Lessons from Love Island: the importance of respect in a relationship

September 20th, 2023

Conflict resolution in relationships – lessons from Love Island

Whether you’re a long-time fan, or can’t stand to watch a second of it, there’s no denying that ITV2’s Love Island has become a household name.

Every summer, millions of people tune into the show at 9pm, six days a week, and settle down for an hour to follow the drama and the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by the couples on the show.

However, whilst a lot of the content is contrived for maximum impact on a TV audience, there are some scenarios which can have you looking at your own partnership, and in this blog we’re going to talk about something that becomes glaringly obvious the more you watch the show – the importance of respect in a relationship.

Red and green flags in a relationship

There are many moments on Love Island that have outraged the public over the years, perhaps most famously in Season 4 when Women’s Aid spoke out against one of the male contestants, calling his behaviour “gaslighting” and warning people to learn to spot the signs of this in a relationship.

It’s very easy sometimes to watch a TV show like Love Island and sit back, aghast at the behaviour some people are willing to put up with during the dating process, and thinking “I’d never put up with that”.

However, we also need to appreciate that it’s very easy to judge someone without being in their shoes and taking into account that everyone has their own unique experiences, insecurities and complexities that will influence their behaviour when dating.

So what should you be looking out when you start the dating process? What are some red and green flags?

Red Flags:

  • Jealousy and controlling behaviour – someone who discourages you from spending time with family and friends or who isn’t happy about you pursuing the hobbies and interests you have outside of your relationship.
  • Someone who describes all of their exes as “crazy” – some relationships end badly, that’s a fact, but if your new partner is listing reems of people they’ve been with who have all turned out to be “crazy”, chances are that their exes may not be the problem after all.
  • Poor conflict resolution – every couple argues from time to time but if the way that your partner expresses their anger makes you feel unsafe, this is not something you should feel obliged to put up with.
  • Love bombing – this phrase refers to when, at the start of a relationship, a person “bombs” you with over-the-top gifts, excessive attention and grandiose statements, in an attempt to get you to fall for them before you learn who they really are.

Green Flags:

  • You feel listened to – when you say something, you feel like they’ve really heard you. When you’re not happy, they genuinely want to know why and how they can help.
  • They express integrity – they treat service staff well, they’re kind, honest and trustworthy.
  • They encourage you to pursue your passions – they don’t want you all to themselves. They encourage you to take up that new sport or enter that baking competition. Seeing you thrive outside of your relationship makes them happy.
  • You feel accepted by them – it’s really important in a relationship to feel accepted for exactly who you are and if you feel that way about a potential partner, you’re onto a winner.

Respect and communication

Love Island’s drama-filled episodes often culminate in the departure of certain couples, while others flourish and capture the audience’s hearts.

And the difference between these outcomes often lies in how well the couples uphold the tenets of respect.

In real life, respect is the glue that binds couples through the tests of time. It’s the foundation upon which trust, communication, and intimacy are built, allowing a partnership to evolve and grow over the years.

In a relationship, confrontations and misunderstandings often arise from a failure to communicate respectfully.

And that’s where therapy comes in – either as an individual or as a couple.

Here at The Therapy Room, we know how important it is to provide a safe space where you can speak and be listened to without judgement or bias.

If you’re struggling with respect as a couple, or if you’re looking to learn more about yourself and why you may act like you do when you’re dating, contact us for an initial chat.

This will allow you to talk freely and openly about the issues you are experiencing and allows us to recommend a course of action.

Let’s get you back to good.

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.