April 20, 2024

The invaluable life lessons we all learnt from Love Island

Looking back on the series, there’s beengaslighting, heartbreak and a kickass contestant overcoming both of those to win (We love you,Amber). Obvs a special honorary prize to everyone’s favourite Ovie would have been ideal, but we can’t have it all.

With Love Island all over again until next year, here at GLAMOUR HQ we’re already missing our must-watch TV show.

Now on official countdown for the winter version awaiting us in January, 2019 villa life brought with it controversy and relatable real life themes by the bucketload.

Always prioritise your mental health

Initially appearing blissfully happy with Curtis, Casa Amor would change things for loved-up Amy and we all awkwardly witnessed her pain when she was dumped by the dancer.

Supposedly his half-girlfriend, the time apart instead meant Curtis made a beeline for newbie Jourdan. And when returning to the main villa alone, Amy endured the humiliation of hearing Curtis had expressed doubt about their union in front of all the other contestants. Tackling issues directly, Amy assertively questioned Curtis in a bid to move forwards.

But before they could, Curtis delivered the cutting news he couldn’t see a future with her and their pairing ended. Clearly in anguish, Amy later made the choice to leave, aware she couldn’t endure watching him with another girl. And let’s face it, we’d all feel the same.

Delivering an empowering parting speech, she told Curtis they could be friends in time, but to heal, her Love Island journey was over. Then Amy flew home, got a new ‘do, prioritised herself above anybody else and kick-started a celeb career in the process. Later revealing she’d had therapy 12 times in the villa and had been unable to eat at one point, the split clearly impacted upon her mental health. Shunning the live final featuring ex Curtis and Maura to watch musical 9 to 5, we further saluted Amy’s self-preservation skills.

Never ignore gaslighting

A distinctly dangerous dating theme, the girls upsettingly seemed to experience their fair share of gaslighting this year. Meaning psychological manipulation in which one person tries to make another doubt their own perception of events, Amber was on the receiving end several times. After coupling up with Joanna, instead of simply saying he preferred her to Amber, Michael repeatedly criticised and demeaned his ex.

He constantly belittled Amber, while she handled the situation with pure dignity. Clearly upset Michael had ditched her for Joanna when she’d remained loyal in Casa Amor, he blamed Amber for the split. Failing to apologise or take responsibility when it was in fact his actions at fault, we all witnessed him (laughingly) call Amber the childish one.

Best mate Anna was quick to call Michael out, furious at the treatment of her friend. Often subtle, and difficult to pinpoint, this very worrying and destructive form of emotional abuse shouldn’t be ignored. And while we’d never want anybody to go through it, the scenario played out has meant huge media coverage underlining such behaviour as completely wrong.

Friendship isn’t just about the sisterhood

Lucie’s rollercoaster relationship with the rest of the girls sparked debate about whether boys and girls can really be just good friends. Forgetting for a minute that actually she’d fancied Tommy all along, we asked why women still need to be categorised as either a girls’ girl or not in 2019. But it would be Amber and Ovie’s heartwarming friendship that moved platonic affection away from gender restrictions once and for all.

Protective of her during Michael’s gaslighting behaviour, the pair coupled up when without romantic counterparts and had each other’s back throughout. They laughed together, were partners in crime side by side and made the entire nation want them each to win. Despite the fact Love Island is about finding romance, Amber and Ovie walked away with a strong friendship, showing us this kind of support doesn’t need to be within a sisterhood setting.

Back yourself all the way

When Amber first hit our screens, the Geordie was overtly confident which did rub a few viewers up the wrong way. But as she opened up her heart to Michael only for him to smash it into smithereens, we all recognised how relatable Amber is. That lone walk back into the main villa only to discover her man had moved on was excruciating. And fans noted that even the most self-assured of women can have their heart broken.

Admitting her feelings remained for him, even after the way Michael treated her, Amber clearly battled with this after Joanna left. Like any girl still liking a boy who’d misbehaved, there was anguish about whether to go there again. Especially when he seemed to show more interest after the arrival of Irishman Greg. Funny that.

Re-coupling time shortly after, and the ball was firmly in Amber’s court once more. And yep we all rejoiced when revenge was served, and she chose Greg over Michael. Explaining that there’d been ups and downs with Michael but ultimately “on the outside I wouldn’t accept it. Why would I accept it here? ”, everyone at home cheered.

But not as loudly as on Monday night, when backing herself paid off and Amber won the entire series and her share of £50k. Forget the love part, that’s what we call a happy ending.

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