What makes a good relationship? If I asked this question a few decades ago, you would have started listing: love, care, respect, understanding.
If I asked you the same question forty or fifty years ago, I would have been told that a good relationship is based on respect, loyalty, shared family values, and similar social backgrounds.
There is no need to delve into it anymore, as things have changed. A lot. Nowadays, no one will believe you are happy in love in case they do not see it on social media.
People think you are avoiding commitment in case you do not show them off regularly on social media, and thus causes a strain on the relationship. Actually, new couples officialise their relationship when they post their first photo on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and the like.
Jane Greer, Ph.D., a New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me?: Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, says:
“This is a violation of both your partner’s and relationship’s privacy and only shows your desperate need to feel important and be noticed. It’s more important to look at your relationship through your own eyes than portray it for the world to see and judge.”
Experts agree that in case you constantly feel the need to post about your relationship with your partner, you feel insecure as an individual or in your relationship.
Rori Sassoon, premier matchmaker and CEO of Platinum Poire, maintains:
“Commenting and including your partner on everything you do is what an insecure or codependent relationship looks like. And if it’s your partner who is constantly commenting and including you on everything he or she posts, he or she is either trying to claim you as his or her property or showing signs of codependency.”
The most disturbing truth is that people have become so addicted to social media, that it seriously affects their life.
Jonathan Bennett, relationship expert, life coach, and certified counselor in Columbus, Ohio, explains that people are constantly being shown images of what the ‘ideal’ relationship looks like, and it can put a lot of strain on relationships that don’t live up to “the ridiculous standards set by celebrity couples”.
While seeing all those “happy” people out there, many become depressed and anxious, as they could never afford a luxurious life, and many stay in a toxic relationship just to impress their followers.
A change in the relationship status or deleting all photos with your ex quickly causes a scandal, so you need to explain things to everyone.
Keeping up with the image one has created on social media is difficult and exhausting.
In reality, most truly happy couples spend as much time as they can together and do not worry about what others think of them.
On the other hand, a pair that looks perfectly on social media could be highly dysfunctional in real life. Many people who constantly post inside jokes, pictures of themselves doing romantic activities, and confess their love for each other, are actually doing it to convince everyone else they’re in a happy and healthy relationship, to trick themselves into thinking they are in a happy and healthy relationship.
According to sexologist Nikki Goldstein, people who post the most are the ones are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media.
The likes and comments can be so validating that insecure people get their up from them, not the person making the gesture, but what other people will say about it.
According to a 2016 survey of 170 undergraduates in relationships that investigated “the relationship between online self-presentation and offline relational characteristics” found that couples who focused on making it work in the real world, instead of on the social media, were more likely to stay committed and happy in their relationships.
Therefore, you need to break free from the pressure the new era has put on us, and work to make your relationship succeed.
You should not get upset if your partner does not like to post a new photo of you two together, or if you do not chat all the time. What is important is to pay attention to the things that matter, talk face-to-face and spend your free time together, loving and caring for each other.
You do not owe anyone to show that you are happy, you should feel happy instead. Focus on your intimacy, not on the image other people have for you.
Be open with your partner, talk about your desires, plans, problems, ambitions, and dreams. Be honest from the start, as nothing can be created based on lies and pretending. Be yourself instead.
Spend time on your favorite locations, plan your dates, and make sure you have good communication.
Don’t be afraid to forgive and apologize, as everyone makes mistakes. Celebrate each other’s achievements in life, support your partner, and motivate him/her to pursue his/her dreams.
Everyone will post lovely comments on the photos of you two together, but no one will genuinely care when you argue and face difficulties. therefore, make sure you strengthen your relationship regardless of the opinions of others and make sure your partner knows she/he can always lean on you.
Remember, you need to care for the needs of your partner as well, and not only for your own. Pay attention not to stay distant in your relationship our of the fear that you will end up hurt, as in this way, you will both be dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
Honor your relationship to create a healthy base, and enjoy a loving, faithful, and meaningful relationship that will make your life beautiful.