
Once the now-exes returned home to Seattle, Zack was keen to reunite with Bliss. “I made the wrong choice. You know I did, and [You] did too,” he said after coming face-to-face with the yoga enthusiast for the first time. The episode cut to black before Bliss could respond, revealing a “To Be Continued” graphic on the screen.
The first five episodes of Love Is Blind are currently streaming. New episodes drop on Fridays.
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With reporting by Christina Garibaldi