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The only relationships on Love Island 2019 worth talking about are the girls' friendships

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A wise woman called Beyoncé once said: “I love my husband, but it is nothing like a conversation with a woman that understands you. I grow so much from those conversations.”  And as Love Island comes to an end (there are three more episodes left at the time of writing) I’m here to tell you that Beyoncé was right. 

The only relationships worth an ounce of our time - and admiration - this year are the friendships that the girls have formed.

As a young woman, this season has been exhausting to watch.  This is in no small part owing to the way many of the women have been treated.  Have the girls all been perfect angels? No, of course not.  But have the men been particularly devilish?  Yes, they have.  And the repeating pattern seems to have been man hurts woman -> woman cries -> other women gather round and pick her back up. And having spent seven years at an all-girl school and four years at university, girls bonding through picking up the pieces left by boys who won’t embrace our complexities hits slightly too close to home.  

via GIPHY

This season, time after time, the men have attempted to smother any non-docile aspect of their partner’s personality and it’s been up to the women to band together and reignite the embers of their girls’ once fiery flames.  Now, after rocky beginnings, it seems the most genuine, well-developed relationships are these female friendships.

Let’s go back in time (a long time, when Michael was still in the top tier of 2019 contestants) and remember Danny and Yewande.  Before anyone was truly shipping a couple, they were shipping Amber, Anna, and Yewande for the loyalty and care they showed to one another in the fallout of the latter’s coupling with Danny.  In light of his poor treatment of Yewande, Tommy- at Amber’s prompting- calls him over to be confronted and Anna is unsure.  Amber assures Anna “don’t worry, I’ll back you” while Anna’s own partner Jordan repeatedly calls her unwillingness to entertain Danny’s bulls**t childish.  They defend their friend, even in her absence, and the foundations of the girls’ support system are laid.  

We saw it again with Anna and Maura; Anna put her friend’s wellbeing ahead of her relationship to warn Maura that Tom is having doubts, and ensure that she isn’t blindsided when they have their inevitable Love Island Chat.  

When Amy decided to leave the villa after Curtis lulled her into a false sense of fairytale security only to “have his head turned” (read: opt to take an active interest in other women), the most emotional goodbye was with her group of girlfriends.  As she tells the group that she has made some of the best friends she’s ever had, Anna, Molly-Mae, and Amber seem to take the news worse than Curtis, all sobbing into their hands.  When Michael announced that he had chosen to recouple, Anna, Amy, and Molly-Mae appeared to feel just as betrayed by his decision as Amber herself.  Once again, the romantic relationships have shattered- if they were ever really there in the first place-, but the friendships formed among the girls only appear to have strengthened with every turning male head. 

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The girls also play key roles in making each other remember their own worth, whereas romantic relationships often actively encourage the opposite and force the girls to quash any remotely “rebellious” behaviour.  When Amber finally opened up and expressed her honest feelings to Michael, he shot her down and labelled her childish, whereas Anna and Maura understand that their fiery, stoic friend has complex feelings and emotions that should be released and expressed.  With one seated either side of her, forming a well-dressed but even better-meaning support circle, Amber is able to compose herself and smile again.

Finally, after Jordan decides to “express feelings”- aka flirt with India while his girlfriend was just a daybed or two in the distance- we witnessed the ultimate display of female solidarity.  Maura literally disregarded Curtis’ wishes in order to protect her friend, proclaiming “I am not losing her as a friend…be pissed off”.  Within seconds of Anna approaching Jordan to confront him, all of the girls (and Greg) are abandoning their own partners and flanking her to provide both moral and verbal support.  The opinion is divided on whether or not Anna is in the wrong, but I firmly believe she had every right to be livid and the only silver lining of the whole situation was seeing her new friends fight her corner.  

This was never intended to be a list of all the times the boys have gone about their relationships in very questionable ways (after all, sometimes the girls behave in ways that I just can’t understand either).  With that said, it does appear that having such an unreliable and quite frankly immature cohort of boys in the villa has allowed the girls to form some substantial friendships based not just on mutual support and loyalty when the going gets rough, but also on genuine lighthearted fun (e.g. Belle and India giving an Attenborough-style commentary of Anton’s exercise regime).

This year, the girls have been gaslighted, lied to, belittled, cheated on, mislead, and more by boys who just hours prior claim to really like them and feel excited about the future.  There are almost always tears, and these tears are always wiped away by the other girls and at a time when women are constantly pitted against one another in the media, it’s quite refreshing that on a show where the premise is based on just that, these women have found more strength in each other than in the men who are supposed to sweep them off their feet.  

via GIPHY

It seems incredible that, while they should have been competing against one another, this year’s girls have actually found more comfort, love, and stability in each other than in any of the men who have stepped foot into that villa.  And who can blame them?  I’d take an afternoon making fart noises behind the shrubbery with Belle and India over staring at Michael’s pointed finger as he shouts “chaldish!” at me any day of the week.  

PS: Ovie and Greg, none of the above applies to you.  You are golden. 

Lead image credit: dronepicr on flickr




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