“#RelationshipGoals,” she says as she comments on a photo of two strangers she’s never met, never known personally, and probably never will. And even if she does know them personally – she doesn’t know their relationship as well as she might think.
Sound familiar? This is most of us nowadays. With the lightning speed at which we share our personal photos and milestones – everything is #goals.
I personally find it quite overrated, and boring. But also, I find it so irksome. We base our expectations about what we want in a relationship on something we see online.
We have absolutely no clue about what that couple has been through, are going through or will go through. Yet we think they’re ‘perfect’ because they seem to be photogenic together?
I’ll admit this though, I was fascinated by this trend when it started. I’d go on social media and tag my friends in photos of cute couples doing things. I’d comment “#GoalsAF”, and my friends would respond with the usual, “SAME.” or “IKR?”.
I didn’t realize how unhealthy this was until I almost got into a relationship and then didn’t. I blame #RelationshipGoals for that failed ‘almost’ relationship, and then another.
There were a multitude of other reasons, of course. But mostly, I just couldn’t get over the fact that he didn’t live up to what I was expecting him to be. He wasn’t acting the way I’d seen guys act online. He wasn’t treating me like a straight up princess.
In his defense, he didn’t owe me shit. We’d been on 3-4 dates in total and I expected him to put me on a pedestal because that one guy did this grand gesture for that one girl on Twitter and those were my #RelationshipGoals.
I actually ended things with him before anything went further, and I’m glad I did. I didn’t want to lead him on and then realize when it was too late.
But this wasn’t a one-off event. It happened again.
I met another guy. He was sweet, great, and I liked him too. I enjoyed his company, he made me laugh and we had a real connection. But I still wasn’t comfortable with getting into a relationship with him because I didn’t look at the two of us and feel like yelling, “#GOALS”.
My ‘ideal’ in what I wanted out of that relationship was so shallow and unsubstantial – I cared more about what we looked like than what we actually were like.
Sounds absurd, right? That’s because it was. I was deciding what I wanted out of a relationship on the basis of social media reality, not IRL reality.
I remember seeing this post about a guy who posted on Instagram daily about his girlfriend and how beautiful she was and how lucky he was to have her. I wanted that. And when neither of the guys I almost dated treated me like that, I figured they just weren’t worth it.
I didn’t know what that couple online had been through to get to where they are today. I didn’t know if they were even a couple in real life, or if they just really wanted the retweets. All I knew was that they ‘looked good together’ and I wanted to ‘look good together’ too.
They create an unrealistic expectation about something so complicated and intricate. Relationships involve human emotions, which are raw, ugly, and real. They’re not something you can hide behind a filter.
Relationships are complex. They require effort and love. I’m not suggesting you should stay with someone even if you don’t feel like it. Just don’t jump to any hasty conclusions based on what you see online. We all have expectations in relationships, I’m not denying that. And we’re allowed to have huge ones too. But let’s form those expectations based on what we really want, and not what we think someone else has got.
Because here’s the deal, you’re not that girl/guy and their partner isn’t your partner. So the chances of things happening exactly for you as it did for them are highly unlikely.
If you truly like someone, give it a shot, flaws and all. Neither of you has to be perfect for you to be #RelationshipGoals. Don’t put that kind of a pressure on yourself or your partner.