7 lessons we can learn from this year’s Love Island couples, according to a relationship expert29th Jul 19 | Lifestyle
Psychotherapist Lucy Beresford says there’s a lot we can take away from the hit reality show.
Tonight is the grand final of Love Island (9pm, Virgin Media Two), when we find out who’ll be crowned king and queen of the Spanish villa and walk away with £50,000.
It’s been a dramatic nine weeks, with love, lust, break-ups and breakdowns, and while for many of us the reality series is just about entertainment and escapism, psychotherapist Lucy Beresford thinks there’s a lot we can actually learn from following the romantic ups and downs of the ridiculously good looking contestants.
From finding your perfect match to dealing with an ex, the dating show gives us a glimpse at the interactions that usually go on behind closed doors – and that’s where we see examples of good and bad behaviour.
Here, the relationship expert shares seven lessons we can learn from the cast of Love Island 2019…
1. Looks aren’t everything
“A lot of people call the show shallow, but in fact what a lot of contestants discover is actually personality counts a lot more than looks,” Beresford says, “like Lucy found with George.”
Remember him? The blond Adonis whose most note-worthy line of the series was: “What’s your favourite snack?”
Beresford says: “The contestants all very quickly say, ‘No, actually what I’m looking for is someone to have fun with, someone who is kind’.”
So next time you find yourself wishing you had the looks of a Love Islander, remember that a banging bod or symmetrical face won’t get you very far when it comes to forming a meaningful bond with a potential partner.
2. Both partners have to put equal effort into a relationship
Tommy has clearly been besotted with Molly-Mae ever since they got together, but viewers have questioned whether his feelings are truly reciprocated.
Beresford believes there has to be a good balance in terms of give and take between couples.”You have to ask yourself, is this just a one-way street?” she says. “Am I always the one that says the L-word? Am I always the one that books dinner? Am I always the one that initiates intimacy?”
If the answer to those questions is yes, it may be a sign that your relationship is unbalanced.
“What you want in a relationship is two people who are great as individuals, and then they come together and really enjoy each other – not one person doing everything and the other person just taking.”
3. Showing contempt for your partner is a very bad sign
“One of the biggest signs a couple is never going survive is if one or other party is very contemptuous of the other,” says Beresford, citing what some people perceived as Amber’s sneering’ attitude towards Michael when they were together, as an example of one partner not respecting the other.
“I think that’s why he went to Joanna in the first place, but was never been able to articulate it.”
So what should you do if you notice your other half being disrespectful?
“It’s important to call it out – but you can do that in a very elegant way, and with a smile on your face. You have to own it and say, ‘I don’t like it when a partner of mine talks to me like that’.”
4. Opposites do attract
Curtis and Maura may seem like an odd pairing to many viewers, but Beresford thinks the loveable ballroom dancer and the fiery Irish ring girl are actually a good match.
“I think they’re quite good for each other,” she says. “I think she brings out his raunchy side, and he allows her to tone her racy side down. He’s really calmed her down.”
5. You shouldn’t always act on your friends’ advice
Curtis quickly became a father figure in the villa, doling out advice left, right and centre, but his agony uncle attempts backfired spectacularly when the dancer advised Jordan to ‘pull’ India for a chat behind his girlfriend Anna’s back – which didn’t surprise Beresford.
“I think Curtis is a great listener, but then when he comes up with his solutions I don’t necessarily agree with the advice he gives,” she says.
Just because a friend is backing you up on an idea, doesn’t mean it’s the best course of action, especially when it comes to relationships. So if in doubt, seek a second opinion.
6. Think carefully before you get back together with an ex
Amber agonised over whether to get back together with Michael, after he ditched her in Casa Amor, or couple up with new boy Greg.
When it comes to reconciling with an ex, you should consider your options carefully, Beresford says. “I think you need to ask yourself why you want to be getting back with someone who clearly behaved in such a way that they became your ex.
“Are you just choosing comfort and the safety of the known, rather than the fear of being out there on your own again?” she asks.
Plus, your ex needs to show enough remorse for how they acted. Maybe if Michael had truly been sorry for his actions Amber would have taken him back.
“That can sometimes work,” Beresford says. “Sometimes you are meant to be together.”
7. It is possible to be friends with an ex
One of the most heart-wrenching moments of this series was watching Amy tell her ex Curtis that she was going to leave the villa, so that she could get over him and they could become friends.
But can you really ever be just friends with an ex? Beresford says it is possible.
“There are definitely times when it isn’t possible – not least if they treated you really badly.
“But at the same time, it’s quite a gracious thing to be able to have a cordial, perhaps even a supportive relationship with someone who has played a meaningful part in your life.”
Will Amy want to be so pally with Curtis after he subsequently coupled up with her friend Maura? Only time will tell.
The final episode of Love Island is on Virgin Media Two at 9pm Tonight.