In last night’s episode of Love Island we saw one woman take control of her story and finally put herself first – and it made us proud.
If Love Island’s Amy Hart was doing a Ted Talk on how to deal with heartbreak, we’d be first in line, pink velour tracksuit and video camera at the ready.
Because in last night’s tear-soaked episode, she schooled us all in how to leave an unhealthy situation with maturity and grace, and we were furiously taking notes.
Up until now, Amy has been portrayed as a bit weepy and over-sensitive, but her exit from the villa proved she is one of the most emotionally intelligent contestants the show has ever seen.
After four weeks of what looked like a mutually appreciative relationship with ‘half-boyfriend’ Curtis Pritchard, professional ballroom dancer and resident nice guy, things fell apart when he tried it on with former Islander Jourdan Riane and admitted he didn’t see a future with Amy.
She was cut up, breaking down during a beach hut debrief and leaving the villa temporarily for psychological support. The 26-year-old then decided to return for another week, but with Curtis setting his sights on Maura Higgins, it was clearly a painful situation.
And so, last night, Amy sat Curtis down and told him she was leaving. We prepared ourselves for the anger, the blame, the resentment – she had fallen in love and been cast aside in the most public of ways, after all. And yet none of that came.
“We made each other happy,” Amy said warmly to Curtis. “I want us to be best, best friends, but we both need to move on and find someone that is going to make us as happy as we make them.”
Unperturbed by his stuttering, guilt-ridden responses, she outlined exactly why leaving the Love Island villa was the best move for her own wellbeing, as well as his.
“I’m going to let you pursue whoever it is you want to pursue, because you can’t do that with me here, and I can’t heal in here,” she told him. “Realistically for me, I’m not going to be ready in the next three weeks to meet someone else. And you are not going to be happy whilst I’m still here.”
It was the kind of dignified break-up scene we’ve all envisioned, but few have actually managed to pull off. Amy’s self-awareness allowed her to be firm about her needs while remaining considerate towards Curtis – a bigger woman if ever we’ve seen one.
The entire villa was distraught when Amy announced her departure, her parting words giving her sadness an amazingly positive spin.
“I never thought I would fall in love. I never thought I would meet someone so special that I would fall in love. And now I know that that will happen for me again,” she said, smiling through her tears. “I want to leave in a positive way, surrounded by the people I love, like this.”
And therein lies Amy’s most poignant lesson: that there is strength in taking control of your own narrative and putting your mental health first. She acknowledged her emotions and decided that she needed to remove herself from a toxic situation, without allowing that toxicity to taint her eternal optimism.
The fact that she did all this without shouting a single expletive at the man who broke her heart makes her a modern-day saint in our eyes.
Amy, we salute you. Gone from the villa, but not from our hearts.