reality tv

"I've watched 25 episodes of this show in 4 days, but we need to talk about the gaslighting."


Confession – I can’t stop watching Love Island UK.

I’ve devoured 25 episodes in less than four days and it’s consuming most of my conversations.

Way better than the Australian Love Island, the British reality TV show has everything I could ever want in a trashy series.

Drama. Couple swapping. English accents. Backstabbing. Romance. It’s got it all.

But whether you’re only a few episodes in on free-to-air or are all up to date on 9Now, there’s one uncomfortable behaviour you might’ve recognised happening on the bean bags and by the hot tub.

Don’t worry, you won’t find any spoilers here. The fact I don’t need to give anything away for you to know what I’m referring to makes my point for me.

The gaslighting of women by the men on Love Island UK is worryingly commonplace.

The faces of men who can't help but gaslight their partners. Image: 9Now.

In particular for Adam Collard, Wes Nelson and Alex George, making the women around them feel small and stupid comes far too easily.

When it comes to Alex, the sweet, sensitive, shy doctor, he resorts to gaslighting women when they don't agree with him. Or worse, when they don't like him back.

Adam and Wes' deployment of the technique is more obvious, used to cover up indiscretions and turn the blame back onto their partners.

It's Laura who's too sensitive and immature, rather than Wes insensitive and manipulative.

Kendall and Rosie clearly exaggerated their feelings for Adam, didn't they?

No, he never told them exactly what they wanted to hear before turning around and doing the same to other women. Why would he do that?

Wowww! That was INTENSE. ???? #LoveIsland

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THAT was amazing. Well played, Rosie. ???? #LoveIsland

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Women's Aid, a domestic violence organisation in the UK, even released a statement calling out Adam's behaviour as emotional abuse.

“On the latest series of Love Island, there are clear warning signs in Adam’s behaviour."

"In a relationship, a partner questioning your memory of events, trivialising your thoughts or feelings, and turning things around to blame you can be part of a pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse.

"We ask viewers to join her in recognising unhealthy behaviour in relationships and speaking out against all forms of domestic abuse – emotional as well as physical."

We saw similar behaviour from Love Island Australia's Grant Crapp - appropriate - when he told then-partner Cassidy McGill his cheating on her with now-partner Tayla Damir was "all in her head".

Let's not even go into the emotional abuse going on in Erin Barnett and Eden Dally's relationship.

Yes, this is a show about hot strangers hooking up with each other in a Spanish villa, and yes, people are 100 per cent entitled to change their minds about who they 'fancy'.

But come on boys (and Megan). At least be honest about it.

Are you watching Love Island UK? What are your feels on Adam, Alex and Wes?