Is Love Island giving our kids an unrealistic outlook on the dating world?

Every summer, we and thousands of other people, including our impressionable teenagers, find themselves unwittingly obsessed with ITV’s hottest reality show, Love Island. For eight weeks, night after night, viewers are glued to their tellies, itching to find out who’s coupling up with who, how will the islanders react to the Casa Amor antics and what's going down on the terrace that night.

However, being sucked into a reality show like Love Island has made us wonder — what sort of effect is this mild obsession having on our teenagers and their own expectations when it comes to the dating world?

Yes, there are certainly moments throughout every series that viewers can relate to and compare to situations in their own love lives. But the reality of dating in the real world is so much different than in the villa.

Nobody sends you and your crush a random text telling you that you’re going on a romantic, picture-perfect date. Your friends don’t cheer and follow you and your prospective boyfriend into the hideaway for a night of privacy and passion. And believe it or not, just because your other half is away on holidays, this doesn’t give you permission to ‘test’ the relationship by kissing anyone who takes your fancy.

In the real world, often dating can be a lot more time-consuming as people’s lives are consumed by other factors like work, family, interests and hobbies. Without the cameras watching your every move, dating IRL can be far less pressured. Nobody’s going to dump you from the island if you find yourself single and nothing is going to happen if a fling simply fizzles out.

What’s more, instead of hearing the opinions of people you’ve known for mere weeks and worrying about how the public are perceiving you, you can spend the early days of a relationship feeling excited about what’s to come.

The anticipation of reading that ‘good morning’ text, waiting to see your new beau on date night, hearing about their week and filling each other in on work gossip — that’s something you just can’t replicate on Love Island, when you’re surrounded by your other half 24/7.

Viewers need to remember that at the end of the day, it’s a reality show and a competition above all else and if an islander happens to find 'the one', well then, that's quite a bonus.

Will this advice stop us from becoming wholeheartedly invested in the Love Island romances though and heartbroken when they inevitably don’t work out? Probably not...

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