March 25, 2023

Contributor, PEOPLE
Danielle Ruhl and Nick Thompson found love in an unconventional way — in a social experiment aired on Netflix.
The couple participated in the streamer's hit reality show Love Is Blind, meeting during season 2, which premiered in 2022. Ruhl and Thompson hit it off immediately, becoming the first couple to get engaged that season. On June 8, 2021, the couple tied the knot the Chicago.
However, after over a year of marriage, Ruhl filed for divorce from Thompson in August 2022. A few months prior to their breakup news, the couple opened up to PEOPLE about their experience with couples counseling, with Thompson saying, “We’re in couples counseling and we have been now, for almost the entire time since we’ve finished [the show].”
From the first meeting in the pods to their pending divorce, here's everything to know about Danielle Ruhl and Nick Thompson's relationship.
Ruhl and Thompson met on season 2 of the hit Netflix show, which was filmed in spring 2021 and aired in early 2022.
"I'm ready to be married to him tomorrow," Ruhl said of Thompson. "I am not going to let anything get in the way of this."
Thompson was the first person to propose to his partner in season 2 of the show.
"The fact that I already feel like the luckiest girl in the world, how can I not be attracted to him?" Ruhl asked the cameras after she accepted a proposal from Nick.
During the couples' trip to Mexico, Ruhl and Thompson got into a heated debate. Aired during episode six of the show, the row started when Ruhl was bedbound with food poisoning. Thompson decided to go for drinks with the other pairings alone, and when he returned, the couple got into a fiery argument that left Thompson branding Ruhl's outburst as "toxic."
“There are a lot of inaccurate assumptions as to why I had a panic attack in Mexico. I do understand that there are times that I can project insecurities and anxieties onto others and take accountability for my actions, and am learning to continue work on not letting my past experiences shape the way I view the world or others,” Ruhl wrote in an Instagram caption after the episode started streaming.
On June 8, 2021, Ruhl and Thompson tied the knot.
"This is the last thing I thought would happen. It happened," Ruhl said as they exchanged vows. "We love each other and we care more about each other than we could ever express to anyone."
"I have no question whatsoever that you are the person I'm supposed to be with," Thompson added. "I'm glad that I found you, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life being better together."
Season 2 of Love Is Blind hit Netflix on Feb. 11, 2022.
"With no distractions from the outside world, the singles talk to a stream of potential love interests and when a meaningful connection is made, they propose and then lay their eyes on their fiancé for the first time," a synopsis from Netflix stated. "Engaged and back in the real world, as the couples plan their wedding day, they will quickly discover whether they can turn their emotional connection into a physical one before the fast-approaching ceremony."
In a cast reveal video posted to Netflix’s YouTube channel, Ruhl said that she was “terrified” she would discover her personality “isn’t enough.”
Thompson told the camera that he was most excited about getting rid of the "distractions of the real world."
A month after Love Is Blind aired, Thompson posted a series of photos with Ruhl on Instagram, sharing a heartfelt caption about his time on the show.
“Keeping the most exciting part of our life a secret has not been easy. Now the veil is lifted and we get to share our experiences with all of you. Danielle and I have had so many adventures and cannot wait to share them with our little community,” he wrote. “Our connection from the pods gave us a beautiful foundation to build upon and we have continued to do so by making memories together, with family, and our friends. We’re so excited to share our journey from the last year and moving forward! We have nothing but love and support for all of you!”
Adjusting to married life away from the show, Ruhl and Thompson told PEOPLE that they’re continuing to grow and learn more about each other daily through couples counseling sessions.
"We're in couples counseling and we have been now, for almost the entire time since we've finished [the show]," Nick told PEOPLE at the time. "We've put frameworks in place for communication. We've had to force ourselves through some conversations [about] what we actually need in that moment and [have] worked on being able to articulate that."
"Sometimes that means walking away for a little bit or sometimes that means, 'Let's table it and drop it and forget about it,' " he explains. "There are so many different things that we're applying to our communication [style] that has really given us a good step to move forward."
Echoing her husband's thoughts, Danielle said, "A lot of couples, when they're dating, have the opportunity to naturally learn one another's language as you would if you're trying to learn a language outside of English. Learning that in such a short period of time is very difficult and takes a lot of patience, love and understanding from both sides."
Ruhl gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at the private notes she had written about Thompson during her time in the pods, detailing her thoughts and feelings throughout the experiment.
She noted that the day before the proposal, Thompson had sent her a ring pop to reassure her. He also told her that he was waiting to say "I love you" in person.
“Can’t stop getting emotional, crying at everything, watching Mother’s Day videos wishing I could call my mom and sis and tell them how excited and happy I am,” she wrote during reveal day.
Thompson marked the couple’s one-year anniversary with a sweet Instagram post.
"One year ago today, on a much sunnier and hotter day in Chicago, Danielle and I said 'I do' in front of a bunch of family, friends, crew, and cameras," he wrote, sharing a photo from the wedding day. "Crew and cameras followed us around for most of the day while we worked, got ready, and decided what we would say at the altar. While it's tough getting married under those circumstances, here we are a year later putting in the work to get to know each other and learn how to be partners for one another. All in real time. I'm proud of us."
He added, "I wanted to share this one picture today because we took it at the end of our crazy wedding day after all the crew, cameras, and most friends and family went home. It's one of my favorites. It was just us. Happy anniversary and I love you."
In July 2022, Ruhl posted a carousel of 10 loved-up photos with Thompson to her Instagram account.
"Which one is ur fav?!" she asked her followers in the caption.
After just over one year of marriage, Ruhl and Thompson filed for divorce at Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
In an Instagram Story video, Love Is Blind alum Natalie Lee captured a night out with Ruhl, Deepti Vempati and Iyanna McNeely — the latter of whom announced her divorce the same week as Ruhl and Thompson.
In the video, which was obtained by Us Weekly, Lee shows the girls’ night with a jokey caption: “When you try to take a cute video of your friends walking downtown but everyone is four drinks in.”
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