The couple tells EW all about their secret, year-and-a-half relationship since filming ended.

The couple tells EW all about their secret, year-and-a-half relationship since filming ended.

Warning: spoilers ahead for the Love Is Blind season finale.
One of the most shocking moments of Love Is Blinddidn’t actually happen on camera.
Sure, all of Damian and Giannina’s disastrous season finale wedding was caught on film — after flight risk Giannina tearfully said, “I do,” Damian flipped the script and said, “I do not,” prompting Giannina to run away, slipping and falling in mud in her white wedding dress while her mother chased her down. But it turns out their relationship drama continued after production on season 1 of Netflix’s hit reality dating series concluded. was put on after less than a month to determine the future that I wanted with this person, regardless of it’s a month or a year or three years, I wanted to give it another, true, long shot. We’ve been working through it day by day and I’m glad that I gave it a second chance.”
And the time between the failed wedding ceremony and their reconciliation as a couple is shorter than you may think. “It was the same day,” Giannina says, while Damian adds that it happened as soon as “the footage stopped.” And he knows that people will be surprised to find out “that we’re still together after the wedding.” (The public reveal was made during the Love Is Blind reunion special which premiered on Netflix Thursday.)
“It’s hard for people to understand,” he says. “We both had our moments leading up to the wedding where it could be harsh but there were also so many beautiful moments that weren’t shown. Even at the wedding, it wasn’t just Damian saying, ‘I do not,’ to get back at her for all these things, it was literally what I felt was best for us to have a healthy relationship because there was so much stress leading up to that. I was almost afraid like, will this work if we get married? We’re both free spirits, we don’t want to feel contained, I wanted something beautiful with her. I think people will be amazed that we’re still together after the wedding but it’s a year and a half later, we’ve hid our relationship and that hasn’t been easy.”
Below, the couple breaks down their year-and-a-half secret relationship, why they got back together after that dramatic wedding ceremony gone wrong, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is your relationship status right now?
Giannina: He’s my boyfriend and I’m his girlfriend. We’re definitely dating, just taking things at our own pace and enjoying being with each other.
Why did you guys decide to get back together after that finale wedding?
Giannina: There was so much that happened. At the end of the day, the relationship is between you and this person. Who better to understand that than you two? I didn’t want to go through any more hurt without knowing what happened, what is happening, what am I not understanding? I didn’t feel right not talking to him about it. I know that he was going through a lot of hurt too because I know Damian. I love Damian, I know his heart, I know everything about him. I really wanted us to heal together because we had gone through such a big, scary thing and it just didn’t feel right not being together in that moment whether we were going to end it together or not. It was something I wanted to go through with him and just see, are we okay? Are our hearts okay? How do we move on? That’s the person I am — it looks like I like to run which I need to clear my mind but I’m someone who can easily react to something but come to my senses pretty quickly and that’s how I’ve always been. It was a moment of reacting and now how do I move forward. I just move quick.
Damian: [Laughs] Very quick.
All the couples the series followed who got engaged in the pods (aside from Diamond and Carlton) walked down the aisle whether or not they knew they were actually going to get married — did you feel pressure to make it to the altar regardless of how you felt about saying “I do” to each other?
Giannina: The show is: you fall in love with someone and then you get engaged without seeing them. And then once you get engaged, you have a wedding. No one’s making you say, “Yes I’m going to marry you,” but you have to make it to the altar and that’s where you make your decision. We wanted to speak our truth. I went through this experience and I saw my life with him and so obviously that was my decision in the moment. My family was supportive. I didn’t feel so much that I was pressured but just that I was given such a beautiful person I was really standing in my own way some of the times and just really wanted to give my heart to this person.
So Damian, when did you decide not to marry Giannina? Did you consider not walking down the aisle to spare her that embarrassing moment in front of her family and friends?
Damian: That was probably one of the hardest decisions of my life. The tears and emotions are real. When you see her walking down the aisle — and I’ve replayed this scene several times — those were tears of happiness. They weren’t tears of a decision made at that point. She looked so beautiful. When we started exchanging vows, the moment she gave me those vows were the first time I really heard the words I wanted to throughout our journey. Something switched. I was in it all the way through and there were points where she just wasn’t in it. It wasn’t bad, this was just very fast. It was a new experience. I never really thought that I would even get engaged on this show let alone with this girl I had never seen. I did determine while we were living together, “Wow I would marry this woman, I do love her. She’s everything I wanted. She challenges me.” There’s more to it I could say but it works. But in the moment of the wedding, in her vows I heard what I wanted to hear but it was the first time outside the pods. I needed more throughout the experiment, more in our real lives on and off camera to build that strong of a connection to say, “I do.” So that moment when I said, “I do not,” it came out because I was like if this is meant to be, I want it to be on our time. I spoke to her family and her and I feel like we needed more time. We needed to grow and be best friends before we made a lifelong decision like that under the pressure and circumstances of a set wedding. It wasn’t even our dream wedding. It wasn’t how either one of us would have put it together. It was rushed and I don’t want to rush something that could be for a lifetime. It needs time to blossom and be as beautiful as we both know it to be. I made that decision and it was super hard and it tore me apart but here we are a year and a half later and we’re stronger than we’ve ever been. I think it worked out how it should.
Did saying “I do not” at the wedding cause any backlash for your relationship since then?
Damian: [Laughs] I would say I got some backlash from that, for sure.
Giannina: I got over it pretty quickly though. This is something that happened, we talked about it, I don’t want to dwell on it anymore. We’ve all done things in relationships that it wouldn’t do me any good to hold this over someone’s head after choosing to be together with them. I’m not someone to really dwell at all even on something as big as that. I like to learn from things and find a positive learning out of it. I think I really did that. We’re never talking and it’s like, “Well you said no to me.” In the beginning we made jokes like that but it’s very much something we did, something we experienced, and we’ve grown since that.
How has your relationship changed and evolved in real life since filming stopped?
Damian: We still face challenges. Arguments, that doesn’t go away because you’re still learning each other every day. You go from having cameras on you and then you’re out in real life with family and friends, trying to get to know us individually. You’re starting to hang out with your friends together. For me it was a learning curve. She opened my eyes to see a different culture and lifestyle and it took me a while to be open to that. I started to go to more stuff with her friends and went to her cousin’s wedding in Miami and got to do the whole Venezuelan type wedding. Me and her family have gotten along ever since. She came to Thanksgiving with me and my family in the mountains and spent Christmas with us. We’ve had a very normal relationship but our story was shared with the world and we’ve been growing every day outside of that. It still has its challenges but every day we overcome them and be better than we were the day before.
Giannina: I think people will be surprised that we’re actually really funny with each other. We’re pretty fun, we’re super spontaneous, and we crack jokes all day and that wasn’t really caught [on camera].
Damian: She got me out of my social media anxiety. She taught me to love myself again and how to express myself without being stressed out or overwhelmed so I’m thankful for that every day. I showed her how to patch a tire on a car. We go to the gym together. We do a lot of normal couple things.
Have you been watching the episodes on Netflix and if so, what has surprised you the most?
Giannina: You want to go first, Dame?
Damian: No, after you.
Giannina: Aww, thank you. We’ve definitely been watching every single episode. I’ve watched them multiple times. I’m just surprised that they didn’t show more. [Laughs] Because of how in-depth and how special and how we created our experience. There’s a reason why we wanted to fall [in love] and get married in nine days. I’m a little surprised there’s not more of that. But overall I thought it was portrayed as very real to my emotions. It really was a wild ride for me.
Damian: We’re all our own biggest critics. Being there and then being here, we’ve got to remember to love ourselves for who we are and be proud. I felt like there wasn’t enough shown of our beginning story of how our connection really developed and there were key points that led up to our engagement and I really would have liked to see more of that because our beginning story was so beautiful and helped show why we worked our way through so many of those fights. It was very surreal but I’m very happy the feedback we’ve been getting. Overall seeing the way I handled myself in some situations I was very happy with. We were put in unnormal circumstances doing a lifelong experience in such a short time that I wouldn’t go back and handle it in any other way. Everything, at the end of the day, worked out how it should.
What were some of those key points that weren’t captured on camera?
Giannina: Oh my god, I want to answer this one! We had these really beautiful moments where gifts were exchanged, little pieces of you were glimpsed on the other side of the wall. Those were the moments where I felt this was 100 percent meant to be because there’s no way that Damian got this polaroid camera and this really beautiful note and my favorite wine and all of these things that were perfect for me before meeting me. Those were the moments where I was extremely blown away because I felt like we were meant for each other, these moments where I felt like he was reading my mind. It’s so weird to explain but this was truly an experiment and the fact that these really intimate, funny moments where we would joke and he would finish my sentences, we would read our journals to each other and be like, I wrote that too, those were so special to me. That’s what sealed the deal.
Love Is Blind season 1 and reunion special are streaming now on Netflix.
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