There once was a time when people did not need the opinion of strangers to validate their every move. Our grandparents enjoyed the bliss of a simple life that even a phone call was exciting for them. Back then the best pictures of you and your partner would be framed and hanged on the wall; this was enough to make any couple feel special. Nowadays, things have changed.
Social media is no longer just a virtual world but a real present part of our lives. We’ve come to accept Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and other forms of social media as the place where we share our important memories and thoughts with the world. This new reality is transforming our romantic relationships for the worst.
Today, if you want to show you love someone, then you’d need to regularly share your feelings about them on social media. But does it have to be so? Can’t we just enjoy our partners in silence without getting any of our online followers involved? The bitter truth is that if you don’t post about your relationship, your friends and family might say that you’re not committed or you’re ashamed of your partner. Some may even go as far as accusing you of cheating.
Gone are the days when a third date meant the relationship is official. Now all you have to do is post one “loved-up” photo of yourselves on Instagram or Snapchat; and Voila! Your relationship is verified.
Because this is the new normal, you may not see anything wrong with sharing intimate details about your relationship on social media. In today’s digital world, people depend on your online feed and status to know how you’re doing. But the reality is that you don’t need the approval of social media to be in a loving and satisfying relationship.
You Don’t Need Online Approval…
Evidence shows that people who constantly post on social media suffer from depression and social anxiety (1). Spending so much time on Instagram makes you view the lives of others as more interesting and perfect. Without realizing it, you’ll start feeling pressured to keep up with the trends. You may even be tempted to buy expensive things you can’t afford and even hold on to a failed relationship because of what your followers might say.
Your life is not a movie, you should not be explaining your actions to strangers who probably don’t care as much about you as you think. According to one study, people who are in a happy relationship don’t care if their pictures are on their partner’s social media page or not (2). Instead, these couples focus more on spending time together and strengthening their love.
It is also common to find partners who seem perfect on social media, but they can’t stand each other in reality. One study (3) says that couples who spend more time together offline are more satisfied, fulfilled, and committed in their relationship than others who focus on their online presence.
When you spend time with your partner, you get to know them better. Moreover, the most important thing in a relationship is that you’re able to understand and invest in yourselves. For example, you could talk about your partner’s day, their goals, and aspirations in life. You should also make out time to listen to them and simply enjoy the special moments of love and attention you spend together.
You’ll see that when you’re not worried about painting the perfect picture on social media, your mind will be more relaxed, and you’ll notice other important priorities in your life.
How to Build A Lasting and Happy Relationship?
1. Make time to go to the places you both love:
You don’t need to go to the fanciest place to feel like you’re in a happy relationship. Most times these places are very expensive; Instead, you should make your own romantic experiences by visiting the places you both like.
Your partner could pick the location now and the next time, you make the choice. It’s good that you both plan the trips as this also counts as spending time together. You may not like the same places but that’s okay. What matters is that you’re spending time with your significant other and getting to know your partner more by sharing their interest.
2. Always communicate:
If you don’t speak up, then your partner will never know how you feel or what you’re thinking. Most relationships fail because there’s no communication. You can’t hide in a relationship; you’ve already decided that this person is the one for you, so don’t hold back.
You should be comfortable being vulnerable with them; Don’t guess what your better half thinks, instead talk to them. When you have any issue in the relationship, do not wait for the other person to notice, talk about your concerns or it may cause further misunderstandings in the relationship.
3. Be honest:
If you want to have a happy and lasting relationship, you should aim to be honest. Telling lies breaks the trust and respect your partner has for you. Make sure you don’t lie about what you do for a living, your sexual desires, finances, age or even the little things that you may think doesn’t matter.
4. Be ready to say I’m sorry:
As humans, we have different personalities and we come from diverse backgrounds. No one is perfect and it’s normal for couples to disagree about certain things.
You should learn to let go and stop trying to prove that you’re always right. Sometimes, you’d need to apologize even when you don’t understand why your partner is angry. If your partner is asking for your forgiveness, accept their apologies and move on.
However, if you’re in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, don’t wait for the person to change. Leave before you get too involved; there’s always someone better out there for you.
5. Be proud of your partner and celebrate them:
Avoid being a competitive or overly jealous partner. You should be willing to celebrate even the little accomplishments in your partner’s life.
Make sure you show them that whatever they’ve achieved is also your gain and you’re excited about it. You don’t need an expensive party to celebrate, you could order a pizza or drink some glasses of wine while enjoying the moment.
Don’t be fooled by social media comments. In fact, one study from the University of St. Mary (4) says that couples who frequently use social media significantly increase their risk of conflict and cheating. So, you’d be happier and more satisfied in your relationship if you focus on the present instead of creating the perfect social media feed or comparing yourself with others.
It is more important that you’re there for each other; sharing your memories together and giving yourselves mutual support.