Before I start this post, I just want to say that I LOVE, LOVE, I love being in love, I love seeing love and I love witnessing my friends falling in love with not only their partners, but themselves. LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL AND I WISH IT FOR EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD. What I don’t love is the obsession with competing with others in love. At the end of the day, the caption #couplegoals and everything associated with it, is nothing more than an unhealthy competition that is completely unnecessary. Not only is it unnecessary but it can also cause those in relationships to compare their own to a highlight reel of another couple. People who engage in this competition are winning at a game that I, and many others, don’t want to play.
Love should never be a competition, it should instead be about bringing out the best in your partner and growing together. Instagram can be a great thing, I love staying up to date with what my friends are up to, but what I don’t love is the false and extremely unrealistic expectations many couples in the world are sharing, in what I see only as a, ‘look at how great my relationship is,’ post to their thousands, sometimes millions, of followers. This is so unhealthy because not only can it make those in relationships compare their own to a staged, ‘get a guy who looks at you like this,’ photo, but it can also be detrimental to those who have never experienced a long-term relationship, especially impressionable teens. What I mean by this is that those who are yet to experience a long term relationship are exposed to a myriad of unrealistic expectations as soon as they open their phones. The expectations set by ‘Instagram famous couples,’ are for one, almost unreachable unless you’re a a millionaire, but are also not a realistic take on a functional and loving relationship. Now I am not saying that these couples don’t love each other, I’m sure they do, but we all love differently, so to have pictures, videos and captions that represent #couplegoals, very much limits our ability to understand our own individual language of love. Many of my friends are in long-term relationships and each of these relationships is completely different and THAT IS HEALTHY. No relationship is the same and to have a criteria of what a true and loving relationship is, is in and of itself, absurd.
As I explained in my post about being completely attached to my phone, I was also very influenced by what I saw on social media. I am in a very happy, long-term relationship, and I am embarrassed to say that there have been times where I have angrily explained to my boyfriend that he doesn’t ‘truly love me,’ if he isn’t showering me with flowers every day or posting thousands of images of us online with captions reading, ‘I am the luckiest guy alive.’ HOW DISGUSTING IS THAT? I genuinely broke the love I have for my boyfriend and the love he has for me, down to material things and virtual reality. I am mortified to publish that, but it is something that everyone needs to know. Young men and women need to understand that what we see online is not an accurate representation of real life. No matter how in love they look in the picture or video, they still disagree, they still argue over who takes the rubbish out and they still experience ups and downs.
I encourage everyone reading this to recognise firstly, that pictures posted online represent a second in someone’s day, and secondly, that it is very unlikely that a person is going to post when they are arguing with their partner, or when their partner forgets their anniversary. Engage in your own relationships, not in the relationships of two famous people who are not living in your reality. I’m not going to pretend it’s hard not to compare, of course it is, but what I always try to remember is that if my day was broken down into a matter of minutes, many of those minutes would be a part of my very own highlight reel, whether that is with friends, my boyfriend or by myself. Love yourself and love your partner in your own way, don’t let social media tell you how to love; learn your own language of love. Let’s make #StopComparing the viral sensation that #CoupleGoals currently is.