• Kali Ah Yuen

5 Things Netflix’s "Too Hot To Handle" Teaches People with Commitment Issues

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the show, I advise you to watch before reading, as many spoilers are found within this article. 

Netflix has been on a roll this year, releasing reality shows that have taken the world by storm. From The Circle to Love is Blind, the platform took viewers who got instantly hooked by surprise. Needless to say, Netflix Originals elevated to a new level. But wait, it doesn’t stop there. The latest release of Too Hot to Handle, a reality show that’s similar to Love Island, is on the rise to becoming the next hot topic of entertainment discussion. We've already binge-watched the entire season in one sitting if that says anything.

The show dating show consists of 14 contestants who were chosen as some of the "most attractive" people from around the world and brings them together in one house with the chance of winning a $100,000 pot of prize money. Of course, there's a catch - they can’t get sexually physical with each other, or else prize money will be deducted. This means no kissing, sexual contact, or self-pleasure of any sort (with $3K being deducted for every kiss, you can imagine how costly other actions were). The whole show is conducted and overseen by a computer-generated device named Lana, and trust us when we say she sees everything.

The goal of the show is to transform these contestants who all have a habit of getting into sexual relationships based on physical features, rather than making genuine connections. It’s temptation central, filled with females in bikinis, buff men walking around half-naked, and the chance to get it on around every corner. It’s basically a social experiment, from our perspective. 

But with great television, comes great takeaways, especially from some of us, who have commitment issues ourselves. So, we’re here to share the five lessons Too Hot To Handle can teach those with commitment issues - even those who find themselves in 'situationships':

1. Connections can go beyond physical features

It’s pretty common to be attracted to what fancies your eye, but keep in mind that connections can go beyond the occasional eye candy. At the opening of the show, each contestant entered the house one-by-one with a glass of champagne and a beachfront awaiting them. Some were quick to lock their targets, while others waited for the whole crew to get there to get a feel. Those quick to pick were solely based on physical features, which they revealed in their confessionals. 

Francesca and Harry’s attraction to each other stood out from the beginning as they both thought each other were the hottest contestants there. Harry called Francesca his “dream girl” and Francesca couldn’t take her eyes (or hands) off Harry on the first day. Eventually, their relationship ran into some turmoil with gossip throughout the house, but it had to fall apart to make their connection stronger. As time went on, we watched their love for each other blossom, going beyond their initial physical attraction.   

The situations where they showed restraint allowed them to connect on a deeper level with real conversations. Even the group activities where they were paired together gave each of them a new perspective as they dug deeper into who they were as individuals and what they could be in the future. Think about it - if a Canadian model-built woman who could get any guy she wanted just by giving them 'the look', and an Australian six-foot-something, frat house mate can connect beyond physical features - so can you. It just takes time and willpower to water a connection that could grow into something more. 

2. Commitment issues have a lot to do with your past

In the first episode, you learn that most, if not all, of the contestants, have some form of a commitment issue. Whether it was due to personal insecurities as we saw with Bryce, or just straight-up fear of love and anything to do with it like Matthew’s situation, it all had a deeper meaning based on their own personal experiences. 

A great example of this was the relationship we saw bud between Sharron and Rhonda. They initially had great chemistry, until Sharron’s past starts getting involved. He begins to distance himself from Rhonda and we later learn that his ex left him for his best friend - heartbreaking to think about if you ask us. Then there’s Rhonda, who we later find out during one of the group activities that she has her own insecurities about being controlling in regards to her last relationship. Eventually, they’re able to work together taking the necessary steps to move on from their pasts and work towards a future. 

It’s good to note here that everyone has a backstory. At face value, you may think these contestants are players or too immature for a relationship, but it’s much more than that. If you didn’t grow connections with the contestants that chose to open up throughout the series - don’t question your commitment issues, question your connection with humanity. 

3. Superficial ideas aren’t the means to a relationship

Everyone knows the cliché saying, money isn’t everything. Of course, throughout the show, there were occasional slip-ups that cost the whole group a pretty penny (i.e Francesca and Harry who lost the group over $16K), but there were many times when you could say it was more necessary. Before any physical touch, there was typically a conversation about how much it was worth losing thousands over. 

Situations like Harry and Francesca’s first night in the private suite were a bit on the selfish side of the scale, but David and Lydia’s first kiss was approved by the group, with Sharron even encouraging him during his confessional that if it was going to make the connection stronger, why not. That was until Lana introduced an Apple Watch-like product that would flash green lights, indicating that the rules didn’t apply to a particular couple. This only occurred when a genuine connection was made and was always for a short amount of time. Even then, each interaction between contestants was all about risking the money for a deeper connection.

This can serve as a wake-up call for those with gold-digger tendencies, or even those who put materialistic and physical features before genuine connection. It’s also a great message in the sense that love is always a risk, but in order for it to work, it must be one you’re willing to take. Nothing comes easy in life but the superficial ideas aren’t going to satisfy you at the end of the day. 

4. Your body is a temple, so treat it like one

Different group activities took place throughout the show that were focused on strengthening the connections the couples had with each other. There were also activities focused on strengthening connections within themselves. Each activity instructor made the contestants dig deeper into who they are as a person and how they perceive others.

On one occasion, an instructor was brought on to host a Yoni Puja Workshop for the female contestants. This workshop was all about forming a strong bond with yourself through the yoni (vagina). They were put in a box with a little mirror and were asked to explore the yoni, and then asked to draw a representation of it in their perspective. Drawings of unicorns, butterflies, and other positive marks were presented. If that didn’t showcase the power of the workshop, then maybe Chloe’s woman empowerment high right after is a better representation.

Many of the women left that activity expressing how they came to realize that their body is a temple, not made to give to others so easily. It’s a sacred place that they vowed to cherish moving forward. So, how does this relate to those with commitment issues? Well, most individuals who can relate tend to connect more through physical gestures that provide instant gratification, rather than deep connections. Know your worth and understand that someone out there will be able to acknowledge that too.

5. Soul searching can lead to more genuine connections 

A lot of self-evaluation and purpose pondering was done among the contestants in the short amount of time they were on the show. Whether it was solo deep thinking sessions in the hammock or heart-to-heart conversations about facing personal fears, many of them embraced the process of finding oneself.  

During the finale of the show, you can easily spot the differences between who the contestants were when they entered and who they became when it was time to go. Their perspective of connections and relationships went through a complete change (with the exception of Haley, Matthew, Kori, and Madison who left before the finale - but also Nicole because there wasn’t a time I felt like she actually made a genuine connection).

The entire experience created a new meaning of connection, from the activities they took part in, to the insecurities they overcame. It was almost like watching a group of people go through a mindfulness camp where they came out as elevated individuals, which leads to my final point. Overcoming commitment issues is a real thing that anyone can do if they’re willing to undergo the process and make the necessary changes.

So the next time you use the reasoning of having commitment issues, remember, you have the power to change or remain the same.

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