Open letter to blogs about relationships:
If your blog is titled “10 things healthy couples say to each other” or “Things great boyfriends do” or “Things all great relationships have”, then this letter is for you.
I’d like to start by saying that I am an offender by clicking on these blogs. When I am scrolling through my Facebook feed at night, curiosity takes over, and I click to find out about the 10 things my boyfriend is supposed to be saying. I don’t read these because I expect him to say any of these things. Rather because I am interested to see what qualities society has conditioned people to believe make a successful relationship.
These blogs litter social media, conditioning them to think that without these “must haves” your relationship is or will be unsuccessful. This poses the question: what are we setting people, of both genders, up for? Answer: the unobtainable. Women’s expectations for men are set at an exceptionally unrealistic level—perfection. Men are forced to try to reach these unreasonable expectations. These unrealistic expectations are directly connected from conditioning through blogs on social media. Women are disappointed, men feel like failures.
With the amount of redundancy, and frequency of these relationship blogs we are only further instilling into ourselves that it’s only these words, only these behaviors, and only these social media posts of affection that make for a wonderful relationships. It is virtually impossible for every relationship to have all of the qualities these blogs say “great” relationships have. No two relationships are the same. Imposing this conditioned version of the perfect relationship also creates a stigma that if your relationship actions and behaviors lie outside of these standards there is something wrong with you and/or your SO (significant other).
I personally believe in chivalry. I believe in being respectful of one another. I believe in being the best version of myself that I can be, so that I can also have a positive influence on the life of the person that I am with. But everyone is fighting a tough battle, which alters everyone’s relationship situations. Just because your significant other doesn’t call you six times a day and tell you that you are pretty in 10 different ways everyday doesn’t mean they don’t care. It just means that maybe they are living their own life with you, rather than living their life for you, like these blogs often suggest. The perfect relationship doesn’t and shouldn’t exist by a set of standards created by someone behind a screen. But rather the perfect relationships exists in the ability to compromise with one another without compromising yourself. Living outside of the set of standards can only provide for a healthy, realistic, relationship for yourself and your SO.
So…Dear Blogs with unobtainable relationship goals. Stop conditioning people to fail. Instead condition them to enjoy the adventures of living outside of the “perfect” list.