I’m a psychologist and here’s what’s really going on with Love Island's Gemma and Luca | The Sun

I’m a psychologist and here’s what’s really going on with Love Island's Gemma and Luca | The Sun


THEY’RE the Love Island sweethearts of the series, coupling up in the early days and sticking together since.

Gemma Owen and Luca Bish have given us plenty to talk about – and a psychologist has weighed in on her thoughts for the pair.

It’s clear the two dote on each other, with romantic scenes on Wednesday’s date night episode. 

But throughout the dramatic series, Luca has been labelled as both “intense” and “overprotective” by both viewers and fellow Islanders.

The 23-year-old fishmonger admitted he was protective when seeing Adam, 26, chatting with Gemma one-to-one.

Dr Veronica Lamarche, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Essex, said Luca’s reactions are partly motivated by insecurity, which drives jealousy. 

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She said: “Luca is clearly a little bit insecure, and clearly likes a lot of validation from a partner.

"And I get the sense from Gemma that she is someone who doesn't necessarily feel comfortable showing that kind of emotion or vulnerability.

“When you have those two personality types together, they can clash a little bit.

“That can sometimes exacerbate the tendency to feel jealousy if you're already feeling inadequate and not getting the affirmation you need.

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“Other people are going to feel really threatening to you, so I think I can kind of motivate some of Luca’s reactions.”

Dr Lamarche said when a person is protective or controlling, they often say “it’s them I don’t trust, not you”.

She said: “In reality, is it that you literally think that other person is going to physically attack your partner or physically force them to do something that they don't want to do? 

“Do you really see them as a physical threat?

“Or is it actually that you think your partner’s head will turn? Which in a sense means you don't fully trust your partner and think they aren’t 100 per cent committed.”

Luca tested 19-year-old Gemma’s committment during a chat on the terrace, after he rapidly became “p***ed off” while she was chatting to Billy on the beanbags. 

He said: “I thought we were 100 per cent for each other now… I just wanted to feel like that was the case.”

Gemma – instead of giving him the all-important validation – said that if he continued his behaviour it would “push her away”.

She later said in the Beach Hut that she wanted to have conversations with other guy friends.

But the next evening, she told Billy to stop hugging her in the kitchen while Luca looked, sarcastically saying “mates don’t hug”.

Dr Lamarche said: “It's normal for couples to set boundaries about what they feel is appropriate when it comes to interacting with people who might be interested in them.

“But it really has to be a mutual understanding of what is reasonable.

“[Gemma] might be uncomfortable being too physically close, so it could be her expressing her own preferences, but it could be her not wanting to upset Luca. 

“It’s hard to gauge whether she is responding out of respect for his wishes, or because she doesn’t want [Billy’s] attention.”

Dr Lamarche said Gemma has her own ways of showing she cares for Luca, adding: “They've been relatively stable throughout this entire thing, barring some of the jealousy issues, and I think it comes from their mutual respect and understanding for each other.”

In your relationship…

Speaking outside of Love Island, Dr Lamarche said protectiveness can become a feature of many relationships.

When does it become a concern?

Dr Lamarche said: “Extremes are when people start controlling their partner's behaviour, asking them not to interact with certain people or not to go and do certain activities because of the potential imagined risk there.

“A warning sign is definitely if they get angry with you, and then brush it off as coming from a place of concern or even admit it was an overreaction, but they’re not adjusting their behaviour.

“The other warning sign would be if a partner is telling you who you can and can’t interact with and you don’t agree with those boundaries.

“Or, if they aren’t willing to maintain the same standard of behaviour – which means it’s not about mutual respect, and more about control.”

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She said if a person did not feel safe within a relationship, they should seek support from a relationship counsellor or speak to a crisis centre.

“The other important thing is to not isolate yourself from your support network about these issues, talk to your friends, talk to someone you trust.”

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