Love Island’s Curtis And Amy Are Proof That Absolute Transparency Is The Worst Way To Break Up

Is telling someone you've dated for a month that you don't want them as the mother of your children ever necessary?

Amy Hart

by Georgia Aspinall |

In relationships, we are often fed certain hard and fast rules about transparency. To be truly successful in the long term, we must always be open and honest with our partners. If you cheat, you must tell them. If you lie, you must confess. If something is wrong, you must address it. And yet, in last night’s Love Island, Curtis Pritchard and Amy Hart proved that actually, that’s often a sure-fire way to break hearts.

In multiple scenes now, we’ve seen Curtis relay in painful detail why he doesn’t want to be with Amy. Whether it was his confession about pursuing Jourdan in which he explained that he called her ‘beautiful’ and told her he wanted to recouple with her, or his explanation as to why he didn’t want to try and make their relationship work when he literally said ‘I don’t see myself marrying you or having kids with you’. The peak came when Amy said, ‘I asked you every day to dance with me, you just didn’t want to did you?’, and Curtis replied, ‘That’s not true… no actually that is true’, with such uncomfortable timing it has become a viral meme.

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Curtis and Amy's break-up was painful to watch

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Let's not confuse this with clarity – it is right that Curtis eliminates any hope of reconciliation so that Amy can recover more quickly. But the level to which Curtis feels the need to express his disinterest in Amy is... excruciating. While he may think he's doing the noble thing by being completely honest and open with her - after he admitted lying to her for weeks about how he was feeling - all he’s actually doing is offloading his own guilt onto her. To use such detail in speaking to Amy about what went wrong in this case becomes selfish – he's just passing the burden onto her and alleviating himself of any stress while Amy ends up more hurt than she was before.

This was clear when he went on to tell everyone that he’d slept well for the first time in weeks and a ‘a weight had been lifted’ off his shoulders. That’s all well and good for you Curtis, but for Amy, who is now experiencing her first ever heartbreak, that weight is heavier than ever. She hasn’t helped herself of course, too contributing to the idea that complete transparency is not ideal when she asked for ‘feedback’ about why their relationship didn’t work.

Not only is this complete self-masochism, it’s also highly reductive. Just as everyone we date is different, every relationship is different too – and even if Amy had qualities that Curtis did not appreciate culminating in the downfall of their relationship, that’s not to say the next person she dates would view them in the same way. Essentially, asking for ‘constructive feedback’ from anyone is not only pointless, it’s never going to provide the closure that Amy is so clearly seeking from the relationship. Because shock: closure doesn’t exist.

We all know this of course, that annoyingly true cliché that only time can heal the wounds caused by heartbreak, but this narrative serves as a reminder of all our first break-ups. And more importantly, that being an adult sometimes means absorbing the shit that comes with breaking up.

Because, even for Curtis, who is absolutely in need of learning this lesson, the intention that he has to alleviate his own guilt is actually not served by being completely truthful with Amy. According to world-renowned therapist and author, Mira Kirshenbaum, confessing everything you’ve done wrong to a partner actually makes both of you feel much worse in the long term – specifically when you’re discussing an affair with someone else.

‘It puts the other person in a permanent state of hurt and grief and loss of trust and an inability to feel safe, and it doesn't alleviate your guilt,’ she told TIME, ‘Your relationship is dealt a potentially devastating blow. Honesty is great, but it's an abstract moral principle.... The higher moral principle, I believe, is not hurting people. And when you confess to having an affair, you are hurting someone more than you can ever imagine.

‘So I tell people, if you care that much about honesty, figure out who you want to be with, commit to that relationship and devote the rest of your life to making it the most honest relationship you can,’ she continued, ‘But confessing your affair is the kind of honesty that is unnecessarily destructive.’

Of course, there are scenarios when this does not apply – for example if they’re likely to find out from someone else or if you’ve not practised safe sex (something strictly forbidden in the Love Island villa). However, in the most part, after 30 years of counselling couples, Mira concluded that attempting to alleviate guilt with absolute honestly is actually only going to hurt you both.

It seems that Curtis and Amy are learning this lesson before our very eyes, and taking us back to that first painful breakup when we all made these mistakes. Honestly, for being on a show about finding love, we’re not seeing the benefits sold very well this season…

Scroll for all of the Love Island contestant's reactions to Michael and Curtis' shock confessions...

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All of the Love Island 2019 contestants reactions to that plot twist...

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