In Lalalaletmeexplain's hit column, readers now get to feel like they watching TV's Love Island with her.
She'll be using her knowledge to analyse the episodes so we can learn from the cast's triumphs and mistakes.
With over 200k Instagram followers, Lala is the anonymous voice helping womankind through every bump in the road. An established sex, dating and relationship educator, she’s had her fair share of relationship drama and shares her wisdom on social media to a loyal army of followers.
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Last Monday night our screens were graced for the first time by the gang who are going to dominate our lives for the next eight weeks.
Once again, we witnessed all the men roll up in crocs, sliders, and trunks, whilst the women tottered in in platform heels and teeny bikinis. This grinds my gears, why do women have to be decorated like Christmas trees to be deemed attractive while men get to dress like your Dad? Petition for the men to be in heels and thongs for the rest of the series please.
That wasn't the only example of the gender imbalance. A major pink flag happened when Ekin-Su made a load of protein pancakes for the boy’s breakfast because apparently that is what makes you ‘wife material’. Can someone let her know that it’s not 1952 anymore and that we don’t need to be maids to men to make them want us?
Not that men have it easy in the attractiveness stakes. If you’d taken a shot every time the word ‘tall’ was said in conversations about what the girls found attractive, you’d have ended up in A&E. Prioritising tall over kind, funny, and interesting, is a sure-fire way to wind up in a mismatched relationship.
Though Tasha did mention that she has very high standards, which gave me hope, until she described those standards as wanting a man who is ‘honest and confident’. The bar is so low.
I fell in love with Indiyah when she noted that ‘Men are literally walking red flags’ but I face palmed when that conversation went straight back to looks preferences. If we are focused on physical attributes, we will inevitably be too blinded by lust to spot the glaring flags.
Don’t be like Ikenna who exclaimed ‘that’s mad you know,’ after realising that both his and Indiyah’s names begin with I and that they’ve both only had one relationship. He couldn’t believe how much they had in common. You need more common ground than that to make things work.
I’m not sure that any of the initial couplings were particularly great, though, I’m enjoying the slow burning romance between Dami and Amber. His excitement after their first kiss was very cute. He’s one of the only men that I’m enjoying though.
Ikenna repeatedly talking about how he loves ‘bunda’ was pretty bleak, but not as bleak as Luca asking Paige what her favourite sex position was within the first five minutes of talking. She informed him that it was the ‘broken eagle’ (I had never heard of this before, but then I’m more of a ‘dishevelled pigeon’ type of woman).
What made it worse, is that when he was required to answer a question about Paige’s favourite position the following day, he couldn’t remember what she had said. Sexually objectifying her while not listening to her – shocker – *sarcastic eye roll*.
The confidence of the men was shaken by the arrival of Davide, a sexy 27 year old Italian, who became infinitely less attractive when he opened his mouth and started saying things like 'I always have the power to choose women'.
The boys have become slightly obsessed with him. Liam, who was cocky and self-assured in his intro vid, got his first taste of insecurity and rejection when Davide swooped in and took Gemma out of her coupling with him.
The boys were giving Liam extremely questionable advice on the matter. Even though Gemma had made it clear that she wasn’t into him, the boys – mainly Luca – advised him to continue to try and have chats with her (chats that were clearly increasingly giving Gemma the ick) and to ‘pull everyone else for chats to make Gemma sweat.’ This rubbish advice was pretty revealing.
Luca appeared to be using a similar strategy by triangulating Paige, Tasha and Gemma. As the week went on it became obvious that Luca was keen on Gemma, I think this was fuelled in a big way by his ego and his need to validate himself by being able to ‘take’ a woman from Davide.
The public have rightly expressed concerns about the age gap between Gemma (19) and Davide (27). The fact that her age ends with teen is very relevant. Age gaps close as we get older, but they are concerning when the younger person is still a teenager. Mainly because they don’t have the maturity to navigate certain issues, they are unlikely to have many life experiences in common, and the older person may rush the younger one to settling with babies and marriage far too young.
I worry about other young people thinking that the 27-year-old man who hangs around outside their college is anything other than a creep. I think that ITV should consider not having teenagers in their next series.
I recoiled in horror when the pair had a conversation about it. Gemma said that she was used to dating older men (but she has only just turned 19 which leaves me with A LOT of questions) and Davide came out with the classic dodgy line “You’re more mature than I am”. There is no bigger red flag than that.
I was relieved by the end of the week when Ekin-Su and Afia arrived. Ekin-Su is the same age as Davide, and they ended up in a couple after Luca picked Gemma. She bounded in with big pick me energy and made it clear that she wasn’t looking for ‘seasonal girlfriends’, instead she wanted to find the love of her life.
We all know that these people go in for fame, not love, which is why you can’t really hate on her pick me behaviour in this context. It’s a gameshow. You would not want to be friends with a woman who behaved like that in real life though…
In the final episode of the week, we saw Liam walk away from the villa. The knock to his confidence from Gemma’s early rejection left him feeling vulnerable and unable to get his mojo back.
While we know that he will probably get it back quickly when he returns home with fame, followers, and a blue tick, it still felt uncomfortable to watch.
A reminder that these are fragile human beings, and even though we believe that they know what they signed up for, these are young people, they’re under 25 so their brains aren’t even fully developed yet; and that this is a harsh and brutal gameshow that can really mess with mental health.
Red and Pink Flags Of The Week:
A red flag is something that gives you an urgent warning sign, a pink flag is something that you need to take note of but not necessarily run from. Several pink flags add up to a red. I want to be clear that this is a way to highlight behaviours that we should be on the lookout for when dating. I am not saying that any of the contestants are red flag wavers in their real lives, I am highlighting actions we have seen on the show.
Ikenna and Indiyah are emerging as a very cute couple (especially from the unseen bits on Saturday’s show) but he is waving some pink flags around his emotional maturity. Saying he wants to treat Indiyah like one of the boys and refusing to give anything away about his romantic intentions has left her feeling uncertain about where she stands. She needs some reassurance!
The boys reaction to finding out that Paige has kissed 10 girls was not only childish, but also homophobic. Instead of just accepting that she might be bi-sexual, they turned it into being something sexy and naughty for the male gaze.
On their first chat Gemma told Davide about her achievements in dressage competing all over Europe, Davide responded with ‘OK’ and then moved the conversation on. If you’re on a date and the other person shows zero interest in your life, work, and accolades, it’s a bad sign.
Davide is giving big narcissist vibes with his statements like “I always have the power to choose” and being happy that Ekin-Su saw that: “Apart from having the perfect body there is something special inside me.” Also, pulling aside Luca and having a go at him for talking to Gemma without his permission. She is not a piece of property.
Tasha exclaimed that if a guy is “on me too much it gives me the ick” which was the story of my life until I started resolving my attachment issues. So, this is a pink flag which shows us that we have some healing to do if we can relate to it.
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