For a while, my boyfriend and I were one of those barf-worthy couples you love to hate on social media. We were deep in the love haze and couldn’t help ourselves, but after we settled into a more realistic place, we started to see the cracks in our relationship. We still looked like we were living our own personal fairytale online, but behind closed doors, we were a total mess and living proof that you shouldn’t believe what you see on social media.
The honeymoon phase wore off so I faked it. As in most relationships, the lust phase died off and reality sunk in. In fact, I feel like ours faded even quicker because we moved in together after only a few months. Once we were in the more mundane, comfortable phase of the relationship, I still felt like I needed to keep up with our online personas. After all, people were so happy for me thinking that I’d finally found the kind of love I thought I’d wanted and lacked for so long. I felt like it was my duty to continue carrying the torch.
I became obsessed with glorifying him and all he did for me. Every little thing he did got so much praise and attention from me online. The small acts of love honestly meant so much to me, but I realize now that glorifying the sweet gestures and thoughtfulness that should be normal in any relationship only made him feel superior and he started to take advantage of that.
I thought posting the happy moments would outweigh the rough times we were having. When we started to argue and he started exhibiting controlling behaviors, I kept singing his praises because I convinced myself that all relationships have rough patches and that I should still be grateful for the love we shared. Even when it got to a point where our relationship lacked excitement and was more daunting than joyful, I still clung on tightly to those little things and shared them with my social media network as if I was the happiest woman in the world. The truth is, I was slowly dying inside.
He stopped treating me like he used to long before our demise. I feel like I woke up one day and in the blink of an eye, the relationship dynamic changed. He suddenly stopped being thoughtful towards me, he stopped helping out around the house, and he started making sexist, outdated demands of me because I was the woman of the house. I convinced myself that it was just his workload and that I needed to help him out a bit, but the reality was that he was taking off his mask and showing me the kind of man he truly is.
I wasn’t being honest with myself. Despite how awful I was feeling inside of the relationship, I told myself that I was the problem because he convinced me of it. I tried so many times to have thoughtful and mature conversations about what was upsetting me and how we could work together to get back to a good place, but it was no use. He claimed I was the one who changed and accused me of being unsupportive and out of line. I just wanted so badly to be in a happy relationship so I faked it to anyone who would pay attention. The likes and comments I would get would feed my ego in the ways my relationship wasn’t.
I fell into the illusion that we were perfect because of our online presence. No matter how bad things got or how intense arguments became, I believed that we were truly the perfect couple because everyone on the outside looking in thought we were. It was if I fell into this character mindset of who I was online instead of who I was in real life with him. I realize now that social media can seriously play a toxic role in an already toxic relationship.
I posted frequently because I felt I needed to prove we were better than we were. The more I posted, the worse things were behind closed doors. Posting my glorified happiness made me feel as if the chaos that actually existed was minor or all in my head. What I should have done is taken a step back from everything to truly look at what I was going through. I feel like it would have made a difference in how long I allowed myself to exist in such a poisonous environment.
I felt part of something I wanted so badly to be real. I’ve always been such a romantic and I’ve spent half of my life searching for that big and deep love story. Because of this, I struggled to admit that my relationship was anything but a fairytale. I thought the more I wrote about it online, the more likely it’d be to come true. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
I let the charade continue for far too long. I should have gotten out long before I did. I should have trusted my gut but the problem with falling for a narcissistic man is that they make you question your instincts and your own sanity. I believed I was the problem and I believed that it was me who needed to show more love, try harder, and give him constant ego boosts to improve what we had. Sadly, that never happened and I feel like a fool for allowing things to continue for as long as they did.
The best relationships don’t need to prove anything on social media. I’ve always heard this saying but I always thought it was just what jealous people said of the love they didn’t have themselves, but now I see the truth. When your love is real, pure, and truly happy, you won’t have the time to post every single detail and glorify every small thing because you’ll be too busy enjoying and experiencing that joy to feel the need to prove it to your online world. We may have seemed happy and head over heels in love on social media, but it was far from the truth.
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