As usual, it’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions for the contestants so far in the Love Island villa. And even if you’d rather not watch the show, there are relationship – and love – lessons, that we can all benefit from.
After the early flurry of coupling up and getting to know each other, we’ve seen break ups, make ups and a few rounds of re-coupling.
Having a ‘type’ on paper means you have an image in your head of what you think your ideal partner would look like, but then once you get to know them, they’re not quite what you want, are they…? And that’s because, beauty – male and female- is only skin deep and beyond that instant attraction. You need more. We all do. It’s human nature.
So, what can we all learn from the Love Island relationships?
Attractive can be ‘ugly’
Sometimes beauty carries insecurity, we’ve seen that in a couple of the contestants (especially in Olivia) and as time goes by, we’re likely to see more of it. Why does this happen?
You can be the hottest thing on the planet, but without sounding too cliché, it’s what’s inside that counts and if you’re relying on how you look to attract and hold onto your partner, that can be a dodgy strategy. Whenever you think your partner is interested in someone else, you’ll feel unworthy and not good enough, and those emotions can trigger negative behaviour. Behaviour such as talking about people behind their back, to make yourself feel better.
If you can see yourself in this situation, focus on your inner qualities – what is it that people really like about you? Show them off, be warm and kind to others and steer well clear of putting other people down. It’s an ugly red flag.
Attachment out of fear of being unattached
No-one wants to be left on the shelf. Whether you’ve been single for a long time or you’ve recently split up, it can feel lonely and cause a drop in confidence. If you find yourself thinking ‘what’s wrong with me?’, then don’t, because the chances are, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.
Finding the right person isn’t easy for everyone and as we often see in the Love Island villa, it’s all too easy to couple up with someone too quickly because you want to be partnered off. Trouble is, it won’t last if you’re forcing it will it? It has to be right.
So, take your time, get to know people well, get out and about when you can, then you increase your chances of finding someone you can see yourself being with long term.
Get comfortable in your own skin
One of this year’s favourite contestants is Will. Now, when we were first introduced to him, he was a little geeky, unconventional and if we’re honest, he was trying so hard to get coupled up that he looked a bit desperate (or is it just me?).
That was him finding his feet – and yes trying to find himself a lovely girl. But then we started to get to know him, and he relaxed into his own skin and - boom! Everyone loves him. He’s a good mate to the boys, and he takes care of the girls.
He’s still unconventional, but he is also so much more and although he might be tempted in Casa Amor, we’d like to think that he’ll stay loyal to Jessie (temptation is all around us but it doesn’t mean we have to succumb).
There’s nothing wrong with modifying your behaviour – but when you stay true to who you fundamentally are, someone will love you for that.
Confidence and attractiveness are powerful combo
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we know that. But here’s the thing: when you add confidence to the mix, you can stand out and easily radiate in a crowd.
How many times do we hear people say (including just about everyone who enters the villa) that it’s the connection that counts, it’s personality, it’s someone who makes them laugh, it’s someone who shares their interests?
A partner for life has to be someone who you can see yourself living with, through life’s ups and downs. Even Maya Jama has relationship issues (Stormzy and more recently Ben Simmons), but she is honest about it and has the confidence to move forward, stay true to herself and get on with her life.
Confidence on the inside shows on the outside and that’s appealing. When you also believe you look good, you are powerfully attractive.
Be selfish, and selfless
Finding the right partner can be a challenge, but if you couple up with a partner who fits the mould for your parents more than they do for you or because they are ‘good enough’, you are heading for danger. It might work out of course, but you are taking a risk.
In love, you have to be selfish and look for who is right for you, and that way you’ll live with no regrets.
Behaving a little selflessly will help you make any relationship you have, work. By being genuine and willingly doing things to help and support others, you become the person who others want to be around. And that’s why Will (and Jessie) are so popular and well liked.
Be considerate of others and know who is right for you.
It’s all to play for in the Love Island villa(s), and yes, it’s a reality TV show – but the behaviours we are seeing are very real and happen every day, all over the world.
There is plenty of love out there, but finding it means looking much closer to home first. By loving who you are.
Amana Walker is a performance coach who works with a range of business leaders and sports professionals. More info at www.amanawalker.com
You can listen to Amana on our self-improvement podcast series, The Reset Room.