Relationships on parade

WARNING: Offensive content ahead. Continue reading at your own risk. 

I understand and respect that not all relationships are the same — what keeps a friend’s relationships going probably won’t work for Justin and me, and that is OK. However, living in a time when social media is the end all be all of all things, there has been a steady rise in the amount of information we all share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whatever else is popular these days.

I feel like it has become an expectation to post relationship and family updates regularly to social media — if it’s not on Facebook, it’s not official — and I have reached a point in my life where I no longer agree with that. I’m not talking about the occasional “Hey, we’re on vacation!” post; I’m talking about the constant, almost daily updates people share. These posts usually have no value and are repetitive.

Lately, I have really been paying attention to the details of my life that I blast out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and I try to think about what I share and why before I hit “post.”

I have cut back on the pictures of the two of us and the “cute” moments I share. Those are our memories and one day it occurred to me that sharing them with all our friends and family on Facebook and Instagram takes away their specialness. By posting to social media we’re inviting everyone in on what should have been special for just us. We have even been practicing putting our phones away at dinner and when we’re doing things together. Doing this has brought us closer because we’re not focusing our attention on “checking-in” somewhere or picking the best filter for a photo update of ourselves. We don’t need people to know we’re having fun for us to actually enjoy our time together.

There’s sexiness in mystery. What do I mean when I say that? Sometimes it’s more fun, or “sexy,” to not share on social media every move you make; keep folks guessing what you’re doing.

In fact, I told Justin that if/when he proposes, I don’t want to share it on Facebook right away. I want to take the time to enjoy our engagement between us and our families before we announce that we’re finally getting married.

I have put some serious thought into this subject and have produced, what I consider, some pretty solid reasons for no longer wanting to share intimate details of my life on social media:

  • As I mentioned above, sharing moments with a list of “friends” comprised largely of people I haven’t talked to since high school taints said moment. Yes, it makes me smile when Justin buys me flowers or cooks a dinner because he knows I’ve been craving a particular food. Hell, it makes me smile when he scoops the cat’s litter box without me asking. As I’ve gotten older, though, I no longer feel the need to mention these things on social media, and I believe that refraining from doing so gives Justin and me more privacy — we’re able to enjoy each other more without an audience.
  • I despise looking at other people’s sappy, lovey-dovey posts. If I hate reading theirs, someone else hates reading mine. You love your significant other? GREAT! The rest of the world gives zero effs, and they don’t want to read about it each time they look at Facebook.
  • While I love Justin very, very much and respect him, he is not the center of my world. Yeah, I might post a little about him occasionally, but I am my own person and I have things going on in my life that Justin is not involved with. I’m about to be blunt, well, more blunt than I have been already. I think as a woman, continuously posting about your significant other makes you look weak. Ladies, we have a hard enough time getting others to take us seriously; we’re too often perceived as emotional, PMS-ing messes. For the love of God, please do not add fuel to that fire. We don’t need men to make us stronger and happier individuals, but when you share on Facebook every other day about how happy your significant other makes you, you sound dependent upon that person. Well, I suppose you do depend on them if you truly down deep in your heart believe that you don’t know how you would survive without them.
  • Let’s get real and honest, here. Maintaining a relationship is hard work. It is not all kisses, roses, and love notes. There are days when I get so angry at Justin (yes, he knows it), but there are days when he is angry with me. We argue, we shout our differences, I complain about all the things he does that piss me off, we push each other’s buttons because we know exactly which ones to push, and then we get over it. We talk it out, he does something to make me laugh, we move forward, and that’s what makes our relationship beautiful and strong. The laughs and good times greatly outweigh the bad, but there is no reason to portray to the world that a relationship is perfect 24/7. And when you post multiple times a week about all the wonderful things your significant other does for you, you’re giving an unreal impression of what real life is like. I also think we’re doing younger generations an injustice by oversharing on social media. Young girls — yes, they see what we post and will continue to do so — are getting a skewed idea of what relationships really look like. I don’t want my (possible) future daughters to think that a relationship is all love all the time because of the BS they might see on social media. Painting this picture is unfair to them. I want them to know that you have to push through your most difficult days together to get to your best days together. That’s life in its beautiful and raw glory.
  • I’m in a relationship — a partnership — with Justin, not our “friends” on Facebook or our “followers” on Instagram. I don’t need, nor do I want, someone’s comment on what we do as a couple.
  • As much as we deny it, women are passive-aggressive and we get a sick rush trying to one-up one another. Well, allow me to correct that statement, not all women are passive-aggressive or trying to one-up someone. These are things I have been guilty of in the past, but I work very hard to avoid these characteristics. However, I do see patterns on social media of women posting what I would consider private relationship moments because someone else on their timeline did. I am not trying to compete with other females on who has a sweeter boyfriend/fiancee/husband. Sharing stories and pictures of the nice things your partner does for you, and sharing them almost daily, is obnoxious in my opinion. Your boyfriend/fiancee/husband isn’t doing anything for you that mine doesn’t do for me. I just choose not to engage in this ridiculous game unofficially called “who has the better fella” that women play among each other.

Bottom line: We’re not the type of people to post details of our life together to generate “likes.” As I stated in the beginning, these are my personal observations on the current state of social media, and my views of what works for Justin and me to make our relationship more meaningful. I understand that some people want to share all the details of their relationships — from who farts more to the love note he wrote that was probably intended for her eyes only — and that might work for you.

I also realize that writing this and possibly sharing it on social media makes me look like a hypocrite, and I have decided that I’m OK with that. These are simply points I want to make as the social media landscape continues to move forward and relationships are put on parade more and more.