During the first episode of Love Is Blind season 5, Aaliyah, 29, admitted to Uche, 34, that she once cheated on a boyfriend after their sexual intimacy had become stagnant. Uche was immediately taken aback by her honesty, especially when he found out she was a “recent cheater” since the incident occurred only two years before the pod experiment.
Two episodes later, the tables turned after it was revealed that Uche previously dated Lydia Velez Gonzalez ahead of Love Is Blind production. Aaliyah revealed to Us Weekly that, in hindsight, Uche’s efforts to conceal his past were a total “red flag.”
“I think all of us have a past [and] history going into relationships after a certain point in life,” Aaliyah exclusively told Us ahead of the Friday, September 22, premiere of season 5. “We all have things that we’re going to have to work through with a new partner [that’s] not necessarily bringing in a bunch of baggage, but your lessons learned even some traumas and different things that you’re going to have to work through.”
Aaliyah further explained that by sharing her personal experience with infidelity early on in the pods, she was “willing to do” just that. “I know with marriage, you’re navigating a lot,” the ICU travel nurse told Us. “You’re going to have to compromise and work through things. I was open to [discussing the hard truths].”
Because Love Is Blind is a “really expedited process,” Aaliyah noted that participants “have to be sure” about a proposal decision.
While Aaliyah and Uche were initially able to work through her cheating past, they couldn’t move past his former connection with Lydia. In episode four, a teary-eyed Aaliyah finds out from Lydia, 32, just how close the former couple were. Lydia detailed specific memories about Uche’s dog, his three-story home and the Tesla car he owned before revealing that they hooked up a mere three months before the experiment began.
Aaliyah immediately went into the pods to confront Uche about his past relationship with Lydia. “If I wanted to be in a relationship with Lydia, I would be in a relationship with Lydia,” he confessed during the episode.
Uche ultimately planned to propose to Aaliyah, but she chose to leave Love Is Blind early instead.
“It was really just the emotional security that was really lacking for me going into the engagement,” Aaliyah recalled to Us of her decision to walk away from the reality TV show and Uche.
The first four episodes of Love Is Blind season 5 are currently streaming on Netflix. New episodes drop weekly.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi