Love Island’s Joe Needs To Learn The Difference Between Explicit And Implicit Control

Amy is right, Joe's behaviour on Love Island does ring alarm bells...

Love Island Joe and Lucie

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

If you watched Love Island episode three last night, you will have been aware of one glaring truth: 90% of the male cast of this show have little to no emotional stability. Expecting exclusivity, demanding vulnerability and threatening to end flirtations after not even THREE DAYS of getting to know each other, viewers sat back aghast as the male Islanders demonstrated exactly why most men need therapy.

Top of the pile was previous fan favourite Joe Garratt, whom seems to be the most emotionally invested in his former partner Lucie Donland, after coupling up with her on Monday. Lucie was forced to recouple with Tommy Fury and subsequently go on a date with him. It could’ve all been peachy, if Joe was, you know, secure in his own self-worth. Alas, he turned into a jealous wreck, and while he never explicitly told Lucie not to date Tommy, he began to demonstrate behaviours that have since had him compared to another emotionally unstable Joe, the stalker from Netflix’s You.

‘I don’t want to tell you what to do,’ he told her after spending an entire day upset with her, watching her and Tommy together and telling every other Islander how unfair it was the way both her and Tommy were acting. Lucie subsequently affirmed to him that she wasn’t interested in kissing Tommy – which he awkwardly overheard – and admitted she felt uncomfortable with rejection.

‘I just feel like I can’t trust you now,’ Joe replied, before ending the conversation despite Lucie’s admittance that she was in fact choosing him. While everyone watching (or at least, tweeting) was screaming at Lucie to run for her life seeing this possessive and manipulative behaviour play out on screen, she tried to tell him to ‘chill out’ but eventually played right into his hands, feeling so guilty that she ended up in tears.

It was only when Amy Hart pointed out this obvious controlling behaviour, telling Lucie, ‘this is already ringing alarm bells for me,’ that she admitted she was ‘freaked out’ by his behaviour. Clearly, an objective opinion was necessary to explain just how dangerous Joe’s actions are. Because, contrary to Joe’s understanding, being controlling isn’t just vocally telling someone what to do.

It’s the blatant over-reaction that forces her to feel guilty for doing LITERALLY NOTHING WRONG, the constant demand for her to decide about something she’s had about 24 hours to process and the questioning of her character purely because she was forced to get to know someone other than him. It all screams emotional manipulation which is, of course, abusive behaviour. And just because he’s not vocally, explicitly controlling her does not mean he’s not demonstrating it with his actions. If anything, the subtlety of it makes it even more worrying.

It’s something a lot of men need to understand, so much so that controlling and coercive behaviour was written into the Serious Crimes Bill in 2015. Because, as Amy said, behaviour like this is a huge red flag for any budding relationship. The intensity alone would concern anyone, but the emotional blackmail is even more worrying.

It’s why another fellow Islander, Curtis Pritchard, attempted to explain to Joe that his ‘passion’ was impinging on Lucie’s freedom. Of course, it’s going to take more than subtle hints for Joe to get the message. ‘I feel like people have this misconception that I’m full on, I’m not full on at all,’ he told Curtis, ‘I feel like I’ve been a gentlemen, I’ve been good to her and it’s been thrown back in my face. I feel very hard done by here man.’

While Joe continues to play the victim in a situation he is literally causing by demonstrating such off-putting behaviour, Lucie continues to be the real (and forgotten) casualty of this male pride war. Because let’s be honest, that’s literally all this is.


Check out the 2019 Love Island contestants...

Love Island Contestants 20191 of 12

Amber Gill, 21 from Newcastle

Occupation: Beauty therapistMost likely to… get in trouble thanks to her old social media posts.Ok, well, we cheated on this one, because before entering the house, Amber was already in trouble, after a video of her saying she 'doesn't like black guys' emerged. Unsurprisingly, the post has now been deleted. She got her 'rep' to tell The Mirror, 'We deleted the post as it was being taken out of context in regards to what actually happened.' (Yes, she already has a rep...) Much has been made of the fact that she knows Adam Collard from last year's show, but, let's face it, she's an attractive woman living in Newcastle, so the chances were always going to be high.Back to her pre-show interview, Amber 'reveals' she likes guys that go to the gym, so we think she'll be well catered for. She also fancies Tom Hardy 'because he loves dogs as well and I love dogs'. Cool. And says her 'three' best traits are 'I'm funny, I'm sassy and I'm kind and I like to include everyone. I like to make friends with everybody'. So we can also assume one of her worst traits might be counting to three. Amber pulls it back by describing the time she got absolutely wasted on five Cosmos In A Can on a train while heading to a first date in Manchester and fell off, hammered. We've all been there.

Love Island Contestants 20192 of 12

Amy Hart, 26, from Worthing

Occupation: Air hostess / cabin crew managerMost likely to… be described as 'This year's Laura!'Amy says that, 'My best friends at home are my best friends because we have the same taste in alcohol but different taste in men,' which means she's bound to be friends with everyone in the villa as they sup their designated two glasses of Echo Falls every night. And it seems she only speaks in shareable Facebook memes. Describing why Tinder time-wasters are the worst, she says, 'I'm 26 years old, I'm a bit old for a pen pal.' Sounds like that post-show t-shirt line is ready to go. Anyway, because she's an air hostess and, er, blonde, she'll probably be likened to Laura Anderson (of losing Wes to Megan fame last year). She's DIFFERENT though. 'Where I'm from, no-one dresses like me or acts like me,' she says.We also really like this anecdote, if you read it in a breathless, 'And Another Thing, At Band Camp' intonation… 'I went on a night out once and Liam from One Direction was there. We were in the VIP bit and so was he and he walked past me and I smiled and he said 'Hey, you alright? What's your name?' He told us to come and sit in his booth and we had a picture together. I put it on Instagram and then my cousin who was twelve and a big One Direction fan put it on her Instagram and suddenly I was on all these international One Direction accounts. I was on Sugarscape and I was getting hate from ten-year-olds because they thought I was dating him!'TELL US ANOTHER ONE LAURA, sorry, Amy.

Love Island Contestants 20193 of 12

Yewande Biala, 23, from Dublin

Occupation: ScientistMost likely to.... Be an amazing hybrid of Camilla Thurlow and Megan Barton-HansonYou got Camilla Thurlow two years ago and Dr Alex the year before people - introducing this year's 'CLEVER JOB PERSON', Yewande. Yewande says, 'I'm a scientist, which is a unique job'. We don't want to split hairs, but we googled it for all of three seconds and apparently there's up to eight million scientists in the world.'I'm a tad dramatic,' she adds - which, as anyone with a friend who describes themselves as 'a tad dramatic' knows, means Yewande could be Love Island TV Gold. Oh yes, here we go… she continues: 'I'm a terrible flirt, but I'm such a girly girl and I can't imagine [note, imagine] stealing someone's man in there. I don't think [note, think] I'd be that type of person, but never say never.' Incredible.

Love Island Contestants 20194 of 12

Lucie Donlan, 21, from Newquay

Occupation: SurferMost likely to… Say, 'I'm just not a girl's girl, yknow?'Unbelievably, the second professional surfer to enter the Love Island villa in two years (after Laura Crane), Lucie says at least 19 times that she likes sport and sporty guys, so we're already predicting some attraction to Not Tyson Fury (see below).Lucie says she's 'spoken to Joey Essex on and off', which is exactly the kind of modern dating terminology that makes us feel old, confused and tired. And her claim to fame is dating Charlie Frederick from last year's Love Island who we honestly had to google to remember.Lucie also sets her stall out when it comes to other girls in the villa, saying this (which makes us want to die a bit, but also means she'll probably make good telly). 'I'm more of a guy's girl than a girl's girl. I've got a lot of friends that are into riding bikes. I get on with those girls who are bit more tomboy-ish. I get on fine with girls, I just don't like hanging out with girly girls too much. I like hanging out with guys because they're into the same type of sports…. less drama really.' Yep. Less drama. Sure.

Love Island Contestants 20195 of 12

Anna Vakili, 28, from London

Occupation: PharmacistMost likely to… Fall over and become a most excellent meme.First off, pharmacists are our absolute favourite, because when we (always) can't get a doctor's appointment, they're always there for us to make us feel better. Anna's vying for Yewande's CLEVER JOB PERSON title, saying, 'I'm different to anyone who has been on the show before. I have the whole glam look, I'm fun but at the same time I feel like I have more to me than that. I studied hard and I've got my masters. I'm a pharmacist and I have a Middle Eastern background.'She says her love life can be summed up by a Cardi B song, she's 'a drama queen', spills her drinks all the time (us too, hun), once walked into a glass door on a date and fell over in front of Love Island Alumni Kem Cetinay. So, yeah, we're into it.

Love Island Contestants 20196 of 12

Anton Danyluk, 24, from Airdrie

Occupation: Gym ownerMost likely to… cause trouble (and definitely not tell anyone he's got a Porsche)Anton excitedly wants you to know that he thinks he's the first Scottish man in the villa, so there's that. He also gets bonus points for using the phrase 'mugging off' before he's even started the show.But then, there's this… 'That's a medical condition that I have… a wandering eye!' Crikey. 'I've never really been loyal in any of my relationships. My last relationship, I actually got caught cheating for the first time in my life and it changed everything for me.' Um, so we're sorry if any of Anton's previous, formerly blissfully ignorant girlfriends are reading this. Anton, who appeared in a TOWIE-style/wannabe reality show, GLOW, also tells this brilliant anecdote. 'I bought myself a Porsche when I was twenty-one, as you do! I picked a girl up in that and she started taking pictures when she was in the car and sending it to her friends. The fact that she was doing that made me think it meant something to her. It shouldn't matter what I was driving whether that be a Corsa or a Porsche so I finished the date right there.' Yknow, as you do! We're sure it meant nothing to Anton when he bought the PorscheNotACorsa either.

Love Island Contestants 20197 of 12

Joe Garratt, 22, from South East London

Occupation: Catering company ownerMost likely to… Make everyone lunch.Joe is a man who likes to answer questions thoroughly… even if it's rating his looks. 'Today, I reckon about an 8.5! In the mornings I'm probably like a low 8. I consistently stay around the 8s to 9s in my opinion. Maybe some days I go past the 9, when it's a really good day…. a suit day.'Joe, who used to play semi-professional rugby, has a real way with words. He's never 'snaked any of my mates out' and says there's 'nothing worse than someone just slipping around'. The songs that sum up his love life are 'How Am I Supposed to Love Without You' by Michael Bolton and 'When A Man Loves a Woman', so make of that what you will.And a date of his was once ruined after a load of drunk women who knew him from delivering sandwiches to their office ran over shouting 'SANDWICH MAN!' Mmmm… sandwiches. A man, who makes sandwiches. Good.

Love Island Contestants 20198 of 12

Michael Griffiths, 27, from Liverpool

Occupation: FirefighterMost likely to… Be subject to a load of puns about being fire, his hose and sliding down poles.Ok, here we go, Love Island Gold. 'I'd rate myself ten out of ten,' says Michael. 'I would have said nine but I'm a hero so it bumps it up.' He also says he's a 'straight-taking guy' over and over, before reminding us, 'I'm a hero! I'm a firefighter, who doesn't want their own firefighter? Their own local hero.' Of course he's 'loyal' but 'If I like somebody, then I'll go for it. There's not really anything that can stop me'. And when discussing bro code, Michael utters the classic line, 'You go into the villa to find somebody'. Which everyone knows is the Love Island catch-all for doing absolutely anything you want. And we love it...

Love Island Contestants 20199 of 12

Sherif Lanre, 20, from London

Occupation: Chef and semi-pro rugby playerMost likely to… flick past us on TinderSherif's FIRST celebrity crush was Vanessa Hudgens in High School Musical - and seeing as we liked that film in our early 20s in an ironic, 'yeah we're in our 20s and love Disney whaaat?' way, Sherif is making us feel old. He says a 'date with a cougar' (was she like, 26?) 'didn't go to plan'. And then he adds his biggest turn-off is 'if someone wants to be the centre of attention' which means that one trip to a karaoke bar with us and it'd all be over.Also, he says FEMALES. 'Bro code to me is "Nothing leaves this circle."' says Sherif. 'Whatever we're talking about doesn't need to be relayed, not just to females but to any other people outside the bro circle.' Nope.

Love Island Contestants 201910 of 12

Callum Macleod, 28, from South Wales

Occupation: Aircraft engineerMost likely to… Be described as 'the dad' of the group. Because he's over 24.'Time is ticking', says Callum. 28. 28. Sorry. Ok, we're back. Seeing as he's OLD-fashioned, Callum has ideas about how he's going to meet what we can only imagine he might call his 'wifey'.'I'm not into the dating apps, I can't get my head around them,' says Callum. 'I want to have a story, a bit of a fairytale. I don't want to tell the kids I met mum on an app! I do get a bit of the sliding into DMs and I do a bit as well. That's just part of the modern day, isn't it?' We can't wait until Callum tells his grandkids that classic fairytale @SnwWhite_and_the_7dwarves.

Love Island Contestants 201911 of 12

Curtis Pritchard, 23, from Shropshire

Occupation: Ballroom and Latin DancerMost likely to… Embarrass himself dancing at The Pool PartyOur worst/favourite bit of Love Island is undoubtedly when they get half a glass of wine each and are awarded a 'pool party' where a load of drama is due to go down, but first, they make them stand in a circle and dance around, soberly, to some CLUB CLASSICS.Well, in the same way that there's nothing worse than a decent singer at karaoke, we're all ready to cringe when professional dancer Curtis (he was on the Irish version of Strictly) decides to show off his moves at the weekly disco. Curtis is the younger brother of Strictly star, AJ Pritchard, and much has been made of the fact that AJ was linked to a 'fling' with Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, but we're way too mature to mention that.The dancer says one of his worst traits is that 'I never reply to text messages', so we're not sure how he's going to fare in the land of GOTTA TEXT! Curtis, who has crushes on Megan Fox, MIla Kunis and Ariana Grande, also says 'love is blind' twice within four sentences. So we can't wait for him to definitely follow through on that in the villa. Lol.

Love Island Contestants 201912 of 12

Tommy Fury, 20, from Manchester

Occupation: Boxer Most likely to... Say, 'I don't want to just be known as Tyson Fury's little brother'Tommy, you had us at 'I won't be afraid to go and have a splash about in the pool.' Finally! Someone might get in that freaking pool (aside from Georgia Steel).Tommy is the little brother of heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, but says he doesn't want to be 'labelled as his little brother', which is difficult because he literally is Tyson Fury's little brother. Like fellow pool fan Georgia, TommyNotTyson is very LOYAL. 'I'm a loyal guy down to the roots' he says. He also talks a lot about what he considers is bro code when approaching a girl he likes, but seeing as he'd a six foot boxer, with a six foot nine boxer as a brother, we'd just consider the code staying the EFF AWAY if we were the other boys.

Neither of these men can actually be that emotionally invested in Lucie, given that they barely know her. They’ve turned a desire to both get to know her into an intense competition days before any decision has to be made about who's coupling up with who. It seems that once again, a woman is being caught between two ego-drive blokes in an ugly fight where emotional manipulation is the weapon of choice.

Alas, as Love Island always does with these dubiously abusive narratives, at least it teaches viewers a lesson Joe is in desperate need of learning, that implicit control is just as bad as explicit. We can only be thankful Curtis and Amy are there to relay the lesson, perhaps they’re the emotionally secure power duo we need on Love Island.

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