You Don't Want An Instagram Relationship

You Don't Want An Instagram Relationship

Summer Chronicles: Vol. 11
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You do not want an Instagram relationship. You know, those relationships that look just a little too good to be true? If you look at my Instagram profile, the relationship I have with my boyfriend looks near perfect (we even have our own hashtag). Can I be transparent? That’s not how our relationship is, and surprisingly, we would not want it to be. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we do get to go on trips together and my captions are always authentic. But in between those posts of beach trips, hikes, brunches and church on Sunday we occasionally… challenge each other. Real talk: wouldn’t you like to be with someone who challenges you to be a better person? Who speaks truth into your life, even when you don’t want to hear it? Who does not back away from your assertiveness? As far as my s/o and I are concerned, we have grown more within the past 2 years than ever before. While this may seem coincidental, I would have to disagree.

We do not have a perfect, Instagram relationship IRL. Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes he does, yet through each mistake we learn to love a little better. We want to be on this rollercoaster together because we know that without the bad times, the good times would be undetectable or taken for granted. According to our social media, our music tastes are the same, but guess what? Probably half of the music I listen to, he could not care less about. I want to have my own opinions and I want him to have his own. I want us to be so passionate about what we believe in that we are okay with disagreeing. I want my perspective to be respected and expanded, not coddled in the corner of my thoughts. While identical music preferences might seem nice, that is not living in reality. As they say, “the opposite of love is indifference.” It may seem that disagreeing would be unloving, but that is not the case. I want to be in a relationship with someone who knows me better than anyone else but- for some crazy reason- loves me, and I think I’ve found that. That kind of love is way better than any Instagram relationship.

What do you think of Instagram relationships? Please let me know in the comments below.

Also, if you are new to my “Summer Chronicles” and want to read more follow this link to go to the very first article of the series and this link to go to the most recent.

Cover Image Credit: Michael Murray

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A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.
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I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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How To Have Fun When You're A Party Of One

Being a very social person can often make being alone difficult, but it doesn't have to be.

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Many people who consider themselves "people persons," allow their need for human interaction to hinder their chances of having fun experiences and often think that it's impossible to have fun by yourself... but on the contrary, you can have a ton of fun by yourself.

1. Be comfortable with who you are first.

The number one thing, before you can be self-reliant and be content with having a good time on your own, is being able to accept yourself for it. Don't think of being alone sometimes as a bad thing, and be able to cut the ties from social interaction to be able to do things by yourself without the social support of others. You don't need your friends to be by your side all day every day. Friends are great to have in life, but their presence doesn't define who you are. You're still your own person.

2. Take a stroll when nobody is around.

Once I went skateboarding at 5:30 in the morning on New Year's Day and there was literally no one outside and watched the sunrise. It was the greatest sense of freedom I've ever had. So hopefully you can find something like that if you choose to go out early in the morning before everyone wakes up for a nice stroll or jog around town by yourself. It'll really make you feel at peace with everything and is a great stress reliever. (except I wouldn't recommend going out at night because that's scary)

3. Go to the gym alone.

Workout out by yourself can be a great self-motivator because when you go to the gym alone, you are the only one that can motivate yourself to do all the workouts that you set to do and push yourself to the next level. It's also great for getting your brain to be more focused on the task at hand, without the distraction of another person being there.

4. Eat alone.

Go out to a nice restaurant in the city, sit outside and watch the cars go by in the glare of the moonlight on a nice Saturday evening...or just go to the dining hall. Either way is fine, whichever you prefer. Eating alone may seem pretty boring to most everybody, but its all in what you put into it. Just go ahead and people watch. Consider it your downtime to recollect your mind and your thoughts and use it to de-stress everything. It's not as bad as some people make it out to be. (also no one is gonna watch you eat or see what you choose to eat if your self-conscious about that sort of thing, which some people are...there's no judging unless you judge yourself)

5. Be more positive.

Should've said this earlier, but the key to having fun being alone is about keeping a positive mindset through all of this. If you're able to say to yourself that you will keep an open-mindset about things and try to have fun then you will. It's all about trying in this scenario. Two people can go do something by themselves and one will leave unhappy and one will leave happy because of the mental choices they made. If you continue telling yourself that you "wish your friends were here" or anything like that then you're missing the point. You have to live more in the moment, then you'll be happy and content with life on your own.

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