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Love Island does not present relationships in a positive way - here’s why

Written by Eleanor Thornber.

“The majority of the time, you can tell you will end up together by drafting a graph of lip filler on one axis and steroid abs on the other - it’s a positive correlation if you’re wondering.”

Two gorgeous young people, brought together by reality TV, winning both life and love. Bronzed, thin and, well, most likely, more plastic than flesh. The average Love Island contestant seems to have it all sorted it.

Like many other people I know, I did not tune into the winter edition of Love Island - the general consensus is that it I definitely a summer tradition and the cash-grab effect of airing it twice a year seems to cheapen it a bit. Regardless, 3.4 million people tuned in to watch the latest series finale, the majority of which would have been young, impressionable fans.

So if 3.4 million British young people are getting their understanding of love and relationships from Love Island, it’s quite important that the representation of these things are positive and healthy. Unfortunately, though, it isn’t.

Love Island presents love a lot like the £50,000 prize - something to be won, something not entirely natural, but something to seek out, constantly try and perfect to get the best version of it possible. That’s how you win, really.

To be healthy on Love Island means to be better than the rest, even if that standard of better isn’t particularly high. To be happy, you just have to not have your head turned by someone else. The overall feeling is that of artificiality, clearly proven in that the majority of Love Island couples break up within a few months of the show airing. Those that do are often claimed to be staying together purely for monetary gain, which also isn’t a particularly far-fetched guess.

This all sounds very bleak if you ask me. Moreover, the basis of finding and establishing these relationships is all very much based on appearance - I don’t care if islanders claim to be there because they want to find someone they deeply align with personally. Most of the time, you can tell you will end up together by drafting a graph of lip filler on one axis and steroid abs on the other - it’s a positive correlation if you’re wondering.

The only couple I can genuinely think of who I think show a realistic and genuine portrayal of caring about someone is Jack and Dani, though even those two were targeted by the others who clearly knew they were going to win. That included the producers who clearly sought to upset Dani by sending in Jack’s ex - if you take a step back from the reality TV aspect, that really is a cruel way to test a couple.

That’s another thing. Why are islanders so obsessed with being tested? Maybe because beyond STI tests, that’s the only one they really care about? I suppose in the real world, seeing if you’re partner is overly interested in others is something to consider, but Love Island just takes that to the complete extreme.

So, despite the facades, Love Island is sadly full of a lot of artificiality. But so is the real world. They might be easy to spot on TV, but that’s not always the case in real life.

Here are some ways to approach and talk to people you think might be deeply unhappy in their relationship:

  1. Do you like it when your partner does XYZ? Why? Why not?

  2. You know, that’s not really fair on you. You’ve done nothing wrong - you know that, right?

  3. A relationship is meant to be fulfilling, happy. Does your partner make you feel that way?

  4. What is your love language? What does your partner do to communicate their love to you?

  5. Do you still see your friends? Does your partner get on with them as well!

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