Each season of LIB has a couple whose time in the pods is (relatively) smooth sailing, and for season 5 of Love Is Blind, that's Taylor Rue and "Jared" JP Pierce. The two Houston locals make a quick connection when they begin dating through a pod wall, and soon they're exchanging adorably cringe pet names and going all in on their relationship. The pair became one of the three couples to leave the pods engaged, but time will tell whether they make it to the altar, as well as whether their possible marriage has stood strong for a year after filming.
What happens between Taylor and JP on 'Love is Blind' season 5?
In the tradition of drama-free couples like Lauren and Cameron and Brett and Tiffany, Taylor and JP received the meant-to-be edit in season 5's first four episodes. The kindergarten teacher and the firefighter easily bonded as they discussed their families, insecurities, and life goals. (In one sweet coincidence, JP attended the same school Taylor currently teaches at, back when he was a kid.) Their personalities were a good match, with Taylor being a bit more bubbly and talkative than quiet JP. Maybe the perfect example of how they complemented each other is the aforementioned pet names; after a conversation about what names either prefers, Taylor quickly starts calling JP "sugar butt," while JP goes with the more subdued "sugar." It's just cute enough to cut through the cringe, and it makes sense when the couple decides to go fully in on their budding relationship. By episode 2, they're the first couple to get engaged.
When they meet each other in person for the first time, things get surprisingly awkward. (Though, I firmly believe there's no way the LIB reveals can help but be at least a little mortifying.) After they hug and kiss and he does the whole down-on-one-knee thing, they sit down and discuss whether they're surprised about the way each other looks. (They also make a joke about Taylor's false eyelashes.) It also becomes clear that Taylor's doing most of the talking, as she fills some lengthy pauses. In a testimonial, Taylor admits that she did most of the talking in the pods, and it looks like they'll have a bit more work to do to become more natural together in person. Still, they both seem excited for the next step in their engagement.
Unfortunately, the awkward silence lingers when they arrive in Mexico, until it seemingly builds into a wall that keeps the now-engaged couple from connecting. When they arrive in their suite, Taylor brings up how awkward she felt during the reveal, but JP says that they'll be able to move past the awkwardness. Then, in the hot tub (where JP shows his penchant for clothing featuring the American flag), she brings up their stagnant conversation and tells him they need to talk more, but JP, after saying he's "in it to win it," still won't open up. During a confessional, a crying Taylor sats that she's "frustrated" because she's the only one trying to communicate.
Over the next few days, Taylor continues to bring up their communication issue while JP keeps brushing it off. During the group beach day, she points out that the other couples seem more invested in each other, and he says "f— that" and walks off. While during an ATV excursion, he admits that he felt more comfortable in the pods, but says he thinks their relationship will improve once they get to Houston. In a confessional, he says that he felt that Taylor wanted to leave as soon as they got to Mexico, and he tells her to her face that his only fear is her leaving him.
Finally, when Taylor again brings up how disconnected they feel that night, JP gives a reason for why their communication had been so bad for the past three days. He admits that he wasn't attracted to her at the reveal, and says that she she seemed "fake" with makeup "caked" on her face. "I understand that you tried to present yourself and look as best you could, but I feel like if you would've presented yourself like this, without any makeup, it would have been better," he adds.
Taylor is shocked and confused (as I was while watching), and explains to him that she wore makeup because she wanted to look and feel her best the first time she saw him. She also points out that the only time she wore makeup so far was during the reveal, and he admits that's what started the awkwardness. (And he wasn't able to work past it over three days??) Taylor asks if that one moment was enough to make him forget how to communicate for several days, and his response (besides "yes") is, "Just don't wear makeup." An annoyed Taylor pushes back on this, saying that he's not going to tell her what to do, and she leaves to spend the night in a different room.
When they meet in the hotel lobby the next day (the day they're set to leave for Houston, if editing is accurate), JP says that they still have love for each other from the pods and that he still wants to work on their relationship and try to get past their issues. However, Taylor says that he's not the same person she fell for in the pods, and that their relationship was completely different now. She adds that the trip has felt "forced," and that the makeup thing feels like an excuse. After thinking about it for a night, she says, "I don't think we should be engaged. Don't think we should live together. I’m done," before she puts the ring on the table, and they part ways.
Did Taylor and JP get together after the show?
Taylor opened up about the split following the release of episodes 5-7, telling Entertainment Weekly that she still doesn't entirely know why their in-person reveal made JP completely close off.
"I was confused because I don't know how you could just shut yourself off because of the way somebody looks when you had built such a great emotional connection beforehand," she told the outlet. "I also don't think he was being completely transparent about everything. I think there's a deeper issue there — still don't know what it is. I plan to figure it out. But it was hurtful. He put the blame on somebody for the way they look. I took so long to get ready that day to look good for him, and then he basically told me I didn't look good."
She added that she quickly realized that she wouldn't be able to get through the rest of the LIB process, and that their relationship likely wouldn't have improved if they continued.
"I knew that I had to move home with him, and for me, I've never lived with a guy before. That's a big deal, a big step in a relationship. I did not think him and I were ready for that. The situation wasn't getting any better. I thought it would after our conversation, but honestly it just got worse. I wasn't a 100 percent in it and I don't think he was either."
While Taylor spoke with several outlets, JP only spoke on the split in an interview with Netflix's Tudum. While speaking to the outlet, the firefighter admitted that he could have expressed himself better during that conversation. "In hindsight, what I said and the way I said it might not have conveyed what I was really feeling. She took it as an insult, but I was trying to be genuine and say, 'Hey, I think you look really pretty without makeup, and if you’re trying to impress me, you don’t really need the whole facade to make yourself look good for me.' But it didn’t come off that way," he said.
As for whether they ever reconciled after filming, the pair revealed that they haven't spoken since the day they left Mexico, apart from exchanging a few texts. (They also follow each other on Instagram.) They both acknowledge that they ended things without a sense of resolution, which means that they'll have a lot to talk about during the upcoming reunion. Also, Taylor assured that "nothing’s changed about [her] makeup."
What happened at the reunion?
Both JP and Taylor attend the reunion taping, where the pair's topic of conversation centered around their awkward Mexico trip. When asked to explain his state of mind at the time, JP says that he had been nervous around the cameras, and that Taylor "didn't try while they were in Mexico. However, Taylor pushes back that she did try, and the way he refused to communicate at the time wasn't okay.
"I felt like I did try. I was basically pulling things out of him in Mexico and it was still not enough," Taylor says. JP then responds, "That's not the way to get me to open up, to keep hounding me."
Taylor goes on to say again that she believes JP wasn't attracted to her at all after they met in person. "I don't think that he was attracted to me from the second we met each other," she says. "He gave me zero validation, when I asked about our future, he didn't answer... and on top of that, you belittled me and made me feel less than I am."
Though JP doubles down on saying Taylor seemed "fake" during the reveal, he does apologize for his words, telling Taylor, "I genuinely wanted to let you know that I think you're beautiful without makeup." Taylor accepts his apology, and they both confirm that they're happily seeing other people.
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