Love Island 2021
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Modern Dating: The ‘Love Island’ Experience

The world of dating has changed rapidly since the beginning of the pandemic. Virtual dates and online hookups have become the new norm. Meeting people outside your social circle has become increasingly difficult. When looking at ITV’s hit reality show Love Island, it’s clear to see the effects of the pandemic but also how dating has changed.

Love it or hate it, Love Island is one of the shows everyone will be talking about for the next 6 weeks. A social experiment that highlights modern dating – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And so far this year, there has been a lot of negativity surrounding the contestants and their actions within the villa. 

Dating has changed massively in the last few years. Not only because of constructed reality shows such as Love Island and Too Hot To Handle but also the rise of dating apps. The almost ‘natural’ aspect of dating has disappeared and everything seems very artificial. There is still a stigma around the act of being single as well as meeting someone on a dating app. It leaves us wondering how else are you supposed to meet people?

love island 2021
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Superficial Structure

Looking back at Love Island, there is something so superficial about the structure. This year it seems like not one contestant likes each other, in a romantic or platonic way. People are selfish and ruthless when it comes to dating in the real world, but it seems intensified on the show. The feelings of others are completely disregarded for a quick fling that will only last 3 days until the new bombshell arrives. Of course, in the real world when meeting new people if you don’t click it’s unlikely you’ll ever see this person again. You can move on with your life.

Ghosting has become a habit of so many people, even unintentionally. But that just isn’t possible in the Love Island villa. Their demons are just a few beds away or chatting up their best friend by the firepit. Although this can cause drama, being able to deal with their issues head-on is quite refreshing and something that many people don’t always experience.

Misogyny and dating

Another issue many have seen this year is the outright misogyny shown by many of the male contestants. It seems the only decent male currently is Hugo, the P.E teacher who seems to have a heart of gold – he’s kind, intelligent but deemed ‘too nice’ by the girls who all want that bad boy who will break their heart. So many of the male contestants don’t have any regard for their girls’ feelings, just waiting for the next girl to arrive. But of course, in the real world, we never see those conversations of doubt, only the aftermath. It’s hard to watch and makes you wonder whether we’re moving back in terms of equality.

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love island 2021 diversity
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Diversity Issue

There also seems to be a pattern that has transcended throughout every single season; which is the treatment of POC. Samira, Yewande, Kaz. All beautiful women. They were all deserving of much more. Positioned in a way to make them feel like they aren’t desirable, just because the few selections of men ‘handpicked’ by the producers have a preference for blondes with blue eyes. There isn’t real life. But at that time, they are made to feel like they aren’t good enough. All fighting for the attention of someone who isn’t worthy of their time. In the real world, we do have types, we do have preferences but we don’t have to mention that in every conversation.

But of course, Love Island isn’t real life. It’s a snapshot, a snippet of what dating looks like in the real world. There are aspects of the show that are completely scripted and just used for a dramatic purpose. But there are more heartfelt moments, and lessons that can be learned about love and romance. Sometimes you need to wait for the right person; Camilla and Jamie everyone? Sometimes looks aren’t everything; as Lucie found out in the 2019 season with the beautiful but bland George. And sometimes you need to know when to let go, just like Amy and Curtis.

Check out this article, focusing on the 5 love languages.

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