One of the most powerful forces in pop culture is reality TV (aside from Taylor Swift, obvi). And, of all the reality TV out there, dating shows have to be some of our favorites. We loovvveee the romance, the scandals, and the DRAMA of competitive dating shows like Love Island USA … And, so does the rest of the world. Love Island has dozens of spin-off shows in over 20 countries. 

Love Island shaped modern dating shows, for real. We’ve come a long way from 1965’s “The Dating Game.” Viewers don’t want a live studio audience and new contestants every episode—they want exotic locations, season-long sagas, and super messy relationships. However, there are only a few seasons of Love Island USA, so what are you supposed to do after that???

For our post today, we’re sharing our list of the best shows to watch while waiting for the next season of Love Island. Here are our fave reality series to binge like Love Island: 

Shows Like Love Island

10 Shows Like Love Island

Love is Blind

Another dating show we can’t get enough of is Love is Blind. In this series, contestants start in pods where they date only through audio calls. The couples don’t meet until they’re engaged—that’s right!!! They can’t see each other until there’s a marriage proposal!

Once there are a few engaged couples, they all go to a resort together where they meet their partners and the other contestants. As you can imagine, romance, sex, and betrayal ensue here. The surviving couples then move to the final stage of the competition by moving into an apartment together in the same city to see if their blind love is for real. You can hear more about this show on the episode of Not Skinny, Not Fat called, “Is Love Really Blind?”

Married at First Sight

What’s America’s obsession with people finding love without meeting??? I don’t know, but millions of us love the drama! We watch Love is Blind and Married at First Sight ready for the tearful break-ups and questionable long-term romance. 

In this series, couples are paired based on compatibility by relationship experts. They marry in the first episode, are given a quick honeymoon, and then are placed in their home together! Yeah, this happens CRAZY fast. For the rest of the season, you see how their relationship unfolds as a newlywed couple that literally just met. In the final episode, they must decide if they want to stay married or divorce. It’s SO FUN to watch. 

Too Hot to Handle

Ever seen those dating shows where the whole series is meaningless flings with noncommittal contestants? Though we love those, Too Hot to Handle is the PERFECT twist on this reality TV trope. A bunch of people who are known for engaging in everything BUT long-term relationships are all thrown in a house together and told they can’t kiss, have sex, or participate in any self-gratification. 

The hope is that this sexual prohibition allows them to curate actually lasting relationships and true emotional connections. Think it works??? If you’re not sold on the show, listen to this episode of Not Skinny, But Not Fat about the show!

The Circle

Okay, The Circle isn’t actually a dating show, it’s a popularity contest—but, if you like dating competition shows, you’ll LOVE The Circle. All the players live in the same complex but in separate rooms blocked off from the outside world. The only communication they have is through texts and a special social media app. The contestants converse and hang out on the phone until rating day, where they rank the players from best to worst.

The catch??? The contestants can portray themselves however they want! Catfishing is a strategy often used in the game (Yeah, Kamie Crawford from Relationsh*t and MTV’s Catfish would NOT approve.) Whoever is ranked worst is “blocked” and has to go home. The best become “influencers” with special privileges. Whoever is ranked the best by the end of the game wins a big cash prize. 

Are You the One?

Speaking of our girl Kamie Crawford, she’ll be hosting the newest season of Are You the One. This show starts with matchmaking, but the contestants don’t know who they are matched with. It’s up to them throughout the show to figure it out for a joint cash prize. It’s a really unique format, and, as of recently, it includes LGBTQ+ contestants, which both make the series more interesting and more inclusive!  

Bachelor in Paradise10 Shows Like Love Island List Pt.1

Have you watched The Bachelor or The Bachelorette? If so, you’ll be familiar with this elimination-style dating game show. Like Love Island, though, this spin-off of The Bachelor takes place in an exotic location! The concept is simple:

There are a few men and a lot of women. They all hang out in paradise and at the end of each episode, they have a “Rose Ceremony” where the men select the women they want to get to know more. The rest go home. The last woman standing wins the love and partnership of the male contestants! We LOVE this version of the series just as much as the originals. And, if you decide to binge this show, do it with the hosts of the Best of Both podcast! They got their start as a Bachelor rewatch party. They’re basically Bachelor experts! 

Dating Around

There aren’t a ton of episodes of Dating Around to watch, but it’s definitely worth a weekend binge. The contestants go on blind dates with people of all genders, races, and sexual orientations, despite the player’s personal preferences. The forced experimentation is really fun and gives the show a totally one-of-a-kind twist. 

FBoy Island

Seeing a running theme with the “island” thing??? Yeah, there is something about tropical settings that make the perfect reality dating show location. Maybe because people are just primed for relaxation and romance? Or, maybe it breeds really terrible decision-making for our viewing pleasure? Whatever it is, FBoy Island feeds all of our entertainment needs. 

The show starts with 3 women and 24 men—the men are either f*ckboys or nice guys. Basically, some of the men are looking for hook-ups and plan to take 100% of the show’s cash prize and some are looking for long-term relationships and want to split the cash prize with their partner. The thing is, the women don’t know who’s who! They eliminate 3 men each week and only then do they find out if they kicked a f*uckboy or a nice guy off the island. 

Temptation Island

Here’s another island dating show! This one was originally aired in 2001, but it’s been recently rebooted. Couples agree to go on the show and be split up into “tempting” groups. The men live with a dozen models and the women live with a dozen attractive men. The object of the game is to avoid cheating despite the temptation! This one is juicy, sleazy, and full of toxic drama. We love it!!!

Vanderpump Rules

You’re right, this isn’t a dating competition show, but it’s all about relationships and classic reality TV drama. It’s a spin-off from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and focuses on Lisa Vanderpump, who is a successful restaurateur, designer, author, actress, and badass businesswoman. You see her interactions and relationships with her staff, friends, and family and ALL the chaos that comes with it. And, trust us, there’s a lot. 

If you get totally obsessed with Vanderpump Rules, check out the best Bravo podcasts and listen to what the hosts of our Dear Media podcasts are saying about Vanderpump Rules in these binge-worthy episodes:

You’ve still got time to binge these shows before the next season of Love Island!

We hope all these shows keep you busy and feed your dating show addiction. And, once you’ve finished all the episodes, why not try a podcast? We’ve got a whole roster of kickass stellar shows ready to be binged! For more recommendations, life advice, and pop culture nonsense, browse more posts like this on the Dear Media blog. You may just fall in love! (with our content, that is.)