What Love Island Teaches Us About Modern Dating

Love Island entered our lives a fortnight ago and isn’t going to be disappearing for the next couple of weeks. Due to the exposure to this generation of contestants, a lot of phrases and terminology have popped up that some of us have never encountered before.

However, if you’re currently dating or have been in recent times, some of the situations and politics will be all too real for you.  So here’s a quick dictionary to help unpick every term that’s cropped up so far for those of us who really are not enlightened and a look at how it relates to dating today.

love island


An antonym for actually very bothered. It’s the state that all modern daters like to maintain at all times so that there is no danger of catching any ‘feelings’. It’s the phrase you throw about to appear cold, emotionless and therefore indestructible.

Should any rejection happen, you have already disclaimered your stance as ‘not bothered’ so your perceived dignity remains intact. Chris and Liv had this Love Island technique DOWN.


An idiom that represents the metaphorical investment of all of your time and feelings into one person.

When internet dating, putting your eggs in one basket often leaves you going a bit scatty when you know that the person you’re chatting to definitely has eggs in all the baskets so it’s therefore not advised. By investing so much into one person, you can’t really be ‘not bothered’ when they reject you but instead you must start lining up back up plans whilst still masquerading as having your eggs in that one person’s basket.


Something that makes absolutely no fucking sense when used in any context in the villa so far. What it ACTUALLY means is that when you look at a person’s vital statistics, the tale of their tape, it matches up with everything you want.

In my case – funny, ambitious, good in bed. In an islanders case – rich, a footballer and BANTER.

However, as experienced plenty of times, someone can be fantastic ‘on paper’ (can match up with what you think you’re looking for) but the attraction is not there so nothing proceeds. FYI Love Islanders – you can not be good looking on paper.


A metaphor for a humble brag. Something someone is so proud of that they really want to shout it from the rooftops but equally don’t want to come across as boastful.

In modern dating this often comes across as the 2 bed house in South London they’ve just bought, the BMW in their drive or their 5th marathon that year.


A process of sampling the grass on the other side of the greener bed. By then you have decided to upgrade whoever you’re with at the time to take a punt on fresh genitalia.

In modern dating, you can be seeing or speaking to someone via an app, have been on a few successful dates but decide that the other person you’re chatting to is more of an interest for whatever reason and decide to either ghost or bin off the one you started with to ‘recouple’ with the next slice on offer.


A synonym for ‘the nice guy’. A melt is a guy who thinks he’s kind and is also good to his mother. Always talking about what she wants and let’s her sit on her mean ass. Yep. I just TLCed ya.

Girls stereotypically like a bad boy so if their heads have been turned by a fuckboy, the nice guy is quickly rejected and the moniker ‘melt’ will be bestowed to make it seem that the nice guy was actually in the wrong by being too nice.


A pun based metaphor that didn’t need explaining in such great detail but I’ll fill you in anyway. Getting caught in the dicksand means you’re either inundated with male attention or you get so wrapped up in one guy it’s like you’re drowning.

In modern dating, talking to lots of guys at once and trying to work out who you’ve told your festival-wee-in-a-food-container story to so that you don’t repeat yourself becomes overwhelming. Similarly, its overwhelming physically and emotionally to become so invested with a new flame that they’re all you can think about and you feel like you’re suffocating in your overthinking.


The verb, ‘to fancy’, in Love Island terms means to decide which person in the villa you could actually imagine brushing legs in a bed with, without vomiting. Aka settling.

When dating, you often convince yourself that you ‘fancy’ someone based purely on the lack of other viable options out there. It’s only during intercourse when they make their weird sex noise that you realise that they actually repulse you and you really should’ve held out for something better.


An adjective to describe a woman who should be happy that Theresa May is Prime Minister. In Love Island terms, being a feminist means that you’re too uptight to ‘relax’ and take shit off the guys when you should be grateful for the attention they deem worthy to bestow upon you.

In real life? A feminist is someone you should date. In fact, you should only date feminists. Don’t @ me.


See, ‘catching feelings’ the term which implies that having known someone for 16 hours you have explored the depths of their souls and worked out that you care deeply about their wellbeing and you want to focus on making them the happiest possible. You may not know their surname.

In modern dating, catching feelings can happen simply from matching with a Tinder profile that doesn’t feature an Uber rating but does feature an affection for cheese and beards. This can often happen in less than 16 hours too.


The metaphorical act of chirpsing on another bloke’s bird. Because, y’know, she has no agency of her own and is only able to make decisions on who she dates based on whomever’s attention she is being gifted at the time.

This doesn’t tend to happen in modern dating seeing as people are often unawares if the person they are chatting to is also getting to know someone else and also because we aren’t being deported out of a country if we don’t claim a partner by the recoupling deadline.


A description of the category of person you fancy. In Love Island, everyone’s type is either; ‘tall, dark and handsome’ (a boring type, right Chris?) or ‘brunette’.

In real, adult life, people may fancy a person with a certain aesthetic more from the offshoot but they also aren’t judgemental enough to only go for that because they know that often, attraction is unexplainable.

So there we have it – a Love Island dictionary! What other terms should be added? How does what’s happening on the Island relate to your love life at the moment?

If you want more info on what modern dating is like – find it here.

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  1. June 18, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Haha I LOVE this post! Especially “feminist” and “on paper”… How many times have they said “on paper” in one episode?!

  2. June 18, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    Absolutely love this!! Love island summed up in an article. This year they’re all playing the game instead of trying to find someone. But I absolutely love it!!!

  3. June 19, 2017 / 9:37 am

    I don’t watch love island but this post still gave me a good giggle. I’m sat here thinking most of these apply t my dating life anyways hahaha

  4. June 19, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Hahahaha this post is hilarious!


  5. June 23, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Please please write a definition for ‘grafting’!!