Watching Another Woman Getting Hurt Is Just As Painful As Our Own Heartbreak
We all knew what was coming, of course. Callum was going to walk in with impossibly stunning model Molly and leave a smitten Shaughna's confidence in tatters. But if anything, the knowing made it worse.
When Shaughna saw Callum enter hand-in-hand with Molly, she kept her game-face, but you could practically pinpoint the moment her heart shattered. And just watching everything unfurl, I could have sworn I felt a real, visceral pain in my chest, too.
I wasn't the only one, of course.
When the devastating scenes aired, one woman said that her "heart hurt" for the democratic services officer, while another simply wrote: "I feel sick to my stomach".
The country was collectively going through Shaugna's heartache along with her, and it was an intense, palatable experience for us all.
When you think about it, it's no wonder that this moment of brutal rejection hit home.
When my best friend broke up with her long-term boyfriend, I felt utterly hopeless on her behalf. Yes, it was she who was beside herself with grief, but looking on and realising there's nothing you can do to help is a tough pill to swallow, too.
And what are the Love Island cast if they aren't our virtual friends? After all, who else have we been watching on TV for the last month? Who else has had us so emotionally invested in their love lives and demanded so much of our time and dedication?
Speaking to Tyla, London Dating Coach Hayley Quinn confirmed
that taking on other's emotional heartache is a very real phenomenon.
She explained: "Having empathy for someone is a way we show that we relate to the emotions they're experiencing, and there's few scenarios as relatable or as painful as rejection.
"We relate so strongly to scenarios like these as most of us have lived through the same emotions and remember vividly when we felt the same way."
Relating these feelings more specifically to last night's Love Island, she added: "Shaughna came into Love Island and made no bones about how she had been let down in the past and so had trouble trusting men. So many people will relate to the feeling of, 'oh no not again'."
Hayley went on to offer some advice on how best to channel these feelings of disappointment for our friends and loved ones.
"It's important that whilst we support others who are in this space: that we use our own positive emotions to bring others up, instead of sliding into their down," she said.
"A really important ingredient for dating success, that I see amongst my clients, is to bring positive expectations into the dating world.
"This can be hard when you've been hurt before, however when we don't have positive beliefs around dating it can cause us to act in a way that is more insecure, and ultimately less attractive, when dating.
"More than this it also means we can start to look out for those same experiences over and over again. So yes, give your friends a shoulder to cry on, but also keep reminding them that this one person, isn't every person."
Amen to that.
Featured Image Credit: ITV