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Love Lessons From Love Island: The Dos and Don’ts of Starting a New Relationship

As I'm sure all of you reality TV aficionados already know, Season 2 of Love Island USA is airing right now on CBS and we're totally loving its typical cringe-worthy drama. From McKenzie and Connor's roller-coaster relationship to Cely and Johnny's seemingly ​picture-perfect romance (*cough, Casa Amor, cough*), the show hasn't failed to deliver juicy content. But aside from giving us a nightly distraction, the show also gives us an outsider's perspective on how new relationships form, develop, and for some couples, end. By watching some relationships flourish while others crash and burn, we can gain some valuable insight on what to do (or not do) when we're starting relationships of our own. Here are some do's and don'ts we've learned from the couples in the villa.

Do: Trust yourself and your partner!

Ah, yes. Trust. It really is the foundation of any great relationship, especially at the early stages. Being confident in the connection you have with your partner and most importantly, being confident in yourself is not only vital to maintaining a healthy relationship, but it's also sexy as hell! Let's start with Cely and Johnny. It's no secret

that Cely is a self-assured woman, but she REALLY showed us how powerful trust and confidence can be when new girl Lauren arrived at the villa with sights set on Johnny. After Lauren picked Johnny to go on a date, Cely's reaction was incredibly mature, perhaps to the dismay of the show's producers. She kept her natural positive energy and even told Johnny to have a good time (and not in a petty way!) Johnny appreciated her maturity and it only made him like her more. Unwarranted suspicion can be a huge turn-off and it may lead a relationship to end before it has even begun. Bottom line, trust yourself, trust your partner and trust that if it's meant to be, it will be!

Don't: Overreact

When you have a genuine concern about your relationship, it's important to voice it to your partner. But, be mindful of the way you're bringing it up. When emotions are running high, it's common for something that could have easily been resolved with a conversation to turn into a problem. A great example of this is McKenzie and Connor. McKenzie's disproportionate reactions to Connor kissing Justine and Rachel during a game or his date with Lauren put their relationship on thin ice, to say the least. It ended up making him internalize his own concerns because he just didn't want to deal with all the drama. When this starts to happen, your partner can lose interest and the relationship can become one-sided. If you feel upset or overwhelmed, calm yourself down and rationalize the situation before acting out. Although we each handle things in our own way, constantly overreacting can create distance between you and your partner. Thankfully, McKenzie seems to be getting the hang of keeping her cool, so props to her!

Do: Listen to your partner's needs

Women like to talk. We can blabber on all day about all sorts of things that probably don't really matter. But, when you're getting to know somebody you're interested in, it's important for both of you, to be honest and take the time to dig deep. In the villa, there's no time to put off having these kinds of conversations, so we've seen a lot of them happen on screen. Calvin telling Moira that he isn't comfortable with PDA helped them understand each other better. Justine and Caleb were able to find common ground by talking about their families. Kiersten and Carrington opening up about how they like to be treated in a relationship made them see they're not the best fit for each other. Even though they called it quits, it's best that it happened sooner rather than later and they split up on amicable terms. So, make sure you listen to

what's important to them. Listen to what they're looking for in a relationship. Listen to their likes and dislikes. All of this information can help you both get on the same page and it can be the key to finding out if you're even compatible at all.

Don't: Suffocate them

Last but certainly not least, give your partner space! Remember that you're just starting to see each other and nothing is set in stone. Your partner is allowed to want to take things slow. If you're being too pushy or controlling, it can send them running for the hills. This is exactly what happened when James started showing his true colors in his relationship with Moira. Everything was going smooth, but after Moira voiced that she needed to take things slower physically, James started to pressure her by repeatedly saying sex is a big deal for him in a relationship. As if that wasn't bad enough, when Moira expressed an interest in new boy Calvin, James totally lost it. He started acting possessive, even going as far as gaslighting Moira into thinking she's the problem. Needless to say, that pushed her further away from him and right into Calvin's arms. So do NOT, under any circumstances, act like James. I promise it will backfire every time.

That's all there is to it! We hope some of these tips can help you find your person. Happy dating!

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Victoria is majoring in Political Science and Media Communications at FSU! She is passionate about human rights advocacy, writing, reading, public speaking. When she's not busy adulting, you can catch her binge-watching cringy reality TV shows or out and about with her gal pals!
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