Aaliyah Cosby and Uche Okoroha hit it off early when they entered the Love Is Blind pods. The ICU travel nurse and the lawyer—who joined the hit reality series as part of the cast of Love Is Blind season 5—bonded quickly, but they also hit perhaps the biggest snag in the show's three-year history of singles dating and falling in love through a wall. The first four episodes ended with a major cliffhanger that puts the couple's future together into question, but do Uche and Aaliyah end up together after it all?
What happens between Aaliyah and Uche on 'Love is Blind' season 5?
From the start, Aaliyah and Uche seemed like they would be season 5's power couple. When they met in the pods, the two Houston residents quickly bonded over their love of poetry and ambitions, as Uche owned a software company and Aaliyah was interested in entrepreneurship. They were very sure of each other from the start, but they had their first argument when Aaliyah told Uche that she had cheated in a previous relationship. Uche was understandably concerned, but he reacted in a very judgmental and defensive manner, which left Aaliyah in tears. (The episode's title "So You're a Recent Cheater?" was his initial reaction, and it pretty much went downhill from there, with him digging in on how selfish her decisions were.)
In their next conversation, Aaliyah told him that his reaction made her uncomfortable, and that she wanted to be able to talk about anything with him and not feel judged for it. Uche apologized for making her feel judged, and explained he reacted that way because he had issues from being lied to in previous relationships. He also confessed that he is falling for Aaliyah, and he would just need honesty from her going forward. The pair decided to stay together and make it work, but their next dilemma would be much harder to overcome.
Throughout their time in the pods, Aaliyah had befriended another female cast member, Lydia Velez Gonzalez. The two became extremely close and Lydia was there for Aaliyah during the argument, comforting her and telling her that Uche might not be the one for her if he would judge you that easily. (Lydia also mentioned multiple times how similar she and Aaliyah are.) After Uche and Aaliyah got back on the right track, Aaliyah admitted to Lydia that she was in love with Uche, and Lydia comforted Aaliyah through her fears that Uche wouldn't like her when they met in person. Then, at the end of episode 3, Uche tells Aaliyah that he has something to confess: He hasn't been completely honest with her. On his first day in the pods, he met someone he had previously dated. Lydia.
Episode 4 starts, and we see the flashback of Lydia recognizing Uche's voice in the pods on day one. After they both get past the surprise, Lydia briefly asks if this is a "blessing in disguise," and if they should try to start over with a clean slate, but Uche says that wouldn't be true to the experiment since they already know what each other looks like. Back to the present day, Uche tells Aaliyah that he broke it off with Lydia after they dated for a few months, and that Lydia's a trustworthy person who deserves to find someone. Aaliyah asks if Uche ever wants to get back with Lydia, but he explains that he didn't have feelings for her as strong as hers was for him. Aaliyah is very conflicted, but she says that she loves both Lydia and Uche, so they'll get through it.
When Aaliyah goes back to the women's quarters and shares the news, Lydia bursts into tears and apologizes. She says that she kept the secret because if she had told Aaliyah, Uche never would have gotten a real chance to get to know her. Lydia also tells her that she met Uche at a really low point in her life, and that it wasn't meant to be, though she "to this day" doesn't know the reason why. As they both point out, it's a very complicated situation, but Aaliyah is determined to stay friends with Lydia... However, things get weird very quickly once Lydia begins oversharing about aspects of Uche's life that he seemingly hasn't even told Aaliyah yet. Though Aaliyah says that she still wants to be surprised, Lydia starts going on about how she "knows everything about" Uche, recalling how his dog Kobe pees every time he sees her, how she's met his friends, how big his house is, what kind of car he drives and what color it is. As Lydia says her favorite whiskey is because of Uche, you can see the overwhelmed expression enter Aaliyah's eyes, and in a testimonial Aaliyah confirms that this is pissing her off. Then, Lydia tells her that the last time she and Uche saw each other was that past January (three months ago, testimonial Aaliyah says), and that they had slept together. Lydia also says that she and Uche had decided to start fresh in the pods, but decided against it when she mentioned they had already seen each other.
When Aaliyah gets back into the pod with Uche, she tells him everything that Lydia said and points out that he left out a lot of details. The part that Aaliyah's most concerned about is Lydia saying they considered "starting from ground zero," and that Uche may not have explained the whole conversation because of this. Uche insists that he has no feelings for Lydia, and that if he wanted to date her, he would be dating her. When Aaliyah explains how she feels having to be in the women's quarters with Lydia, saying that she's "in a cage with her, damn near," Uche responds by saying they need to focus on building their own relationship, and "not letting anyone get in the way of that." The two reconfirm that they are here for each other, and Uche asks what kind of wedding ring she wants.
When Uche arrives at his pod ready to propose to Aaliyah, he's doesn't hear any answer from the other room, until a producer tells him that Aaliyah has decided to leave the show. In a later confessional, one of the show's crew gets Aaliyah on the phone to speak to Uche. She explains through tears that there was an "exchange of words" between her and Lydia that "didn't really go well," and that Lydia kept bringing Uche up whenever the women talked. Uche responds that he's hurt that she left without saying anything to him, and when Aaliyah says that she still wants him, he asks, "Then why aren't you here?" Uche has his faith in the "experiment," saying if they can get through that stressful situation then they can get through anything in their marriage. Aaliyah says she wouldn't leave like this in a marriage, but Uche doesn't agree that the show is not a "normal environment." He adds, "If you can't get through something like this, we would never get to that point."
The conversation then goes back to Lydia, as Aaliyah asks how he didn't know they would both be there. "How do you not know that when she was at your place earlier this year, she didn't see an email and apply to be on this damn show?" she asks. Uche reiterates that he doesn't know how she's here, and that Lydia shouldn't even matter to them. Aaliyah says that it's unfair that he's applying her leaving to their whole relationship when it's something she did to protect herself, but he said that she was only thinking about herself, and that she didn't leave a note of anything. He leaves the conversation there, but that's not the last talk the pair will have.
At the start of episode 7, Aaliyah and Uche meet in person for the first time in Houston. Aaliyah tells him that she's never had a connection like the one she had with him, and that she still wants to marry him. When Uche says that she didn't tell him about any doubt she had, Aaliyah points out that the doubts stemmed from all the information that was coming from Lydia. She felt uncomfortable, and he hadn't responded well when she was vulnerable about her past relationship. Uche admits that he didn't want to badmouth Lydia, but that he should have explained everything clearly. I'll keep the rest of Uche's allegations about Lydia confined to our Lydia and Milton explainer, but Aaliyah does have a great soundbite when she says maybe Lydia and Uche should've just gone on The Ultimatum instead.
As for Aaliyah and Uche, she admits that she regrets leaving the pods, and that she thinks it's still worth trying to mend their relationship. Uche says he can still see himself marrying her, but he still has doubts that they wouldn't be able to get through the stress of marriage if they couldn't get through the experiment. He points out that the pods were how they came together, and that they would communicate and work through their issues instead of shutting down. He also brings up that Aaliyah did not react well after leaving. Apparently, she followed and unfollowed him on Instagram, and after she sent him a voice message, she deleted it and blocked him for two days. He says the real reason she left was that she didn't have confidence in their relationship, and he thinks its over between them. Aaliyah says she understands as tears form in her eyes, and that's the last we see of her.
Did Aaliyah and Uche get back together after the show?
Aaliyah has opened up about her and Uche's split in multiple interviews over the past two weeks, and she broke down what happened behind the scenes in an in-depth interview with Vulture. She explained to the outlet that she didn't feel "100 percent emotionally secure" with Uche, and that she even felt as she was leaving that she thought Uche "wouldn’t have been able to fully understand how I felt." She added, "I probably could have communicated a little more, and that’s the only thing I wish I did differently. I knew in the end that I was going to have to make the decision for myself whether Uche or anybody else understood."
The ICU nurse also revealed that she and Uche did try to make things work offscreen following their recorded meet-up. "When Uche and I first spoke, he was very emotional and angry, and his reaction made me nervous. I didn’t know how much more of that angry response I could handle," she said. "I did prevent communication with him for a little bit, and once I felt like he had calmed down, I opened the lines up. I told him, “Hey, when you’re ready to have a conversation, I’m open to that. We tried to go on dates to see if we could rekindle our relationship, but the trust wasn’t there. I couldn’t tell if he was telling the truth."
When asked whether there's any merit to Uche's claims that Lydia planned to be on the show with him, Aaliyah said that she's not sure, but added that she's "totally at peace" with what she knows, even with the unanswered questions.
While Uche hasn't spoken to any outlets about the season, he did tell all in a public Q&A on his Instagram Stories yesterday. He also confirmed that he and Aaliyah agreed to date outside the show, but he claimed that they actually reconciled at the meeting that was shown in season 5. He wrote that the part where he said "it's over between us" to Aaliyah was a "post-production sound byte," and that they even shared their first kiss at that lunch. (For anyone about to turn on Netflix to check, the camera's pointed at Aaliyah's face at that moment in the show, so we don't see Uche actually saying the line.) Uche also made allegations about Lydia, claiming that it was "100% confirmed" that she followed him onto the show, adding, "I brought up Instagram because this was the method. More on this later." As for Lydia's claim that Uche cheated on her when they were together, Uche wrote that they were never officially together, writing, "We dated for a short time and we were both seeing other people."
What happened at the reunion?
Despite fan expectations that Uche, Aaliyah, and Lydia would all get to say their piece during the reunion, Uche was missing when it came time to film. (He explained on Instagram that he was unable to attend due to a business trip.) Aaliyah confirms during the special episode that she and Uche did date briefly following their last time filming, but she explained that it ended for many reasons."
"I don't think I was his type, ultimately. He mentioned to a few people who were part of the cast that I wasn't the type of woman that he normally found attractive and just based off of everything that I had experienced, I didn't feel like I wanted to chase a relationship with anyone."
She added that, "His tone with me was still so mean and condescending. That's not the person I feel like I talked to in the pods."
Aaliyah also revealed that she's now happily dating someone who treats her "like a queen."
Meanwhile, Uche did give an interview about his and Aaliyah's relationship to People. He repeated his claim that he and Aaliyah actually reunited during that filmed lunch, and went on to say that producers asked if they would continue in the show's process.
"They did invite us back to date as an engaged couple and we said, 'No, we’re going to date off camera,'" he said. "I think because we refused to come back to the show as an engaged couple, they decided to change what happened."
As for the Lydia/Uche of it all, Lydia revealed during the union that she and Uche did have a conversation about him applying for Love Is Blind in November 2021. While Uche continues to claim that Lydia joined the show because of him, Lydia told People that she never had confirmed knowledge that Uche had been chosen for the show. She also claimed that she found out that two of her other exes had applied for the season.
"I didn't have any really evidence [about if Uche] definitely going to be there," she told the outlet. "I'm not going to ruin my own chances of finding my husband because a two-second conversation, it does not make sense. It was a really bad and unfortunate coincidence."
Uche also told the outlet that he's currently in a relationship.
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