Love Island and Casa Amor: What to learn from it

In what feels like a welcome return to normality Love Island is back! It’s strange to think about how the pandemic really started beginning to develop in Europe just as the last Love Island (held in South Africa during January and February) was ending. However, here we are, thankfully. We’re six weeks into the latest series  and we’ve made it through the dreaded (and adored) Casa Amor…

What is Casa Amor?

For those unaware Casa Amore marks the halfway point of the series where the men and women of the house are surprisingly split into two different new villas where a whole new roster of men and women await to try and secure their spot for the remaining weeks of the show. The only issue is these new singletons only have one way of securing their spot on the series… by breaking up the existing couples on the show.  As much as the show gets mocked for its unrealistic representation of how relationships work, especially thanks to the fast-paced nature of the show, Casa Amor brings up the same issues every season. Namely what counts as cheating (or betrayal)? When can/should you trust someone? How to treat and comfort yourself about your partner going away? And most importantly why are men trash?

For now, let’s address the list of back-to-front. To confirm – men aren’t trash, but every season it is the men who repeat the same mistakes as the previous. Whilst more often the not the women who have found a degree of comfort and happiness with their current partner stay fully loyal to said partner, the men often use Casa Amor as an opportunity to test their emotions. This often leads to issues when both villas meet again at the end of the week and the men, stood with their new partners, are met with their former partners stood on their own. It is this behaviour that leads to the rest of the questions posed in that list. 


What counts as cheating and betrayal?

The first part of the question is easier to answer than the latter. Simply put if you’re in a knowingly committed relationship with someone and have a romantic affair with someone else (be it emotional or physical) that is cheating. Betrayal is a bit more awkward to break down. You don’t have to be in a committed relationship to feel betrayed, but likewise, if you aren’t in a committed relationship then there is the grey area where the other person may not feel like they’re betraying their partner.

Realistically, like all good relationships, communication is fundamental to making sure no one gets hurt. On Love Island constant communication is essential. The time pressure of the show and the intensity of constantly being surrounded by whoever you’re romantically engaged with means having clear conversations about the status of your relationship is a must. Needless to say this isn’t realistic in the real world as if you had a conversation like that every few days you’d probably break up. 


When can and should you trust someone?

This is an incredibly subjective and sensitive question. It is reliant upon any previous personal history that would’ve potentially given you trust issues so let’s try and talk about this from a very basic standpoint. If the communication lines through your relationship are clear and they’ve not given you any reason to not trust them then I *guess* there’s no reason to not trust them. However, that is obviously easier said than done so as shown on Casa Amor it is important to establish a degree of trust through communication that you’re happy with your partner. This revolves very much around conversation and judgement calls about where you mutually feel you are with your relationship. 


How to treat and comfort yourself about your partner going away?

If you are someone who suffers from trust issues then your partner going away can be incredibly stressful. This is especially the case if it’s a new relationship or you aren’t at the fully committed relationship stage yet. Whatever the case maybe being kind to yourself and your emotions is key. Often the best form of self-care is preparation – as the old saying goes “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. In this sense that might mean having those more awkward conversations with your partner about your relationship (which those on Love Island didn’t really have the chance to do as a result of the surprise nature of Casa Amor).

If you are comfortable enough with your partner your can also open up to them about your trust issues and hope they understand. When they are away it is then about how you treat yourself. The guidance in brief would just be to live your healthy life as normal with exercises, a good diet, good company and a solid routine so that your partner’s absence isn’t especially felt. Casa Amor is a triggering time on Love Island for both those on the show and off it. Understanding the show is obviously pressurised is one thing but it is essential to reminding yourself of your expectations for your own relationship and specifically how you want to be treated.