Social Media Is Giving Us Unrealistic Expectations Of Healthy Relationships

Social Media Is Giving Us Unrealistic Expectations Of Healthy Relationships

#CoupleGoals is ruining couples' goals.
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It seems these days that everywhere you turn you see relationships. In person, on television, on social media; relationships are everywhere. Advice seems to be everywhere as well. From your relatives telling you how you need a boyfriend, to Twitter accounts telling you what kind of boyfriend you need.

If you take a minute and look through Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, you can find paragraphs after paragraphs about the kind of boyfriend you “deserve.”

These people will tell you that you deserve a boy who will always send you a “good morning text,” buy you anything you want, and give you all of their attention all of time. There is a list of specific “little things” that are required for a good relationship. These include, dancing, flowers, gifts, and constant communication. I’m not saying that these things aren’t good, or that you don’t deserve them.

What I am saying is that these relationships you see pictures of all over the internet aren’t real. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, or a perfect boyfriend.

The social media checklist is not the standard you should be setting.

When you are considering if a boy or potential relationship is right, look at who he is. Don’t ask yourself how often he texts you, ask yourself how often he makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t wonder if he will pay for every meal (cause truthfully, you’re both probably broke), wonder if he will pray before every meal.

Don’t expect that you will have all of his attention and time. You shouldn’t even want that. That isn’t healthy. You both should value other people and things outside of your relationship. Give each other a healthy amount of time and space to miss the other. No matter how much social media tries to say that it isn’t, it is OKAY not to be around each other 24/7. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. That means he isn’t dependent on you.

There is only one thing that you should want a boy to be dependent on, and that is Jesus. Who is the only boy you should be dependent on.

There are pictures all over Instagram of couples you know doing cute couple things that result in comments like “goals.” But you have to remember that people don’t post pictures of their fights. Girls don’t brag about when their boyfriend wanted to play video games instead of coming over. No one wants to broadcast how imperfect their relationship really is.

I’m not saying you should settle. You should decide right now not to settle for anything less than the guy God has planned for you. But if you expect him to be everything Twitter says an ideal potential boyfriend is, you won’t be happy. Don’t second guess him because he doesn’t come over every time you ask him to. If he acts like he likes you, he likes you.

Don’t listen to Pinterest. Listen to what God is telling you. You know in your heart if a boy isn’t right for you. So listen to that, not whether or not he ignored your text.

I’m not going to give you a checklist, because you don’t need one. Ultimately, it isn’t up to anyone else to determine if a thing is right. If you have a substantial list of requirements, you will just be sitting there waiting for him to fail. And what happens when he does? Are you going to break things off with a boy you really like just because he did one thing out of the ideal?

Does he make you happy? Does he make you a better version of who you already are? Does he love Jesus and show it? Those are the types of standards you should have. As long as it is healthy, don’t listen to how other people say your relationship should be. Because it won’t be perfect. He will make you mad. There will be times that he doesn’t come over. There will be times that he will be so far from the boy in the fake relationship on your Facebook feed.

Be happy. Spend time with the boy that makes you happy. Don’t over think things. Don’t make drama where there isn’t. Just love Jesus and love the life he gave you. Because that is so much better than wishing your life was someone else’s.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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