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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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Everything You Need To Know About Our Country’s Current Immigration Situation

From legal immigration to refugees, asylees to the Migrant Caravan, we've got you covered.

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Currently, a quick search of the phrase "US Immigration" on Twitter will result in multiple tweets containing opinions about ICE, President Trump's stance on immigration, and stories of the recent #MigrantCaravan. All of the information you see on a daily basis in regard to immigration may seem pretty overwhelming. With so much of this information circulating the media, it becomes easier for us to take things out of true context and harder for us to determine fact from fiction. So, to make your lives easier, to clarify, and to keep you more informed, here is a rundown of the current immigration situation in the US.

1. The current U.S. immigration policy

Visa

The current US immigration policy is extremely complicated, but the process of legally immigrating into the US is important to know. For people currently residing outside of the US, they must apply for an immigrant visa with their respective US embassy or consulate. The US government provides these key steps in the process of obtaining the visa:

1. In most cases, someone must "sponsor" you or file an immigrant petition for you.

2. Once the petition is approved, and there is a visa available in your category, you apply for either a Green Card or an immigrant visa.

3. You get a medical examination.

4. You go to an interview.

5. You receive a decision on your application.

2. The procedure for refugees and asylum seekers

UNHCR

Recently, we've been seeing a lot of stories on the news about the US policy on refugees and asylum-seekers. According to the government, "Refugees are people who fled their homes for a variety of reasons, including persecution (or the fear of persecution) and war, to find protection elsewhere." Through the US Refugee Admissions Program, the refugee's case is reviewed by the Resettlement Support Center (RSC) and approved by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Approved refugees are put through security and health screenings to make sure they aren't bringing any contagious diseases into the country. Once approved for resettlement in the US, the refugees are provided with assistance like a cultural orientation course and access to the Department of State's Reception and Placement Program.

3. The purpose of stricter immigration policies

immigrants

Our current immigration policies are put in place to ensure that these immigrants are good people, have a good reason for coming into the country, and have people in the country to support them as they transition. In the end, they receive either a family-based visa, in which they currently have a family member who is a US citizen or is a permanent resident, or an employment-based visa, where they are sponsored by an employer.

4. The recent cost of illegal immigration

wall

The recent #MigrantCaravan is a great event to see how our laws and policies on immigration and refugees are applied. With a number of these migrants coming from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador reaching the Mexico/US border, they all come with the hope of building a better life for their families. Many are fleeing from the dangers of gangs, and many are looking for a job in order to send to their family members in their home country—which is the same for a lot of migrants from other countries as well. The thing that makes this event special is the sheer number of people who came to the border and the way they tried to enter the country—through methods not compliant with our country's legal procedures.

According to US policy, those seeking asylum would have to be taken in and given a hearing for their claims. But, since this policy is designed to help those with a reasonable expectation of persecution in their home country and many are just looking for a chance at a better life, they have had tried to simply cross the border illegally instead. In doing so, border fences were broken, stones were thrown at American border patrol, and violence has grown by the very people trying to escape violence. On their way up from their respective countries, they had actually violently entered Mexico violently as well, breaking the Guatemala/Mexico border fence and attacking their respective border officials. The tear gas famously thrown at these people was legal in that it was a form of defense for Mexican patrol officers and the country as a whole.

In recent news, not only have these migrants tried to enter our county and others illegally, but many are bringing things that would not be beneficial if they entered into the US. According to a spokesman for Tijuana's health department, about 2,267 of the migrants in this caravan are being treated for health-related issues. These complications include respiratory infections, chickenpox, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, lice, and skin infections. In addition, U.S. border patrol agents have arrested a member of the dangerous MS-13 gang who was trying to illegally enter the country—29-year-old Jose Villalobos-Jobel is responsible for a number of murders in the US.

Although our President may have some harsh comments about our current immigration situation, the laws, policies, and procedures are put into place so that we ensure the safety and security of our citizens, our country's first priority. Our immigration officials are set up to protect us from dangers not only from violence but from diseases as well.The Migration Policy Institute estimates a total of 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the US since 2016, with the majority coming from California and Texas.

5. The benefits of legal immigration

Shown in the Annual Flow Report of Lawful Permanent Residents by the Department of Homeland Security, "A total of 1,127,167 people became lawful permanent residents of the US. Currently, there are a little over 37 million legal immigrants in the US, and in 2016 there were about 10.7 million illegal immigrants.

Undoubtedly though, immigrants are a great part of our nation. They are twice as likely to earn a doctorate than children of native-born parents, and they definitely contribute to our economy. They contribute to new innovations and businesses in the US and contribute to the development of a more diverse and inclusive culture within our nation.

Hopefully, by becoming more informed we can come to terms with respecting the laws, rules, and regulations of each country, understand the reason why these are set in place, and work to create a better policy that benefits all of us.

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