Warning: This article contains spoilers about the Love Is Blind season 5 finale.
“I’ve got nothing say to Uche,” Lydia tells EW. “He can go on and spread his lies, just keep me out of it. I know you’re lying, and that’s the end of it. Our relationship was [over] that day that I told you, ‘This is the last time you were going to see my face.’ I kept my promise. I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to talk to you, I don’t want to do anything with you. And if you are truly happy, you wouldn’t have my name in your mouth. Move on. It seems a little obsessive.”
In a first for the Netflix reality franchise, two contestants realized during their pod date that they had previously dated in the real world. While they didn’t continue to date in the pods, their past became a major issue when Lydia’s pod BFF Aaliyah fell in love with Uche. Neither of them told Aaliyah the truth until Uche dropped the bombshell on her as he was ready to propose. When Aaliyah confronted Lydia, Lydia proceeded to tell her details about Uche and their history against Aaliyah’s wishes, and Aaliyah ultimately left the show. Later in the season, Uche confronted Lydia and her fiancé Milton with allegations against Lydia claiming she was stalking him during their relationship and went on the show to be with him.
“I went in to find love. I went in to find my husband, and that’s all I care about,” Lydia tells EW. “No, I did not know that Uche was going to be on the show. Get it loud and clear. Do I need to repeat it?”
However, Lydia adds that she did discuss with Uche the fact that Love Is Blind was casting singles from their city. “Uche and I had a conversation, it was a two-second conversation, ‘Oh yeah, I applied to this,’ and I was like, ‘I did too. I got the call too,'” she says. “But it was so early on in the process, I didn’t think ever about it again. We never mentioned it again and I never thought that it was going to be this weird coincidence to have him there. Obviously, Aaliyah had formed her own conclusions about me. Unfortunate, but it is what it is.”
Lydia confirms that she and Uche had seriously dated, broken up, and then “were in an on-and-off situationship” before things ended again three months before filming began for season 5. And when she realized Uche was on a pod date with her early on in the process, she claims she was not happy about it.
“This is not ideal. This is not what I wanted,” she says. “You don’t want to find out that that person that you used to date was on the show. It’s so uncomfortable and such an unfortunate situation for everybody involved. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what should I do?’ At that moment, they haven’t taken us out of the pod yet. There was a lot of baggage in our relationship, and most of it was the lack of communication on his end.”
Lydia says that she was the one who ended things before filming began. “I decided, ‘Nope. I don’t want to see you again. I cannot keep doing this,'” she adds. “That was it, that was the last time I heard from him. I blocked him. At that time, I didn’t have confirmation about the show, so I was like, ‘I’m going to go on with my life and forget about it.’ When I recognized his voice, I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ I tried to let him guide it, and he was the one that said, ‘Is this a sign?’ That’s why I’m like, ‘Should we scratch everything and just start from zero?’ I will say that there was a comfort zone there. Now he’s creating all these lies and stories, and it doesn’t make sense what he’s alleging now.”
Keeping the truth a secret from Aaliyah wasn’t what Lydia wanted to do, but producers told her she couldn’t reveal her history with Uche. “You see it when she’s sitting right next to me and she’s telling me details and I’m like, ‘Damn, she is really falling in love with this guy and I cannot say anything and she’s confiding in me,'” Lydia says. “What was I supposed to do? Push her away? I am not that person, and some part of me was feeling empathetic to her feelings. It was just me being genuinely a good friend. That’s what I was trying to be.”
Lydia understands why she wasn’t allowed to tell Aaliyah the truth sooner, but hates how that resulted in Aaliyah feeling betrayed. “They were trying to save the experiment, and I can see it because I was friends with all the girls, not just with Aaliyah, and I would’ve been like, ‘By the way, I used to date him,'” she says. “No, it would’ve completely changed the dynamic. The hate has been really bad, but I took that huge responsibility when they were like, ‘Do you want to go home or you want to stay?’ And I told the executive producer, ‘My husband is here. I know it. Please give me a chance. I’ll make sure that I’m not going to say anything.'”
The moment Aaliyah told Lydia she didn’t want to know details about Uche only for Lydia to not respect her boundaries is something that still haunts Lydia. “Oh my God, that conversation,” Lydia says with a groan. “I see that episode and it does hurt my feelings the way that it was put out to the viewers. The editors were trying to have a huge hour-long conversation and try to put it in a summarized way in five minutes. That was not it.”
Lydia claims that Aaliyah actually did ask her questions about Uche, despite how the conversation looks in the episode. “She was like, ‘I want to know your perspective. I want to know your story,'” Lydia says. “She told me that she wanted me in her kid’s life. It was just too much. I’m going to give myself grace. I was trying to do the best for everybody involved, including my ex.”
Looking back on it now, Lydia says her only regret is how that conversation with Aaliyah went. “One of the sad things is that conversation, that small thing, has tainted my whole experience, which was the purpose of finding love,” she adds. “And I did. And that is the celebration that we should have. Not talking about and paying attention to a five minute conversation that you saw on TV. I found love, let’s celebrate love!”
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