Lessons from Love Island: navigating temptation in a relationship

September 11th, 2023

Does couples therapy help? What Love Island really needed

ITV2’s Love Island isn’t back on our screens until next year and this summer’s series was just as turbulent and packed with drama as the previous nine.

One of the main themes that the show deals with is temptation – whether it’s the islanders always keeping one eye on the door to see when the next bombshell is going to arrive, or the infamous week away in Casa Amor, contestants are constantly having their connections and relationships tested.

Whilst the situations in Love Island are extreme and of course heavily-edited to ensure the hour people spend in front of the TV every evening is going to leave them coming back for more, there’s no denying that temptation arising in a relationship applies to real-life couples as well.

So how can this temptation be navigated before it gets too far?

The temptation landscape

Your relationship does not have to be in dire straits for temptation to rear its head.

In fact, here at The Therapy Room, we speak to people – both as individuals and as couples – who would consider their relationship to be a happy one and yet still find themselves having to navigate the treacherous waters of temptation.

Because much like the dramatic twists and turns on reality TV shows like Love Island, the real world is awash with situations that can test the fidelity of a relationship – whether it’s the allure of a new colleague or the intrigue of an old flame.

These temptations often stem from our desire as human beings for excitement, attention, and newness.

The key in avoiding them lies in recognising and accepting where they come from, and adopting strategies to combat them.

Instant gratification vs. long-term happiness

Before succumbing to temptation, consider the potential consequences.

Is a fleeting moment worth jeopardising the bond you’ve built with your partner over the many months or years you’ve been together?

Of course, it may be time to end the relationship you’re in because it’s not working anymore, and that’s absolutely fine.

But it’s always best to try and end one partnership before starting another one.

Strategies to avoid temptation

Finding someone else attractive when you’re in a relationship is actually quite normal.

It’s what you do with that attraction that matters and whether you allow yourself to be open to more or not.

If you find yourself being drawn to someone who isn’t your partner, take a moment to employ the following tools to give yourself the best chance of not crossing the line:

Open communication: Honesty is the cornerstone of any strong relationship so encourage open communication where it’s okay to share your feelings, worries and moments of vulnerability. If the reason you’re attracted to the new starter at work is because they compliment your appearance and it’s made you realise you’d like this more often from your partner, share that with them. This can help both partners understand each other better and build on your connection.

Set boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries with people outside your relationship is crucial. This can mean limiting interactions with individuals who might pose temptation and discussing situations that both partners consider inappropriate.

Prioritise quality time: Spending quality time with your partner maintains and strengthens your connection as a couple so make sure you regularly plan in date-nights, days out and activities that you both enjoy.

Social media awareness: Social media can be a breeding ground for temptation so be mindful of who you interact with online. Also, proactively avoid behaviour that might lead to infidelity. For example, don’t accept that friend request from your ex, or don’t exchange DMs with someone attractive you met at the gym.

Does couples therapy help?

While Love Island showcases the drama that can ensue when relationships are put to the test – real-life couples have an invaluable tool at their disposal to navigate the difficulties they come up against, and that’s couples therapy.

Here at The Therapy Room, we understand that relationships are complex and that no two couples are the same.

We know that a “one-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t work which is why we spend time exploring your unique issues, both individually, and as a couple, in order to work on effective and long-lasting solutions.

If you’re struggling with temptation or perhaps it has already spilled over into infidelity, contact us so we can help.

We do this by providing a safe, non-judgmental and empathetic space for you to work on whatever has brought you to our door, without taking sides, and by offering the unique insight of a trained relationship expert that will help you to strengthen the connection you share and feel happier as a result.

At the Therapy Room, we want to get you and your relationship back to good, whatever good looks like for you. We encourage open communication and honesty in order to make way for a healthy and pleasurable intimate connection, in whatever form that takes.

Founder Jay L Pink Ad.Prof.Dip MBACP PC MNCS (ACC) established The Therapy Room to offer high quality, expert counselling and therapy services to people of all ages, as well as to couples for relationship and partner counselling and groups for corporate and family therapy. Jay’s commitment to anyone visiting The Therapy Room is to unconditionally respect values, lifestyle, background and beliefs, offering a discreet and professional service tailored to their needs.

Therapy is held either in-person at The Therapy Room in Northampton or online. 

To organise a booking, please visit our bookings and payment page.