THEIR whirlwind relationship began locked up in a villa on Winter Love Island – and soon after getting their freedom back lockdown hit.
Now 18 months on, Finley Tapp and Paige Turley have spent the majority of their relationship indoors – instead of doing the work and travel plans they’d made together in South Africa pre-lockdown.
Paige Turley and Finn Tapp moved in together after Love Island when lockdown hit[/caption]
Although the time together – first spent at Paige’s parents house in Scotland before moving into their own home in Manchester – has brought them closer, Finn says it’s delayed his plans to propose.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Finn, 21, said: “If you look at our relationship, it’s almost like if we look back in two or three years’ time there’s been a year of it that’s been a break.
“Although we’ve got closer and closer, we haven’t experienced a normal day to day life and relationship together.
“We haven’t been able to make too many memories or do too much.
But they’re delaying wedding and family plans[/caption]
Finn and Paige fell head over heels on day two of Love Island[/caption]
“As far as marriage and proposals go, we definitely need to experience a bit of normal life before we go to that next step.
“Now restrictions are lifting we are able to go out and enjoy ourselves a bit more.
“With the enjoyment of doing things, then comes the feeling of ‘it’s definitely the right time now to propose’.”
Footballer Finn says his 23-year-old singer girlfriend is on the same page when it comes to taking things slow.
They’re excited to have a relationship outside of the house now restrictions are easing[/caption]
“We’ve only ever known spending time with each other,” he adds.
“We met each other on day two and we were sharing a bed.
“We had to get comfortable with each other almost instantly.
“We were used to it for lockdown, but we didn’t have the swimming pool and the sun like we did in South Africa.
“But it’s worked in our favour. Lockdown is obviously a testing time for some relationships, for others it made them progress and flourish quicker than it would have.
“For me and Paige it’s obviously the latter. We have managed to get to know each other in a real life situation and real-world problems, more so than you would in a normal first year of a relationship.
They won the show in January 2020[/caption]
“We have been able to stick by each other in what is going to be one of the most difficult years we have.
“It gave us time to figure out what we’re grateful to have, rather than what we missed out on.
“Before lockdown we got too caught up in what’s to come, rather than focusing on the now.”
Before finding fame on Love Island when he and Paige won the first ever winter series, Finn was working as a former semi-professional footballer from Milton Keynes.
After leaving the show, Finn quit his Oxford FC team to focus on his new showbiz lifestyle.
But although he’s enjoyed his time as a reality TV star – albeit restricted by the job losses caused by the pandemic in the past year – Finn says he’s keen to get back into the football world.
Recently, he partnered with leading education charity Football Beyond Borders, an organisation which uses the power of football to support and encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
He added: “Reflecting on the past year has shown me how much I’ve missed the football world and I really want to enter back into that.
“Whether or not that’s playing or maybe presenting sporting events.. or whether I go into a bit of commentary.
“After leaving the show I did think ‘why have I left football just because I’m in the reality world now?’
Finn is focusing on getting back into the football world[/caption]
“Now I’m involved with Football Beyond Borders. That’s been great because it helps you, mentally, doing things you’re passionate about.
“It shouldn’t be a secret that people have suffered from mental health in lockdown, I’ve had my challenging moments.
“You do get very fed up because you want to be doing things you like to do.
“It helps massively to find things you’re passionate about and get involved.”
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But Finn hasn’t ruled out a return to reality television by joining one of ITV’s biggest shows including Dancing on Ice or I’m A Celebrity. However, he’s waiting for the right opportunity.
“I certainly wouldn’t say no,” he added.
“If the right things come up I’d definitely do it.”