I’m a psychologist – the Love Island boys all share the same toxic love trait | The Sun

LOVE Island is in full swing with dramatic scenes in last night’s recoupling.

Jaw-dropping and vicious words were said as couples broke down on the hit ITV reality TV show. 

Andrew blasted Tasha as “fake” before admitting to her he didn’t see a future with his new partner Coco.

Jacques brutally reminded Paige they were both single after she found out about his fling with Cheyanne. 

And Dami, who recoupled with new girl Summer, was unable to hide his irritation when Indiyah returned with a new partner, with fans shocked at his “audacity”.

Watching the series with a close eye, Dr Veronica Lamarche, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Essex, said there is a feature that most men in the vill are portraying in this series.

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And it will harm their relationships if they are unable to shake it, she said. 

Dr Lamarche told The Sun: “There's been a lot of really clear demonstration that the men are not comfortable with the vulnerability of opening up to another person.”

Being vulnerable in front of another person helps create a bond, she said. But people fear it leaves them at risk of being hurt.

It essentially means “letting your guard down”.

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Dr Lamarche said: “Research shows that if you want to build a stable, long lasting relationship, you have to be open to those moments of vulnerability in order to form a deeper connection with people.

“People view commitment and vulnerability as a more ‘feminine’ than ‘masculine’ trait.”

Dr Lamarche’s research has found that when men feel their masculinity is publically under threat, they also report less closeness and commitment in their romantic relationships.

“Masculinity threats may motivate men to cognitively uncouple from and downplay the importance of their relationships as an attempt to performatively and publicly restore their threatened masculinity,” the paper said.

Asked if the girls have also shown a fear of being vulnerable, Dr Lamarche said: "I don't think so.

"Paige and Gemma had a really nice conversation when they said, 'I haven't seen any reason to worry, and so because of that, I'm going to trust them based on the past behaviours'…

"Rather than being worried about 'what does it make me if I'm vulnerable'."

Publicly embarrassed

At the risk of being taken for a “fool” and being publicly embarrassed, some of the men on the Island have strayed from their partner.

Dr Lamarche said “self image protection is really apparent in this group of men”.

“And they are really reinforcing it amongst each other,” she said, referring to the men egging each other on to “cheat” over Casa Amor. 

Dr Lamarche said: “They are trying to prove themselves as ‘lads’ to one another. That encourages them to go after new opportunities rather than staying strong.”

Jacques had shown a vulnerable side to Paige before Casa Amor.

He opened up to the Welsh paramedic in their second week of being coupled up, while admitting he “cannot show emotion” and was scared. 

While Paige reacted positively to the conversation, Jacques seemed to become more insecure following it.

He had an outburst at Paige the next day when she didn’t follow him to the pool, fearing her attention was on Jay, who was pursuing her – potentially a threat to his masculinity. 

Given the option to regain control during Casa Amor, Jacques cracked on with Cheyanne and Dr Lamarche said his “fear of vulnerability might get the best of him and ruin a good thing with Paige”. 

But he ultimately stuck with Paige and faces the consequences of his secret rendezvous. 

When it comes to Andrew, who turned against Tasha after four weeks of being coupled up, Dr Lamarche said: “Andrew has shown that he’s consistently worried that Tasha is making him look like a fool. 

“He reacted really strongly when someone he’d never even met before [the new girls] said she's been talking about you behind your back.”

Dr Lamarche said: “If I'm feeling vulnerable, and feeling like someone is taking advantage of me, I want to test to see if there's someone out there who will reinforce how I want people to see me.

“That’s not a test of the relationship. You're testing if you’re a good, valued partner, and want someone to validate that.

“I think for some of the men that's actually what they're testing – how much validation they could get from other people.”

Luca, on the other hand, has been an outlier in the group, choosing to stay loyal to Gemma despite the potential of being publicly humiliated.

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Dr Lamarche said: “Luca has consistently shown that he was unsure about how Gemma felt towards him, but he's physically removed himself from any temptation.

“He's taken the approach of, ‘I think this is something worth the risk of being embarrassed, I've put myself out there and she might walk in with someone else’ – but he's clearly taking that risk.”

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