What can we learn about relationships from Love Island? Amana Walker’s lessons from the villa
With just a week of Love Island to go, what - if anything - can we learn about love from the Islanders? Amana Walker considers some of the questions you might want to ask about your own relationship
Our new bombshells got to know the villa. (Credit: ITV)
You’ll either love it or hate it - and I won’t judge you either way.
You’ll have been glued to your screen watching it almost every night for weeks, or you’d rather have been watching paint dry.
I’m talking about ITV’s Love Island, and the series is heading towards the finish line for this summer’s Islanders.
As usual, there are some lessons we can all learn about relationships and perhaps ourselves (if we’re willing to own up).
We’ve seen the usual flare-ups, the break-ups and make-ups, and we’ve seen how tough it can be to handle your emotions (and behaviour) in such a tense environment - which this year, resulted in Jacques O’Neill leaving suddenly.
With all of the shenanigans going on, it reminded me how quickly and by how much, someone can influence and impact your behaviour in an attempt to hide theirs.
You know, like a jealous partner who starts making you think that you are the problem…
Or a partner who has ‘cheated’ (aka snogged someone behind your back) but expects you to believe it was ‘nothing’. Right.
Or the person who just can’t make their mind up. They really, really do want you …. well, until someone else comes along.
If your partner is causing you heartache when they have behaved badly - and they’re expecting you to change, just stop and think about the following things:
Who should be apologising?
If you have done (or said) something behind your partner’s back, you’ll get found out - so if you don’t come clean quickly, you’ll look a whole lot worse.
Even if you’ve been flirting, for many people that looks disrespectful. Trust can easily be broken and once that’s happened, it’s not so easy to repair it –there’s always doubt in the back of your mind.
So, if your relationship means a lot to you, then apologise upfront for any hurt you might have caused. Be genuine in what you say (because we can tell if you’re not!) and stay true to your partner.
Final word on this: if you feel under pressure to apologise but have done nothing wrong, find out what’s behind this. Your partner may be insecure and/or too overprotective. You can reassure them, but the issue lies with them, and their behaviour.
Will he/she change their behaviour for you?
We all make mistakes and vow never to repeat them again, don’t we? And we usually mean it.
But changing your behaviour isn’t that easy; us humans often revert back to our old ways after a period of time. It takes real discipline, or a shock to our system, for us to make a permanent change.
Think then about your partner. Is their (bad) behaviour a one-off, caused by something specific - like illness, job or money worries, a big change in their life - or have you seen it, and forgiven it, once before?
In any relationship there has to be honesty, trust, and two-way love. And if you have doubts, seriously think about the final point below.
Be sure that this relationship is right for you
Only you, are in charge of you. Don’t allow anyone to manipulate you or make you feel bad if you’ve done nothing wrong.
We’ve seen a fair bit of that in the Love Island villa this year - mostly amongst the boys.
Decide what you are willing to accept, and whether your (joint) love is strong enough to get you through.
Weigh up the pros and cons: no-one is perfect, but don’t put up with the person you are with when deep down you know it’s not right. There is someone out there who is right for you.
And above all… Don’t allow anyone to hold you back. Be prepared to ditch your partner if you value yourself more than they do. You’re worth more than that.
The real test of the Love Island relationships is how long they last when they leave the bubble of the villa, to come home and live in the ‘real world’.
It’s easy to get close to someone when you are sharing a beautiful home - and bed - in the sun with them for weeks on end.
The proximity principle in psychology tells us that we are more likely to form relationships with people who we live, or work, close to.
So, are our Love Island couples only together because of this (and the benefits of winning/making commercial deals) or, because they really do love each other?
Time will tell. And when you’re in the spotlight, there’s always someone watching.
Anyway, who’s your favourite to win?
You can listen to Amana on our self-improvement podcast series, The Reset Room.