Damian Powers talks romance, his new dating show and what we missed on *that* 'Love Is Blind' catch-up

Damian Powers has been bringing the drama on your fave reality dating shows. He lets us in on what we didn't see onscreen

Damian Powers in episode 09 of Perfect Match
(Image credit: Netflix)

Damian Powers is an expert in the blind date department—quite literally. 

He fell in love with Gianina Gibelli, sight unseen, on the debut season of Netflix's Love Is Blind. This segue into the reality dating realm only opened the door for more unorthodox TV experiences, like being blindfolded on Miss/Match before interacting with his partner. 

When it comes to finding his other, Powers jokes that "nothing is too strange" after all that he's been through. For those who need a refresher, he didn't say "I do" to Gianina, but the pair went on to date for a year and a half following the filming of the Netflix series.

Then Francesca Farago literally and figuratively stepped into the picture during a Love Is Blind catch-up, sending fans shippers into a tizzy when she, too, expressed an interest in Powers. He and Farago had a chance to reconnect on Perfect Match, but they ultimately left the sprawling Panama City villa solo. 

Will the third time be a charm for Powers? The reality personality is set to star in an episode of OFTV's Miss/Match, which premieres on Friday, August 11. (Though his episode airs on Friday, September 1.) Before his latest challenge hits screens, Powers caught up with My Imperfect Life to discuss dating after reality TV, what he's learned from all of these unique appearances, and what he has planned next. (You'll want to take a page from his travel book, tbh.)

Damian Powers chats with My Imperfect Life

MIL: You've been on several reality shows: Love Is Blind, Perfect Match. What have you learned from being in those series? What keeps you coming back?

DP: I think the biggest thing that I've learned is that maybe my future girlfriend or wife is not on TV! But seriously, it's been such a growing experience for me, from taking the superficiality we have in dating and learning to incorporate a more mental and emotional connection, not just basing it all off looks before getting to know someone. It's been a really good people skill and relationship skill. You can really learn to love somebody more beautifully than you ever thought. 

[Reality TV] has created a whole other avenue of doors that have opened for me, whether it's in the television space, acting, modeling, so it's good for me to keep going. But at the end of the day, I'm not going to do a dating show if I'm dating somebody. But my thing is, if I'm not in a relationship and I haven't found a partner, what do I have to lose? 

You're set to star on Miss/Match: what can you tell us about the experience? 

Miss/Match was interesting; it was a full-speed dating process. The cool thing I liked about it is that I was going to get to see the person immediately...until I got blindfolded. I was like, 'Ugh, here we go again!' The experience overall was great because it was fast enough for me to figure out if I wanted to continue to see my partner and if there was any type of connection outside of [TV]. 

You seem to get in situations where you're unable to see your potential match. How would you say this has helped or hurt your connections?

I would say that I look at dating and I talk to women differently. And I would say people who haven't done them don't really understand. Dating for me is very difficult now, it's not as easy as it was before. I'm very careful with who I trust.

The shows have created space for me to be more understanding of what my partner goes through, and listen and slow down. But it's created more difficulty in trusting and saying, 'Are they dating me for the right reasons?' And it could be vice versa, too. It's been a great experience overall, but it's made dating very, very difficult.

Dating reality shows are not for the faint of heart. How do you keep your emotions in check and let down people easily if you're not feeling the connection?

Keeping my emotions in check was really hard when I first started this. Now, I think being around a lot of my friends now, if I'm being too, 'Oh this is it,' they're like 'Come on, pay attention. Don't move so fast.' Learning to slow down has been good, but other partners have been like, 'Oh, do you not like me? What's taking so long?' I just make sure I go at my pace this time.

If you could do anything over from your time on reality TV, what would it be? 

Looking back on the shows, I don't think there's anything I would've really done differently, especially on Love Is Blind. I did everything I could there, the best way I could. I can't help how a show's edited or how it looks during the process. I loved Gianina with all my heart, but at the end of the day, she never really want to get married. There was a lot that went into it, and at the end of the day, I did what I needed to protect us, and that was my biggest thing. And we dated for a year and a half after [the show]. 

In After the Altar—with Francesca [Farago]—me and Gianina were single. She made it look like we were in a relationship. I told Gianina before about Francesca, and that was a big thing for me as well. I wouldn't have brought her there to embarrass her. I would never do that to my partner. But, the way it looked and the way she made it sound, we were still dating, but we weren't. For me, everything I've done, I wouldn't go back and change, but the way people have seen it makes me feel like I should've done something differently. But in reality, I was upfront with everything.

Sometimes it's difficult when you question your actions because of what everyone comes in and comments on your posts, your pictures, the DM's you get, the texts you get. And I'm like, 'You weren't there for that whole experience, so you don't see all the timelines that created that moment.'

Speaking of exes, do you keep in touch with any of yours from reality TV? 

I haven't talked to Gianina in probably about two years, she's dating somebody else, but she keeps doing podcasts, my name is in it, and I don't know why. I don't think we're on bad terms, but it's best we probably stay out of each other's lives. 

As far as Francesca goes, super happy for her. We still keep in touch here and there. I see her out sometimes, we still get along great. I haven't left on bad terms with anyone. And [some] have turned into great friendships as of now. 

How do you handle backlash and differences of opinion when your exes speak out?

I hear my name pop up in podcasts all the time. Gianina did things like, 'I can't believe he did this to me' and I'm like, 'You agreed to it and now you want to make it look like I didn't protect you.' So those times it's really hard to bite my tongue, but it's also like, what is me going out and blasting her on a podcast going to do?

I just keep my mouth shut, and that's what I've done for the last two years. I think it's as the old saying goes, 'Leave well enough alone.' If you're trying to stay relevant and do your thing, that's OK. Do you, but leave me out of it. 

People mistake my kindness for weakness. And for me, the thing is I love everyone and I want everyone to be happy, but don't bring up things that happened a long time ago, and obviously, there are two sides to every story. For me, it's very hard to bite my tongue sometimes, but I do find it's best to just leave well enough alone. If I don't have to engage in a rebuttal, I don't.

What are you watching right now?

I just ended up watching Lincoln Lawyer, and it was pretty good. I just finished Suits recently [and] Billions. I like shows that challenge me and show me things I didn't understand before. 

As far as movies go, I'm a big Marvel guy, I've always been into Marvel. And for TV shows, I like something that you don't know what to expect with the next turn, and whatever you're expecting, something completely different happens. 

And I still haven't seen the Barbie movie. I've been traveling for the past three weeks and I just got back to L.A.

What's next?

I'm in the works on some new shows, I can't actually talk about it, but I hope everything finalizes real soon. So that will be fun if it ends up working out. Other than that, I've been wanting to go to Greece or Bali soon. I'll be at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, which I go to every year—always a great time. I'm excited about that and we'll probably extend the Eurotrip for two or three weeks. I just came back from Paris and Italy—Capri and the Amalfi Coast—and it was just stunning. 

Catch Damian Powers in Miss/Match season 2 on OFTV, premiering on Friday, August 11. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.