If you’re not shipping Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton, did you even watch Netflix’s Love Is Blind?
The couple first connected and began to fall in love while in the reality dating show’s pods — and six days later, they got engaged, sight unseen. After a romantic vacation in Mexico, they moved in together and got back into their daily routines. That came with its share of obstacles, including introducing each other to their parents and friends.
But Lauren, 32, and Cameron, 28, made it all look easy, and in four weeks, they were married.
Now, nearly a year and a half later, they’re still happily married — and beyond thrilled to finally be able to open up to PEOPLE about the ups and downs of their unique experience, their romance, and if they ever had any doubts.
PEOPLE: Looking online, people are totally enamored of you two! What is your perception of all of that?
LAUREN SPEED: Honestly, it’s been probably 95 percent love and support — almost threatening, like, “You all better still be married!” But it’s heartwarming because I’ve actually received messages from people just being like, “I almost gave up on life and just seeing you two has inspired me that the world still has love,” and stuff like that. It’s those comments that really are like, man, I’m so happy that our story and testimony is impacting the world like this. The fact that we gave the world a happy cry, it’s just cool.
CAMERON HAMILTON: To add to that, a lot of couples have been reaching out to both of us and just saying, “We can really relate to you all, and we just love seeing you guys together and are rooting for you.” So it’s been overwhelmingly positive in that regard.
LAUREN: A few people feel like we’re way too perfect, and they think that we’re actors. But it’s like first of all, we’re not perfect. But we don’t really pay attention to that 0.5 percent of people.
There are skeptics about everything.
CAMERON: I was skeptical about the show prior to going onto it. I mean, I was still open to it, and that’s really what was asked of us was just to keep an open mind. But you hear about the premise, and you’re like, “This is crazy.”
LAUREN: Like, no way I’m finding somebody and getting married.
CAMERON: But then the next thing you know, you’re building this very deep connection with someone, and then a little bit after that you’re like, “Wow, I’m about to propose to this woman.” At a certain point, I had no more doubts about that this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with because we were able to delve so deep in our conversations, and in a way that I think neither of us had before.
Once you were in the apartment, were there any moments where either of you had any doubts or moments where you felt even more certain that you’d found your person?
LAUREN: Absolutely. After we had left Mexico and started sharing a space and living together, I found myself kind of fighting myself. The timeline for the marriage — I was getting scared. It’s legally binding. So I did go through a time in my mind when I was like, “Am I really ready?” And I closed off a little bit in some ways. I had never been as happy as I have been with Cameron, and I think that scared me because I was so afraid of being disappointed, and I was projecting that onto Cameron. I had to really fight through that, and that was tough. Thank God that Cameron, he never wavered throughout everything. He’s like “Look, no matter what, we’re still going to be together even if we don’t get married. We can still continue.”
CAMERON: I tried to do this sort of comprehensive assessment of things like, are the family things going to be a problem? Or religious things? Or other social things? I went through that list and there was nothing that was a roadblock for us or nothing that would give me unease. So I was like, “Man, this does seem too good to be true.” I think it’s a testament to the fact that when you find the right person you can just kind of know, and it doesn’t take a ton of time to know that.
You’ve been married now for almost a year and a half. How hard was that to kind of keep it under wraps?
LAUREN: It’s been so hard, especially throughout the holidays. For Christmas, I visited [Cameron’s family in] Maine, and it’s like I can’t even really post pictures of my family because we still have to keep it a secret. Same with the family dinners that we have with my dad. So many great moments that we’ve just shared in the past year and a half that we haven’t been able to share with the world.
Do you have a game plan for rolling those photos out once you can?
LAUREN: Oh, yes, girl.
CAMERON: Our relationship has evolved over time, of course, so it will be nice to show that evolution. That’s a lot to catch people up on. I mean, we’re obviously fundamentally the same people in the core, but I think we’ve evolved with each other and in some ways mirrored each other, picked up each other’s mannerisms or elements of our personalities.
Lauren, how is your dad handling his newfound stardom?
LAUREN: My dad is over the moon. He tells everybody, so he’s very excited. We saw something somewhere and they called him “the old man.” He was like, “Who are they calling old?” But he’s just happy that our love is being portrayed in such a wonderful light, and that the world can finally see how happy we are.
Love Is Blind is streaming now on Netflix. The cast comes together once again for a reunion special Thursday on YouTube.