It’s official. The nation is gripped. Social media is alight with flashing gifs and rib-tickling memes, and many of us are devoting more time to discussing the previous night’s events than we are to working or actually engaging in real-life social activities.

The return of Love Island, the surprise phenomenon of summer 2017, has prompted many of us to set up new WhatsApp groups and cancel evening plans, but are these the only side-effects of being glued to life in a lavish villa far, far away?

While Love Island is undoubtedly a light-hearted show, is it time that we faced up to the fact that it has wide-ranging implications we may not even be aware of yet? With relationship statuses changing at the drop of a hat and a seemingly endless parade of newbies turning up to strut their stuff and turn heads, are we living in an age where relationships are more disposable than ever before?

Dating in the Love Island era

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Love Island, it’s highly likely that the goings-on provoked a reaction in you. It’s very easy when you’re watching others to pass comment, even judgment. But are you guilty of making the same mistakes as the islanders, or have you yourself become a victim of trying to find love in the Love Island era?

Focused on the daily lives of a group of young, beautiful men and women residing in the lap of luxury in Majorca, Love Island is all about watching stories unfurl, and relationships gather pace. The trouble is that every day, there’s a twist. While this is the key to keeping the audience gripped, it doesn’t offer much reassurance for those trying to find ‘the one’ in this day and age.

One day, you’re madly in love, and you’ve never felt this way before. The next, an ‘absolute sort’ has walked through the door, sent your ‘head spinning’ and left you with no choice but to go with your heart and recouple with the boy or girl who is ‘100% your type on paper.’

While these youngsters are looking for love under the Spanish sun, and we’re all enjoying watching the programme and speaking about it with our friends, families, hairdressers and work colleagues, there is a serious undertone. With so much chopping and changing, is it possible that we have started to view the dating game as a revolving door, and is this attitude going to make us crave something that is never really achievable or affect our ability to distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake?

Breaking the Love Island curse

Although Love Island has produced couples that have gone the distance, it’s all too common to pick up the papers and see that relationships have broken down, usually due to ‘work commitments.’ If you find yourself in a similar situation, where nothing really tends to go anywhere, the initial banter runs dry, or you find yourselves wanting different things, maybe it’s time to review how you date and what you’re looking for. Is it really necessary to spend so much time debating what your type is?

Surely we should be focused on what a partner has to offer us in terms of chemistry, humour, kindness, intelligence and that all-important je ne sais quoi, rather than what colour hair they have or whether they’re tall or petite? If you’re keen to avoid the curse and set your sights on a long term, stable relationship, it may be best to embrace an old-school attitude. Switch swiping for an old style dating agency, and don’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel right just because it makes for a good story.

Love Island may be compulsive viewing, but the scenes we watch on a nightly basis should encourage us to ask questions and think about our own relationships. Nobody deserves to be treated like they’re disposable, no matter how much money or how many endorsements are up for grabs.

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