This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure policy.
Ever catch yourself scrolling through your social media feed and see a picture of a cute couple or a romantic quote and think to yourself, “why can’t my relationship be more like that?” I definitely have. And while it may seem like an innocent passing thought, those thoughts can be a lot more damaging than you realize.
1. Showing You The Highlights
When you take a selfie, how many pictures does it usually take to get a good one? 5? 10? 15? What do you do with the unflattering pictures? Do you post those along side the good one? I’m guessing not.
Everyone wants to put their best face forward, including with their relationship. No one is going to take a picture mid-fight with their significant other and post about how today they got into a fight over who was supposed to unload the dishwasher that day.
Cute moments, engagements, weddings, formal events, those are the pictures you’re going to see on your feed – the highlights. The good times. The happy memories. Those are going to be what people choose to share.
Does that mean that whatever relationship you’re peering into has never had their bad moments? Absolutely not, but why would they want to show those off? You’re catching a momentary glimpse into an entire relationship.
2. Comparisons Can Be Dangerous
Every single relationship is totally unique, so any comparison you make is going to be unfair and untrue. Especially when you are comparing your entire relationship, ups, downs, and all, to someone’s highlight reel that you’ve seen. A carefully crafted social media feed that is pretty to look at, but unrealistic of the actual relationship.
Comparisons can also lead to jealousy, and thinking “I wish my partner did that,” when in reality, your partner has probably done many great things for you. But seeing picture after picture of “perfect relationships” can distort your reality of what a real relationship consists of.
You may end up overlooking the positives in your own relationship, and focus on the negatives or what you’re “missing,” but really you’re just catching a one second glimpse into someone else’s relationship.
3. Romanticizes Unhealthy Relationship Habits
A relationship shouldn’t be an all encompassing obsession. Yes, the early honeymoon stage can be very lustful and obsessive, but it can’t always be that way, it’s unhealthy. Your significant other should be able and want to have their own life, with you being an important part in it.
If it’s 2am and you’re feeling down, it isn’t romantic for you to text your significant other and have them come over and rescue you from your bad mood. You need to have some self love, and be able to take care of yourself, before you are in any kind of relationship. Also, let them sleep!
Your significant other doesn’t exist in your relationship to fix all of your problems and make everything all better. Although they can help of course, there always has to be some self love coming from you. It’s not their job to save you.
It might be romanticized online, but I doubt many people find totally helpless individuals all that attractive. After a while, dating someone who makes themselves the victim, or doesn’t know how to take care of themselves at all, is going to be exhausting.
4. Puts Your Relationship On An Unrealistic Pedestal
In this age of social media everyone is trying to one-up each other. A lot of it is just for show. A hope to get a lot of likes, views, or to go viral. While I don’t doubt the genuineness of these pictures or videos necessarily, it’s important to remember that they’re not an accurate representation of day to day life.
If you’re catching yourself thinking “why can’t my relationship be more like that,” remind yourself that you’re catching a glimpse into someone’s relationship, and that your own relationship probably has had plenty of cute, sharable moments as well.
5. Idolizes Parts Of A Relationship That Should Be A Given
The littlest things seem to get the #goals label slapped onto them. Like when John Legend helped his wife Chrissy Teigen remove her jewelry when she had a little too much to drink. The video Teigen posted was littered with #goals commenters, so much so, that Teigen felt the need to respond to all those comments with this:
Your significant other helping you out when you need it isn’t goals, it’s basic human decency.
I recently saw a picture that said “I’d rather have a boyfriend who is really clingy and texts me every hour than one who doesn’t bother to reply to my texts.” Why are those the only options? Basic relationship expectations should be met in any relationship, not blown into something grand when someone does something so simple as respond to your text message in a timely fashion.
If you have basic needs that aren’t being met in your relationship, it’s not the relationship for you. Or at the very least, time to have a very honest talk about what you do need.
If there are elements you feel are missing in your relationship, your best bet is to have an honest talk about them, not pine over what you’re missing out on. Any picture you see is just a small glimpse into a relationship, and will never tell the whole story. Don’t be unfair to your own relationship and compare all the time you’ve spent with your significant other on that one second you scrolled by on your feed.