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Love Island friendship breakups

Last night proved Love Island friendship breakups hurt more than romantic ones

I need my girlies to patch things UP

The biggest heart sinking, lump in throat moment of this season of Love Island came midday yesterday, when the nation clapped eyes on the devastation lurking inside First Look for the first time. Nope, we didn’t gasp at a dumping. We didn’t find jaws plonked on the ground because a romance hit the rocks. The loudest “Noooo” from my friendship group came from the news that Ella and Whitney had an argument and that their friendship was in danger of dissolving. I was genuinely upset. Which got me thinking, why do we invest more in friendships on a show centred around romance? Should I be sat here caring more about Love Island friendship breakups than romantic? Let’s dive into it.

Romance comes and goes, friendships are forever

I think what this all really boils down to is that when we make friends as human beings, we do so with the relative intention that that friendship is for life. Because friendships are quite low stakes, and being friendly with people is a natural human instinct for most of us, it’s easy for us to build deep and meaningful connections with our peers without really having to commit much effort to it. I’ve lost count of the amount of people I’ve recruited into my inner circles from nights out, from smoking areas, from dance floors. We don’t have to put the same panic on it as we put on building up a romance.

— SHiiKANE (@Shiikane) July 20, 2023

Because of that, the friendships you make never really go anywhere. Sure, you can drift – but most of the people you once called friends if you bumped into them you slip right back into that place you once were. On Love Island then, the friendships feel special because they’re developing quietly in the background. The show is shoving grafting, fire pit chats and moving mad at us every which way for most of an episode – when we cut to a cute little gossipy friendship moment or a silly goofy laugh, it’s a brief bit of respite. It grounds us. It reminds us that these grafting machines are just 20 somethings with their mates in a villa, after all.

We all know the likelihood of a rapid breakup from Islanders once the season of Love Island ends, but what we don’t expect is friendship breakups. This year, the friendships have been an anchor in a turbulent season of love. When Ella and Tyrique were scrapping, the friendships of Catherine, Jess and Whitney were a sanctuary. But as of last night, that sanctuary has been destroyed. And it might not be reparable.

Why does it feel so sad?

My theory on why Love Island friendship breakups feel so much sadder and hit harder than any dissolution of romantic ones stems down to the relatability factor. I hate nothing more than falling out with my friends. My friends are my world, and even when my love life is crickets, when my sex life is gathering a woeful pile of dust, my friends are my rock. In that Love Island villa, when your romantic partner could get bored or have their head turned at any moment, those rocks are essential. You’re away from family and friends back home and you NEED your girlies or your lads. We can’t all relate to the romantic highs and lows of Love Island, but we can all relate to the friendship journeys. Whether that be Chris and Kem, Liberty and Kaz and now the Whitney and Ella – we’ve all been there. When it goes sour, it affects us harder due to the relatability.

I need Whitney and Ella to sort it out – for the sake of my sanity. I can’t go to sleep on a fight, and watching those two go at it makes me feel the same. Resolve it!

Love Island 2023 is on ITV2 and ITVX. For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook.

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