At this point, it’s almost impossible not to associate summer with Love Island. This year was no different. We all waited with anticipation for the chance to live vicariously through the chosen tributes – sorry islanders.
Now 6 weeks in and nearing the finale it’s safe to say that (some) of the current cohort have earned their place in reality tv royalty. From Tobi’s flip flopping, Tyler’s “it’s only been four days!” and Liam taking moving mad to an entirely new level. I think it’s a good time to talk about the love lessons Love Island has taught us so far.
Build boundaries not walls.
Though Love Island has had its fair share of Islanders with trust issues (Olivia B. And Cara I’m looking at you). This year’s bunch of girls have been particularly distrusting. Faye may argue that the movie night showed them precisely why. In reality, it is impossible to build a strong foundation without trust. Though I understand the sentiment behind trust having to be earned. How is someone expected to earn it, if every moment the person they’re attempting to build it with is knocking it down?
If you’re waiting for the worst to happen, it will. Not necessarily because you’ve willed it to happen but because you’ll begin to see the problems you want to see. This is not to say that trust is some type of protective barrier against getting hurt. Not at all, opening up yourself in this way is risky. But in order to be in a functioning relationship, you have to take those risks.
Faye is a prime example of even if you have these walls up to protect you, build them high enough and they also serve to keep people out. Don’t stop yourself from living happily ever after with a Teddy because you’re afraid of what might happen. Instead of building walls, build boundaries. Work on your non-negotiables and enforce them hard. By all means, tell the people you’re dating what you’re looking for and what you won’t accept even during the talking stage. But keep in mind if a relationship is something you genuinely want then you have to let people in.
Now, as a card-carrying member of the sapphic community, this next point is almost hypocritical. After all, me and my babes made it official after 3 weeks of knowing each other. HOWEVER! If you are dating men, sit up and hear me well. Keep. Those. Options. Open. If it’s one thing this year’s Love Island has shown me it’s how easy it is to get caught up in someone in a short period of time and there’s nothing wrong with this!
If you feel you’ve made a strong connection with someone in four days and they feel the same, that’s wonderful. But it doesn’t have to mean closing yourself off completely. When you’re spending a lot of time with someone it’s important to come up for air. Take time away so you can assess the situation from outside of it. If you’re like me and you just love love, infatuation can come quite easily, especially under the warm Spanish sun. Just be mindful that if this really is a forever thing there’s no rush!
The benefits of disloyalty during the talking stage.
The thing to remember here is you don’t want to be a passive dater. You’re trying to get to know someone and even if you know you like them after a short while, the process doesn’t stop. It’s your job to figure out if you really like them or are they just the best of a bad bunch? If you do like them, what is it specifically that you like? Try and answer those questions without reeling off physical attributes or “we have a laugh”, and see what you’re left with. Some of the islanders *cough* Tobi *cough* could have benefitted from asking those questions first, before deciding to be all in. Sometimes you gotta get to know someone before investing in getting to know them. Some of the benefits of being disloyal during the talking stage include;
- Contrast and compare. Dating more than one person makes it more difficult for you to settle.
- Less room for tunnel vision. Getting lost in someone isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be
- If your eggs aren’t all in one basket, if one of ‘em has a hole in it, you’ve not lost all your eggs!
Dating is not easy. And even though there are a million guidebooks out there the truth is you gotta do what’s best for you. If you’re a monogamous dater you don’t have to force yourself to speak to multiple people but set boundaries! If you only want to date exclusively, just say that. Closed mouths don’t get fed. In that villa a lot of the girls were starving, while the boys were off fattening themselves up. Be open, be vulnerable but don’t be silly. You’re the prize, start acting like it.