Love Lessons From Love Island
I've not been watching this season but after a little binge of seasons past, I actually realise there is a thing or two you can learn from it
This year, I have skipped out on Love Island. Not just the current summer season but also the winter one earlier this year. Love Island used to be such a staple in my life, so much so that I have a group chat solely dedicated to it and whilst it is rightly given a hard time for the lack of representation, I actually think you can learn from any TV show. If you’ve ever listened to my podcast In All Honesty, you will know I have a segment called Dissecting Dysfunctional Conversations where I take conversations from TV shows and show you how you can do it differently. It’s also why I used to do a full breakdown and analysis of the dynamics on Love Is Blind. Or maybe it’s just an excuse for me to indulge in all of my TV shows, who knows?!
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You don’t want to find out everything on social media
One of the interesting things about Love Island is that they are phone-free, largely because watching everyone on their phones would be boring but a side effect of that, is they actually get to know each other in person and also are actually engaged when another person is talking. There is nothing worse than being on a date and someone is staring at their phone! We live in an age where more people meet their partners on dating apps than not (me included!), and therefore pre-first date, it is customary to do a bit of an online snoop. It’s not just to be nosy, but for me, it was also for safety reasons to check who they said they were. There is a line though. I remember one date where the guy kept replying to every story I told with “I know”. He had really gone through the archives of every article I have written (there are a lot!) and it not only stunted all conversation but it felt a little creepy! Leave some mystery for the date and also let people tell you about their lives themselves. As someone with a really public profile, yes, you can probably find out everything about me online but it does make a difference when you hear the story from my mouth with my own perspective. Maybe that’s why I fell in love with a guy with no social media who is never on their phone!
Dating more than one person is normal
It’s been normalised for quite a while for men to date around and it’s about time women are given the same permission! When I was dating, I would go on up to three first dates a week and I truly believe it raised my standards. As I say in The Selfish Romantic:
“I found dating more than one person was the best way to slow things down, protect my heart a little more and force myself to evaluate the person in front of me, as opposed to just getting hooked on the first person who came along. It selfishly reminded me that my needs and my opinions were more important than theirs.”
You are allowed to change your mind
Within the show, we see people ‘put their eggs in one basket’ and then ‘lose their head’ quite quickly. These people are often given a hard time for doing so because people get hurt in the process but the reality is when you are dating, pre-commitment, you get to know more about each other… and you don’t always find out things that turn you on! Hurt feelings are a part of the process unfortunately but you don’t want someone to keep dating you, simply because they are too scared to hurt your feelings. When I was scared of changing my mind, what I would do is break up preemptively because I was worried I would be leading people on to keep dating if I was unsure. You are allowed to have more time to make up your mind and if you are still curious, then keep dating.
Being exclusive doesn’t mean you are in a relationship
As shown last year with Gemma and Luca, there is a difference between being exclusive and being in a relationship and just because you are the former, doesn’t mean you should assume the latter. Dating terminology has evolved and these two mean different things! They can mean the same thing to some people (like my boyfriend!) but the only way you find that out is by having a conversation about it. Ask questions if you need clarity and want to know you are on the same page. I recommend you have the conversation before it feels like a dealbreaker so that you can say ‘I would like to be in a relationship and as much as I don’t need that label right now, I would like it in the future so let’s keep dating and talking about it and I will let you know when it becomes a dealbreaker for me’.
You can be in a relationship and still find others attractive
We often see islanders getting in trouble for commenting on the beauty of other islanders when they are already paired up but when you are actually in a relationship, it doesn’t mean you become blind to the beauty around you. The difference is if you are in a relationship, you shouldn’t act on it! Every couple has different boundaries about whether you can comment on it though. For me, personally, I have always been quite flexible about it. I grew up in a family where my parents could appreciate another person’s beauty without it being a threat to each other so when we are watching a TV show and I find someone cute, I will happily say it aloud to my partner. For others, that would make them uncomfortable. If you worry about it being a threat to your relationship, flip it around. They find other people attractive and yet, they still choose YOU!
Aside from all of these lessons, I also believe Love Island has prompted a number of nationwide conversations about important things like gaslighting (anyone remember Adam?) and there are also just as many examples of how NOT to do things.
What are your favourite TV shows to learn from? Are you watching Love Island this year? Will you be tuning into the final tomorrow?
Lots of love,
Liked the snippet from The Selfish Romantic?