HEY YOU, STOP COMPARING YOUR ROMANTIC LIFE WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S.
"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms." — Zen Shin
The other day I read in an article, "the moment you start comparing is the moment you choose to be unhappy." This is true in life and relationships. We know that comparing is such an unhealthy habit yet we still do it whether overtly or subconsciously. With almost everyone glued to their phones, and social media readily available to access at any time, any day, it's hard not to get caught up in someone else's story.
Various studies and research has revealed that social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, and stress. As we go through our feeds, we're bombarded with people's perceived narratives — and almost always, the messages are positive and celebratory. Whether it's the "perfect" relationship, taking 5-star vacations and "living your best life". We have to remember that the lens of social media is a filtered version of reality. No one is perfect, regardless of how it looks online.
LOVE IS BETTER WHEN FILTERED?
There's nothing wrong with sharing your happiness and even bragging a little about your partner. No matter if you're single or in a relationship, what you shouldn’t do, is compare your love life to what you're seeing on these platforms. Let's keep it real, sometimes it's difficult to stop yourself from falling into this unhealthy habit of comparison, you get sucked into thinking: "this is what I should be striving for!", "why aren't we this happy?", "why can't I be treated like that?". It's mental torture and we must stop the madness! If we choose to continue, we might find ourselves feeling some type of way, for example... RESENTMENT
You might start to build unnecessary resentment towards your partner, simply because of something you saw on social media — even if it's irrelevant to your own relationship! Instead of being wrapped up in what they're doing, why not use that energy and focus on being present with your own partner?
TAKING THINGS FOR GRANTED
While people are out here trying to paint a great picture on social media, we completely disregard and ignore the challenges and bullshit everyone faces in life — relationships included. No one ever wants to publicly reveal the ugly side of their love lives. Unfortunately when we're exclusively exposed to the positives, it can cause a shift on our perspectives, giving that sense of the 'the grass is greener on the other side'. By always keeping one eye on the next thing, it can vastly impact our appreciation for the here and now, consequently stopping us from enjoying what we actually have. At the same time, your significant other may feel insecure, threatened, and might even wonder if you'd rather be dating someone else.
UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS Nobody is perfect, but social media makes it seem like perfect exists through showcasing the highlights of someone's life. When you get caught up in the fantasy, it might make you create unrealistic expectations of a partner in your mind because we piece together all the best things we've seen on social media and expect it all in one person and in our own relationship.
JEALOUSY AND DISSATISFACTION It's not fair when you become dissatisfied and pissy with your partner and relationship because of a few posts you've seen from let's say... #CoupleGoals or #RelationshipGoals. Consider the fact that your partner didn't do anything wrong. If we measure the joy in our partnership to "the norm" or "the ideal" we see on Instagram, Snapchat or wherever... then we're no doubt going to set ourselves up for jealousy, disappointment and all sorts of self-inflicted toxic behaviour. The truth is, there is no normal, or ideal standard in relationships because we're all on our own individual journeys.
“To be content doesn't mean you don't desire more, it means you're thankful for what you have and patient for what's to come.” — Tony Gaskins
So that was just a tiny handful of reasons why comparing is so damaging, but the one that's most costly to us is our self-worth. We feel "less than" when we compare, we feel like we're not smart enough, pretty enough, fit enough, and that somehow we need to do better. This is a terrible place to be in, it's no wonder why social media leads to anxiety and depression. Look, it's okay to focus on the things that you need or want to improve in your relationships or dating life, but where you are right now is great too! Having gratitude will always take us back to a positive mindset and remind us of the blessings we have. Happy Christmas Eve all, thanks for reading. x