Couples are always sharing — often oversharing — the ins and outs of their relationship on social media, and if you’re someone who’s going through a rough patch or just aren’t feeling the same level of love in your own life, it can really bring you down emotionally. Stop now. As the old saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy and it’s completely unhealthy to compare your relationship to anyone else’s — especially the ones you see on social media — here’s why:
- Social media only shows you the highlight reel. Think of social media as the scrapbook of people’s lives. No one puts pictures of their worst moments in a photo album, right? The same logic applies to any social media sharing. The relationships you see may have sweet and tender moments, but they also deal with all of the other life BS we all go through. No one is perfect, regardless of how it looks online.
- Everyone embellishes (or outright lies) on social media. Period. Social media culture has developed a strong aversion to anything even remotely negative. To counter that, people feel the need to mood boost and inspire positivity in pretty much everything they share online. The bad news is that if you’re having a harder time, it can be emotionally taxing to see nothing but rainbows and butterflies all over your newsfeed. Don’t worry, your relationship isn’t in shambles by comparison — people just don’t typically share or air their dirty laundry online. (Well, most of them, anyway.)
- You have you own unique reasons to be grateful. Take a good look at your relationship and instead of comparing the details to all of the couples you see online, remind yourself what you have to cherish and be happy about. Perhaps your guy still opens your car door for you even though you’ve been together for years. Perhaps your spouse is the provider who happily takes care of your basic needs while you pay off your student debts or maybe your guy makes you the most amazing cup of coffee every single morning without hesitation. Count your blessings instead of worrying about what you DON’T have.
- Everyone has a different love language. The Five Love Languages takes a deep look into differentiating language profiles that we each speak in love and loving relationships. In other words, what one boyfriend might do to show his love, another guy shows in a different manner. Reminding yourself that you do receive the same love that you see in relationships on social media, only in a different love language, will help you put things back into a more positive perspective.
- Comparing will only make your own situation worse. We’ve all been there and we’ve all fallen victim to envy and straight up jealousy from seeing someone else’s blinding glow of happiness or lavish lifestyles, but it’s not all perfection. Sure, some couples are spoiled in the way they can execute their love in lavish destinations and among fancy things, but if you take all of the shiny destinations and objects away, love is love, and we all have our own beautiful versions of it.
- Those happy couples fight just like anyone else. No matter how rosy things look like in someone else’s relationship from the outside, it’s without doubt that they have arguments and deal with life hurdles just like anyone else. Remember this — you could just as easily paint the same perfect picture of your own relationship on social media and induce the same envy from someone else. It’s just how the cycle of social media works. Despite the glory moments, you know there are times that aren’t perfect as well. It’s normal.
- Social media is often an escape for people to mask their real struggles. These days, a lot of people go on social media to numb their minds from the stresses of everyday life, so it’s only natural that most of what you’re going to see is embellished and overly happy stuff because it’s sort of the new way to recharge among modern society. While social media can be draining, it can also be uplifting too, depending on how you look at things.
- You’re on your own journey. Like I said, it’s destructive to compare your relationship to the ones you see on social media mainly because it straight up takes away from your own happiness — and you do have plenty of reasons to be happy about the love that you have (even if it’s hard to see at times). Your relationship is completely unique to you and your partner and it’s actually a very good thing that it’s unlike the ones you see on your social media feeds — it means your love is one of a kind, struggles and all.
- No relationship is perfect, even when some pretend to be. The bottom line is that from time to time, we all get a little bit carried away with embellishment on social media and it’s nothing to be ashamed about because it’s pretty much the norm these days. Social media is where we release our emotions. You’re allowed to share your happy moments, hide the sad and tough ones and brag about the highlights of your life as long as you remember that everything you see is just that — the highlights. It’s not just your relationship, either — stop comparing your life, love and overall happiness to what you see on social media because you’re only seeing a small piece of the bigger picture.