Nobody knows the private challenges a couple goes through, and each journey differs.
If you’re anything like me, you love nosing around other people’s pictures on social media. It’s that guilty pleasure of looking into their lives, without having to speak to or even meet them. But when your feed is constantly updated with selfies of loved-up couples, engagement rings, romantic gestures, and other intimate posts (pass the sick bucket, please), there comes a point when you start to develop a case of the green-eyed monster.
With Vanessa whisked off on romantic weekends practically every month, and Marie receiving surprise gifts and roses at work, it isn’t any wonder why you would compare their relationship goals to your own. You soon begin to feel resentful toward your partner and question why they’re not meeting a similar “standard.”
But wishing your partner was more like theirs and putting pressure on yourself could actually cause more damage than it’s worth. Here’s how not to fall into this trap, and create your own version of “perfection.”
It Devalues Your Own Love Journey
Once you start putting other relationships on a pedestal, it devalues your own love story. Nobody knows the private challenges a couple goes through, and each journey differs. Just because they seem like the perfect couple, that doesn’t mean that their relationship is problem-free. Despite your own share of ups and downs with your partner, you have come too far in your relationship for it to be doubted.
You Don’t Know The Whole Story
People will only post on social media what they want the world to see. This is often to impress and seek affirmation or to simply get as many likes as they can for a cool picture. But you never know what goes on behind closed doors. I can recall a couple who seemed the perfect picture of true love, making everyone envious with their romantic declarations—whose divorce nobody saw coming. What you see on the surface isn’t always a true reflection of reality.
It Makes You Negative All The Time
When you start to play the comparison game, you develop a negative attitude. Your unrealistic expectations can cause tension, and you’ll focus solely on all the bad things in your relationship. Rather than being a grouch, communicate to your partner how you feel and how you can both spice things up or make it more exciting. Remember, it takes two to re-ignite the flame, so don’t be too hard on them.
You Forget What Makes Your Relationship So Unique
OK, so they may not be the most romantic, and they may not buy you flowers, but there has to be something special that your partner brings to the table. Why else would you stay in that relationship? Rather than focus on all the things they don’t do, focus on the good things. Romance doesn’t have to be the kind you see in the movies, or the kind you see on social media. It can be as simple as a movie night in with your usual takeout every Saturday, or a foot rub when your legs are aching. As long as it’s special and only makes sense to you and your partner, it counts as romance. You define it, and you create it.
A born-and-bred Londoner, Cynthia Lawrence is a freelance journalist and editor. She began her media journey as a production assistant at the news hub of MTV Networks Europe before making the transition to music journalism. She eventually broke into the world of feature writing and editing for women’s lifestyle magazines. She now spends her time writing for Huffington Post, Bella, Chat UK magazines amongst others, and currently sub-edits for The Sun Online, Britain’s best-selling newspaper. She lives in Kent, England with her long-suffering hubby, and their Marvel superheroes obsessed 4-year-old son.
This originally appeared on Ravishly. Republished here with permission.