Is Social Media Ruining Your Relationship?

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social media ruining relationships

Every time I scroll through my timeline, someone is in a new relationship, pregnant, engaged or their significant other has done some type of indescribable, beautiful grand gesture. It is so incredible to see all of these people in such happy relationships, but at the same time, I notice others green with envy.

After seeing some of the things that boyfriends do for their girlfriends, many of us start to compare our own relationships to the ones we see on social media. We say things to ourselves, like, “I wish my boyfriend would propose already,” “I wish my boyfriend would do something so creative for me” or “My boyfriend doesn’t do this. He must not love me.”

While it is never a bad thing to have high expectations of your relationships and to know that you deserve all of the finer things in life, it is also important to understand the ways that social media could possibly be placing unrealistic expectations on you, your partner — and your entire relationship.

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For example, for Valentine’s Day 2020, rapper Future surprised his girlfriend, Lori Harvey, by decorating her new mansion with hundreds of roses. Harvey posted a video of her walking down her stairs with a rose on each step, and when she reached the first floor, she was met with several bouquets of roses the size of a bush in solid gold vases. There was a giant floral arrangement in the shape of a heart, piles of roses on the floor, and lit candles everywhere.

While having your home covered in hundreds of rose petals sounds awesome, we must be realistic — a lot of us do not have the net worth of $40 million to spend on such a grand romantic gesture. While your partner might wish that he had tens of thousands of dollars to spend on decorating your non-existent mansion with roses, the reality is that's just not in the cards (probably ever).

Talk about unrealistic expectations. And this type of content is what you see every. Single. Day. as you scroll your feed — comparing your relationship (and your wealth) to the likes of celebrities and influencers.

Not only is this constant onslaught of jealousy not great for your own mindset, your relationship is likely also suffering from the comparison, too. Constantly complaining about your partner not doing what you see all your friends and followers doing for their own significant others can make your loved one feel unappreciated and undervalued.

These types of feelings are often what end a lot of relationships before the two can have some of their best moments. Appreciating everything that your partner can do for you and understanding that there are some things that their financial situations may not permit them to do is the best way for both of you to remain happy, satisfied and in a successful relationship.

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Seeing others get engaged and married is another way that social media also plays a part in placing unrealistic expectations on relationships. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all used for people to share some of their most special moments with the public. Often, people do not keep this in mind when they are watching “everyone” get proposed to or leaving a friendly comment on “everyone’s” wedding picture.

“Everyone” is not getting married or engaged. It simply seems that way because those are one of the most common types of posts to see on social media.

Even someone who hasn’t posted a photograph in three years will run to Instagram to share photos of their engagement ring. When you see these huge accomplishments and start pouting about the fact that your partner has not even brought up the idea of proposing to you yet, you might need to take a step back and reflect on where you two are in your lives at the moment.

Is it even an appropriate time for you two to be thinking about marriage? Are you really ready to get married or do you just want to be able to join the seemingly large, but actually a very small number of people you follow who are currently engaged?

Rushing your partner and yourself into such a huge commitment before you are both ready for it can end in complete chaos. It is perfectly fine to watch others have their moments of bliss and joy while waiting for it to be your turn.

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The most common and most confusing way that social media places unrealistic expectations on relationships is the dreaded, “Why don’t you ever post me?

Although I have a personal rule to never date a guy who refuses to have a few photos of me on his social media accounts, I do not think that it is appropriate for anyone to think that their partner’s social media has to be a fan account dedicated to them. Your partner should be able to post you when they want to without you breathing down their neck asking why it has been two weeks since their followers last saw your face.

The last thing that you want is for your partner to feel like you are trying to control every aspect of their life, especially something as minuscule and meaningless as social media. Them not posting you on social media on a daily basis with long, emotional captions does not mean that they love you any less. This especially applies if you have a partner who doesn’t really post on social media as it is.

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It is normal to desire nice gifts, a deep connection, to be shown off, and to of course take things to the next level with your significant other. In fact, these things absolutely should come into a relationship.

What I am saying is, don’t be so wrapped up in all of the ways that others are receiving these things from their significant other that you miss all of the sweet things that your partner does for you.

If your partner is not loving you the way you desire to be loved in any capacity, it may be time for you both to let the relationship go. There is nothing worse for both people than feeling like your significant other is trying to change everything about you.

Social media is not the real thing. Is social media ruining relationships? Probably. Rarely does anyone ever post their hardships and setbacks. Learn to appreciate the reality of your relationship and who your partner is.

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Sarah Jones-Smith is a writer and college student who enjoys writing about relationships, the daily lives of women and ways to be a healthy partner.