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Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

Social media has a significant effect on relationships today. PHOTO/ Flickr Creative Commons
Social media has a significant effect on relationships today. PHOTO/ Flickr Creative Commons

By Michelle Ayr

Published: December 6th, 2017

Relationships today are not what they used to be. The understanding of commitment and the surrender of narcissism does not make a lasting impression on everyone, as there are people who will still look for other “options” as alternatives to their actual relationship. Rather than making what they have work, or taking into consideration the feelings of their current partner and communicating with them, individuals today are too caught up in the little details associated with social media platforms. They seem less concerned with attempting to salvage what they have at that moment. These details pertain mostly to how others will react to their relationship, how they view their relationship and last but certainly not least, [of their worries], what their partner’s actions are on social media. Now, while this doesn’t apply to everyone (more so to most of the relationships of this generation), when did “liking” someone’s photo on a social media platform replace a phone call?

Nowadays, too often do people open their phone applications to a social media platform and start comparing their own relationship to those that are portrayed online. What these curious individuals are blind to, though, is that no one will ever post a picture of an argument. All the pictures we see are of couples smiling and/or getting lost in each other’s eyes, taking vacations together and having the best time of their lives with their partner. But what do the viewers compare that to? Their own relationship. Except, throw in some first-person arguments and all of the aftermath that comes with it, and now there are two opposite perspectives of two relationships that are in comparison with one another. Too regularly do individuals forget that every relationship has its own battles and no relationship is perfect. People forget that overcoming hardships in relationships can make the relationship and your overall friendship with a partner better and stronger. The only problem with this is that many people don’t want to put in the effort, and as a result, start looking elsewhere.

It seems like there used to be so much more communication with a partner before individuals started using social media as a way to replace basic communication. If someone had a desire to reach out to another person, they would do so over the phone and initiate a time and place to meet. If people wanted to talk to each other in groups, they would feel more obliged to meet up at a specific place they agreed upon, rather than creating a “group chat” and typing/texting away. When two individuals would call it quits but say they could  “still be friends,”  it had no association with Facebook.

There are many ways this generation can salvage its relationships. One of the biggest things one can do is step away from their phone. When you’re on a date with your partner, set the time aside to not only give each other the time you put aside for each other, but to show your partner that you respect them enough to not pull out your phone when there is dull moment in conversation. You may be thinking, “but we barely even go on dates anymore.” Well, that’s another dilemma. Many couples often get comfortable enough where staying in becomes a habit. Staying in is a great thing, if you two are comfortable enough with each other, but planning a date every now and then, from both sides of the relationship, can salvage the relationship by a landslide. Still want to stay in? Cook dinner together. The teamwork will build trust in the relationship and both partners can offer different ideas for the meal – allowing you to communicate with one another. Plus, who doesn’t love a home-cooked meal? If things are tight with finances, planning dates is still an option. Going on strolls together makes time for communication, something many couples don’t do anymore. With communication and trust as the strongest aspects in your relationship, not only will you both enjoy your time together more, but your friendship will blossom, too.

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