Young couple with parents

Are there messages in the programme about young people, relationships and mental health?


John Fenna

Head of Marketing & Communications

Whatever your views on Love Island, it’s certainly putting relationships in the spotlight. We receive a large rise in media enquiries, asking questions about relationship issues triggered by the events of the show, during its airtime for a start.

The premise of this reality television show is to put a group of single men and women into a villa in Mallorca and reward them for being in ‘couples’. While some of the contestants are clearly seeking fame, a surprising number seem genuinely to have gone on the show in search of love.

The programme offers a particular insight into young relationships. We see the couples speaking to each other, to their friends and to the camera and, in many cases, the story changes depending on the audience. As a viewer, we are the only ones who get the whole story.  

So, is Love Island making us relationship experts? Maybe not. But it is generating conversations up and down the country about relationship behaviour – and that has to be a good thing. Your couple relationship is likely to be the most important relationship of your life. It will determine your levels of happiness and those of your children and wider family. It is likely to impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your career.

I hope the producers are looking after the mental health of these Love Islanders because after just a few weeks, we already started seeing the repeating relationship patterns and raw emotions that bring couples into the consulting rooms at Tavistock Relationships every day of the week.

They may look like gods and goddesses, but underneath the six-packs and hair extensions, these islanders are young people revealing more than they realise about their approach to relationships. As viewers, we might all learn from their experiences.

If we’re really lucky, all this couple talk might break the taboo so many people feel about seeking help when their relationships encounter difficulties. Evidence shows that couples therapy can be highly beneficial in helping to develop communication, and to understand the underlying and often deep-rooted causes behind relationship distress.  Given that knowledge, perhaps more people will consider seeking therapeutic support when they need it.

We help couples with all kinds of challenges, read about the support we provide here.