For Lydia Velez Gonzalez, the often-chaotic journey of Love is Blind has been worth it. She has walked out of the show’s fifth season with a spotlight she didn’t ask for and at times has found it hard to navigate, particularly when people take it upon themselves to judge her for things they didn’t live through. But she also walked out of the show with the love of her life, her husband, James Milton Johnson IV. And that makes the rest worth it.
Remezcla had a chance to talk to Lydia about fighting against the Latina stereotypes, whether her husband had finally learned some Spanish, and that second Puerto Rico wedding. Right off the bat, Lydia confirmed “It’s been a tumultuous ride, but worth it.”
For the Puerto Rican, “being an inspiration for many Latina women that are genuinely them” has been immensely gratifying and she takes great pride in putting all of herself out there and sharing her story with the world, particularly if it helps fight against the negative stereotypes that exist about Latina women.
Love is Blind is, first and foremost, a reality show “trying to portray an entertaining story,” and Lydia understands that meant they would not show the entirety of her journey. And the people who edit the show “don’t really know who I am or who I was.” But even though the show did lean heavily on the stereotype in the edit, for Lydia, the “end goal was to find love, and I did.” That means overall, the experience was a net gain.
That’s what matters the most. Not the drama, not Uche – and though we did touch on that briefly in our interview, there really was no need to dwell on that or rehash the entire toxicity, as Lydia herself said. “The drama, the gossip, the he or she said thing, it doesn’t matter. I found my husband and that is all I care about.”
What we did want to discuss was if Milton had learned Spanish – and the answer was disappointing. “He still hasn’t learned Spanish,” Lydia shared with us. “He knows like seven words. When he talks to my mom, he greets her with ‘hola mi madre’ and it’s so cute, and my mom is like ‘hola mi hijo,’ but that’s basically his whole Spanish.”
She did come to his defense, sharing that they’ve both been very busy, and learning the language is in the plans – not just for Milton, but for his family too, sharing that her in-laws frequently try to drop some Spanish on her too. “My in-laws are like, Lydia, ‘te amo.’ And I’ll say, yes, yes, come on, let’s get it, let’s get it.”
The family that learns to mix their cultures, stays together.
As for that second wedding that took place in Puerto Rico, Lydia shared that for her first wedding – the one we got to see on Netflix, she “didn’t feel nervous at all. But for her second wedding, in Puerto Rico, “I was like so nervous,” which was a real shock to her. “Like I’m already married at this point, but it was in front of my lifelong friends, family. So, it’s like, okay, this feels more real. Like my godfather, mi abuela, mi abuelo. Los abuelos, it’s always the abuelos that make you nervous.”
Plus, there’s the fact that it was her big brother who officiated the ceremony, and he got to do it in both Spanish and English – for Milton’s sake, obviously.
The perfect fairy tale ending for Lydia Arleen Velez Gonzalez, the Latina who never wanted to conform to anyone’s stereotype other than her own – as she should. That she got the happy ending she wanted is just the icing on the cake of her Love is Blind journey.
Love Is Blind Season 5 is available to stream on Netflix.