Lydia Velez Gonzalez may just be Love Is Blind’s most unexpected success story. The 32-year-old geologist’s journey on the show dealt her an ex-boyfriend, a friendship breakup, and a relationship that looked to many like it could crumble at the altar. Instead, she and now-husband Milton Johnson emerged victorious, both in the wedding episode, where they were the only couple to say “I do,” as well as the reunion a year and a half later, where they seemed the sanest and most put-together duo.
“I think everyone handled it the best way that they could,” she says when asked about her unique experience at the reunion. “It was unfair to Aaliyah, it was unfair to Uche, it was unfair to Milton, and it was unfair to me, and I think the public is a little too quick to judge.”
Gonzalez remains loved-up but still sensitive to the drama between her, Uche Okoroha, and Aaliyah Cosby (Okoroha skipped the reunion while Cosby attended to let Gonzalez apologize to her). However, she’s totally unbothered by the social-media speculation about her intentions on joining Netflix’s famous dating experiment. Even though she lays it all out to the cast and hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey in the reunion, we had a few more questions for the Lydia hive about Uche, Aaliyah, and Milton.
I was so pleased to see that you had emerged victorious from all this in the reunion because I feel like you did have to go through a lot of —
I went through hell. [Laughs.]
What was the most difficult thing to watch back, and what was the most exciting?
The most difficult thing to watch is definitely my scene with Aaliyah, and the most exciting … wedding day.
Your conversation with Aaliyah is one of the more powerful parts of the reunion. You were both hurt by the same person, and the worst part of all of it is that he took away this blossoming friendship. Have you and Aaliyah connected since? Do you think there’s a chance that you’d be able to resume that friendship?
Everything that we both went through was really hard and hurtful. A lot of people have not seen the full story of what really happened with Aaliyah. All I can say is I wish her the best, and it’s really unfortunate to see it back because it would’ve been a great friendship.
Is there anything you can share that we didn’t see?
One of the things that I want to clarify is it was not a five-minute conversation where I was just blabbing my mouth, because even while I was watching, I was like, “Sh!” This did not happen like this. First, we reunited. We calm down, we stand up, we tell the rest of the girls, we come back to the couch, like all of these things happened, and she had questions. She wanted to know my perspective. So that’s what I was trying to do, first and foremost as a friend that I had bonded with really early on, even before the whole Uche thing. I didn’t know who he was gonna end up with. Come on, people. At the end of the day, it is what it is.
Uche wasn’t at the reunion, but he has been vocal on Instagram Stories. If he had been there, is there anything you would’ve wanted to say to him?
I don’t have anything else to say to him. He can form his own conclusions. He can spread lies, ’cause golly, I don’t know how you sleep at night saying so many lies! But at the end of the day, that scene you all saw with me at the barbecue saying, “This is the last time you’ll ever see my face,” I kept to my promise. It’s the last time he saw my face. And I wish that that was the last time he had my name in his mouth. I don’t wanna be there.
What was going through your head during that conversation with Uche when he was showing you screenshots? Is there anything you want to clarify?
First of all, I wanna clear this out about the “Lydia driving to his house thing.” We were having a conversation that day, like I was in a bar that was really near his house, and this was right after we split up — it was kind of really messy. We were having a conversation and I was like, “Hey, can you make it out?” Because I was hanging out with some girlfriends. The parking of the bar is like an L, so his house is right here, and the bar was right here. You perform this whole plot against me, but you didn’t care the 25 million times we see each other after that.
The filming of the show took place a year and half ago. Was there anything during that waiting period that you were nervous about people watching?
I felt excited. My husband, he was like, “I don’t think it’s gonna be that good.” I’m like, “It’s gonna be exciting. Our love story’s gonna be there. We are the only ones that get married. It’s gonna be so awesome!” And my hopes and dreams … [Mimics an explosion.]
What was that like? Did you realize right away like, “Uh-oh, this is not going how I wanted it to go”?
Yes. The first batch of episodes. I was like, what is this? I don’t have anything against production. They have a job, they have to present entire people’s stories. They don’t know me.
At the reunion, you and Milton’s relationship seemed even stronger. Would you say your relationship has changed since filming, and how so?I don’t think it has changed. I think it’s evolved. I always say that our relationship matured. And we are there for each other in every aspect, and it’s unfortunate because you cannot really see that in the small snippets of our love story. I feel like our love story’s not completely told. I feel like we just grew to love each other even more. Like we’re almost two years into our marriage.
You two had an additional wedding. Why was it important to you to do that, and what are some of the things that you made sure to have or do differently?
Netflix put on a gorgeous wedding. I loved it, but it was not truly representative of all my family. It was really short notice, and people cannot fly in. The people that flew in paid a lot of money to get there last-minute. A lot of people were not able to go, and in that case, it was my grandparents. So we decided to have the wedding in Puerto Rico because of my family and friends, ’cause I grew up in Puerto Rico. And they were all there. I wasn’t nervous at the Netflix wedding, but I was nervous at my — I call it my real wedding. This is in front of the family and friends that I have grown up with.
So the show airs and you’re excited. Did you and Milton sit and watch it together?
We did watch it together. He didn’t really care. My husband doesn’t love reality TV. You guys can tell by his poor outfit choices, he really doesn’t care. He is way, way, way wiser beyond his years.
Where do you see yourselves in the next few years?
We are both really focused on our careers. Right now, that’s our main focus. I have a new job, so does he. We’re career-oriented people as well. We take a lot of pride in our degrees, what we studied, because we loved it. That’s what we are focused on before we start thinking about having a family.
What’s something about your relationship, now that you’ve watched the show back, that you think maybe people might not know from just watching the show?
We always have great communication. People are so stuck on our last date because that’s one of the times that you actually see us really talk. We had a conversation all night about that. His concerns, my concerns. And they’re valid at both ends. He was watching it back and he’s like, “I agree that I could have handled that differently.”
We have learned our way to really communicate with each other. You guys didn’t get to see — every night before falling asleep, we had a conversation. And every night we were like, “I’m so excited to get married to you. This is amazing. I love you.” And he always — and I’m saying this because I’ve seen a lot of comments — he always said “I love you” back.