I have this friend of a friend – cool guy, successful, brilliant mind when he’s serious, and fun to be around. In the time that I’ve known him, he’s dated no one less than an 8 on her worst day. A few years ago, he started dating a young lady that was his equal. They were one of those couples that people saw and said “so when’s the wedding?” I even told him once “you’ve done everything a single man could do, time to go be old and happy.” And yet, that relationship is no more. She’s moved on and is now in a relationship with a shorter clone of him. Judging from our age group, they’ll probably be married a year from now. And my friend of a friend? Let’s just say he’s on the fast track to being that 40 year old with a 28 year old girlfriend who still thinks Vegas day parties are the move.
I tell that anecdote to say many of us are in love with relationships that have terrible backstories. I’ve noticed other couples, who seemingly had this “happily ever after” thing all figured out, and hoped to one day achieve the same. Although, stepping away from the rabbit hole of IG hashtags, I’ve concluded that what people really want is the appearance of uncomplicated love.
Sharing relationship information on social media is a slippery slope. On one hand, women often press the issue because they want to feel like their s/o is proud to be with them. They plaster collages and flipagrams all over the place so they can badger their boyfriends to do the same. There’s also been this connotation that if people don’t know you’re in a relationship then you’re hiding it. And if you’re going out of your way to hide your relationship, it’s because you’re doing something sneaky. On occassion that’s true. The generalization remains. Women overshare their romantic relationships naturally while men undershare purposefully.
However, there are exceptions. Some guys who overshare do it for reasons I believe are embedded in narcissism. For one, the guy who constantly posts about his lady is likely in disbelief that he pulled the woman he did. We judge people immediately like how did this X, Y, Z person lock down someone like that; whatever the “that” embodies. I’m not a crazy handsome dude, I’m just aight. So if you saw me in a date night selfie with say Gugu Mbatha-Raw, not only are you going to like the picture, but you’re going to wonder what she sees in me.
The second reason is some men are innately vain. Having your lady be lusted after by other men who couldn’t get her if they tried is an ego boost. Therefore, you want to flaunt. It’s not about how internally dope their s/o is or highlighting how the relationship may have overcame the trials and tribulations that accompany real love. Nah! It’s about the attention. The likes, the comments, the follows. Social media has given way to treating relationships like trophies.
I think the choice to open your relationship up to voyeurs on the socialwebs is a double-edged sword. It’s a major part of your life so you want to share it. You want your followers to be able to put a face to the person that is your everything. The downside is that when a relationship enters a rough patch or ends, the door to your love life will still be open to strangers. As long as you’re attractive, you’re going to be inundated with fake concern and alley-oops to help cheer you up. Then there’s the chore of having to delete any traces of the relationship; pictures you most likely love because you look good in them.
#Relationshipgoals isn’t going anywhere. However, you have to be discerning about what you covet. A lot of people can smile through bad situations and have you thinking you’re missing out because you’re unchose. Grant Hill and Tamia? Relationship Goal. Kanye and Kim? I’m good. When it comes to relationships and sharing them on social media, boundaries should be set. Privacy may be what keeps your relationship solid. But if you decide to make your s/o a weekly feature just don’t forget that – in the midst of #usies and #datenight – there’s a real live person you have to keep choosing to love every single day. Holding his/her attention should be your priority, not clocking your likes.