Why You Should Stop Comparing Your Relationship To What You See On Social Media

written by Yasmin Elzomor

It’s 2019….AKA the influencer era. We scroll on Instagram for hours and as we’re scrolling, we see the picture perfect couple traveling the world with the biggest, brightest smiles on their faces. They look tan, they look happy, they look “perfect.” We compare our relationship to theirs, to our friends, to everyone. 

But we need to STOP comparing our relationships to the relationships we see on social media. Here’s why:

#1 IT’S FAKE.

Social media is not real life. It’s a place where we showcase our greatest moments. Today, there’s this pressure to prove a relationship is going well through highly visible romantic messages and photos, but how much of what we portray online is reflective of reality? Here’s the truth:  

Couples that look happy might actually be unhappy. Some couples seem like they have the most ideal relationship, the last thing you would think is that they’re unhappy. But we all have a friend who has secretly confided in us that their relationship is in a really bad place and then right after that post a photo of them looking like the happiest most perfect couple in the world. So the next time you see a “perfect” photo of the “perfect” couple remember you don’t really know what’s going on behind closed doors. 

These “perfect” moments are staged. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes when you take the perfect #couplegoals photo for Instagram. These images don’t just happen. You have to consider lighting and angles, arrange the backdrop, and take A LOT of photos before you get “the one.” We’ve all seen couples doing it and we’ve probably all seen them frustrated or arguing while doing it…”why didn’t you tell me my hair was messed up?!”

Social media has changed the way we look at a lot of things, including our relationships. We forget that people are struggling. We need to remember that a picture only shows what we want it to show. And sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side because it’s fake. 

#2 POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA DOES NOT VALIDATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

As an influencer, friends often ask me for advice on the use of social media and their relationship. I often hear things like, “But if he loved me and wasn’t hiding me, he would post more about me on Instagram” or “I’m always posting photos with him and he never posts any photos of us.”

That’s insecurity brought out by comparison! And it’s not even a fair comparison. We are comparing our partner to a compilation of another couple’s best filtered moments – it’s an impossible standard of comparison. 

But we do it anyway. We notice that a close friend’s boyfriend is posting photos of them with sweet messages about how beautiful and amazing she is with #loveher #solucky and we start to feel like something is wrong with our relationship simply because it’s different.

However, different does not necessarily mean better (social media can ruin things too see #3 below). You just have a different relationship dynamic and that’s okay. Maybe that’s not your partner’s way of showing how they love you. It’s not their love language. (You can read more about the different love languages here – Why Laundry Is My Love Language) and in these moments of insecurity, challenge those thoughts and think about all the ways your partner DOES show you love.

#3 POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA CAN ACTUALLY HARM YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

Being a part of the “influencer era” myself, I understand what it feels like – the pressure to post the “right” couple photo, to paint the perfect relationship, but this also can make it really difficult to be present with our partners and live in the moment. 

When you’re checking the lighting, backdrop and taking dozens of posed photos are you really spending time with your partner? We need to stop trying to paint the perfect relationship and “live” our relationships.

Some of the happiest couples rarely ever post about their relationship. They’re busy being present.

live your best relationship instead of watching others live theirs.

We often look at relationships outside of us and project the idea that they don’t have the same problems we have but the truth is, all relationships have their issues and challenges. Every person has their own wounds and baggage. And a photo can only show so much.

Comparison is your worst enemy. Looking at another couple and thinking that they’re better than you and your partner simply because of what you see on their Instagram page is toxic for your relationship. Take a step back from the pressure of being “perfect” on social media and appreciate your relationship for what it really is, completely unique.

Comment below with your tips for staying out of the relationship comparison-game and being more present.

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