Opinion: Why Relationships Fail in the Era of Social Media
According to marriage counselors and dating experts, the one thing that will kill most relationships is unmet expectations. Sit back and think about your last relationship or your current one. Read this statement then close your eyes: when was the last time you saw another couple or gesture on social media that made you wish it were you? Blink: all of us on the daily.
The unrealistic photos on social media every day, every hour and every scroll fill a void most of us long for. We are in an era of the Kardashians receiving houses of roses or new cars with giant red bows regularly. We also see our friends on glamorous vacations with new designer handbags and that perfect photo next to the water. Let’s not forget the ultimate fairytale wedding we constantly see if not in real time but in photos all over social media. In reality, it’s a moment in time. It’s a facade for what happens “behind closed doors” – fights, insecurities and other issues we may not see. No one, let me repeat that, no one lives that perfect of a life. Of course memories are nice and a beautifully architected photo is even better. What I’m directly referencing is the timeline of celebrities, influencers or faux-influencer friends that live “that” life. Those photos that build jealousy and resentment in your head and are often taken out on your partner.
When your relationship or even life gets hard, you can scroll through your timeline and see what appears to be a perfect life. *Scroll* look how happy they are together on Sunday Funday, *scroll* look at their perfect house, *scroll* look at them on another vacation – and there your brain goes down the rabbit hole. I’ve been a victim of contributing to the demise of one relationship with unrealistic expectations. I felt there weren’t enough photos of us, I didn’t get flowers enough, I didn’t get surprise gifts or taken on enough vacations. It was a constant battle internally with a lot of altercations. The constant fights filled with fuel by the fairytale photos was ultimately the end of a great relationship.
While cruising social media one evening before writing this article, I came across a quote by Mark Groves: “When we mismatch intentions, no one wins.” Ultimately when you have certain aspirations to live a “fairytale life” think and ask yourself, is this to fill a void of insecurity? Quite possibly your partner thinks that your relationship is perfectly fine and unaware of your intentions. Without proper communication, hard work and realizing social media is a tool mostly used for branding and selling goods, your meter of resentment will continue to fill up. Let the private jets, rooms of flowers, hand-holding in the sunset and trips to Bora Bora go. Your life is what you make it, so go forward, seize your life and be grateful for the life you live with your loved one.