Perhaps the couple with the most shocking ending on the Love Is Blind finale was Giannina Gibelli and Damian Powers. No, their relationship wasn't as smooth or ironclad as, say, Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton's, but they seemed downright smitten with each other. There were fights, of course—who can forget when Giannina told Damian that even though she was the best sex of his life, he wasn't hers?—but overall I expected them to say, "I do" come wedding day.
That didn't happen. In the end, Giannina was all in, but Damian was out. He said, "I don't" at the altar, causing Giannina to run out of the venue—in her wedding dress—and trip on the ground. The two ultimately talked things out, but there was no happily ever after.
Not that we know of, at least. The Love Is Blind cast reunion airs next Thursday, March 5, on Netflix, and Giannina and Damian will surely give us more details then. In the meantime, we caught up with Giannina and had her break down that shocking finale, explain what went wrong, and offer a little insight into her love life now. Read the candid chat, below:
Glamour: This must be such a crazy time for you.
Giannina Gibelli: It's been really exciting. It's definitely been a bit of a shock. I didn't think that this many people were going to fall in love with the show, but overall the support has been great. I've been in a pretty good head space with everything. It's just a lot to take in all at once, but I'm hopeful. I think this is great. I love that people are accepting it like this.
Can you walk me through what you were feeling in that moment when Damian said he couldn't marry you?
Giannina: Well, you go into a bit of a shock, right? You don't really believe what's happening. I process a lot of things really quickly. So I went from a moment of denial, to acceptance, to sadness, to anger, pretty much just all at once. Embarrassed, because I'm in front of my family and friends. It wasn't his fault. We had to go to the altar. We didn't have to get engaged, but we had to have the wedding. And he told me that he didn't know what he was going to say until he saw me. You're always hopeful, especially when you're in your wedding dress, and you've made up your mind. It was a lot to take in and a lot of sadness, but a lot of humility and awareness of like, "Okay, I've got to pick myself up. I need to feel all these feelings, but I need to pick myself up eventually."
How long did it take you to heal from the heartache of this experience, and what helped you heal from it?
Giannina: So overall, there was a big trickle effect, right? After the experience, your whole world gets taken upside down, because a lot of the things that you've always valued, or things that you've probably hidden, or feared for a really long time, come up to the surface. You have no choice but to face them and overcome them in a very honest and challenging way. It took me about nine months after the experience to start feeling like myself again. I did so much. I did career changes. I went on so many trips back home. Definitely took some time for myself to heal and to grow and do some soul-searching, but it wasn't easy. But I'm really grateful for it, because it definitely happened to me for a reason.
What have you learned from this experience?
Giannina: You don't really know what someone is going through, and all of our paths are completely and extremely unique. I'm blessed to go through all of my hardships and suffering and success and achievements so that, hopefully, I can help other people. I really just came to the realization that hard things happen to strong people. So I'm really accepting of myself. I'm very constructive with myself. I can either be my worst enemy or my own best friend. And you really just have to accept your flaws. It's OK to accept some things that you want to have better and that you want to evolve. No one's perfect, but it's definitely made me more aware to other people's feelings and how to grow as a woman and then, hopefully, help other people along the way. It's been a nice, hard, but rewarding journey.
Looking back, do you see any signs or things that might have suggested that Damian wasn't going to go through with it?
Giannina: There were so many things that weren't shown, and it makes sense at the end of the day, but overall he was confident the entire time, and I was the one that was very scared. Traditional marriage has always been a challenge for me because of my parents' divorce. I had a lot of fears, and I think as soon as I got in it, he got out of it. But the only thing that tipped me off, or the biggest thing that tipped me off, was that he told me, "I don't know what I'm going to tell you until I see you." And I was just like, "Okay." But I put myself in a situation where I was like, "Whatever outcome happened, I will be okay It will be okay. He will be okay." So it's not like it was the end of the world. Things happen and you've got to learn from them and move on from them.
What did you find most frustrating about this experience?
Giannina: I think it was the timing for me, just because I still feel like I needed to figure out so much. I wanted to hang out with my friends and I wanted to meet his parents and I just felt like our timing wasn't right where it could have been—and it caused a lot of pressure on us. I do think that him saying, "I don't know what I'm going to say until I see you"—I had put him through a lot, too, so I couldn't be a hypocrite to sit on the other side and say, "Well you've got to tell me now," when I couldn't do the same thing. So I really put myself in his shoes a lot, and that's why we saw eye to eye a lot, even though it doesn't seem like it.
One of your and Damian's fights has gone viral on Twitter: The one where you tell him, "Do you know how you say this is the best sex of your life? Well, I haven't reciprocated that." Have you given any more thought to that particular situation?
Giannina: Yeah. That's one of the things that I dreaded for so long, for a year and a half. I was like, "What's going to happen?" And I saw that on air and I was just like, "That's real. That's true." I think so many women and men have been in the position where they've been with a partner and they're just like, "It's good, but I want to make it great. How can we get there? How can I communicate that?" And it's really hard, because you don't know if someone's pride is going to get hurt. You don't know how to word it. I think open communication and really understanding that it's not an insult—it's just this moment or this thing that you want to better so that you can have a healthier relationship with your partner. I'm happy to talk to people about it. It definitely helped me.
Looking back, is there anything that Damian said to you that particularly stung?
Giannina: I think him telling me "no" was the hardest thing. I can handle a lot of things. I can handle a lot of feedback, and that's fine. I know I'm not perfect. But him saying "no" at the altar, which is something that—not that I couldn't get past it, it was just something that hurt me most. And I think it was because I landed at a place where I was open and willing and literally giving myself over. I had been very vulnerable throughout the whole thing, but I also put my guard up a lot, too, if you didn't notice.
What is your relationship with Damian like now?
Giannina: I think we're both at a mutual understanding. We're in a good place. There's no hard feelings whatsoever.
Are you single now? Can you divulge anything about your love life?
Giannina: I definitely am focusing on myself and just always bettering a relationship with myself and sharing that with friends, family, whoever.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Christopher Rosa is the staff entertainment writer at Glamour. Follow him on Instagram @chris.rosa92.
Originally Appeared on Glamour