Once upon a time, you’d solidify your adolescent relationship with a shout-out in an AIM profile. Now that we’re in the era of “Facebook official” and selfie statuses, it’s pretty clear that the comfort we take in being able to definitively label our relationships — something which can often feel so uncertain and be communicated poorly.
Now, it’s becoming increasingly common to frequently post about your relationship (and life). If it’s not online, you don’t have proof that it happened.
If you think of social media as the modern equivalent of a town square, the place where announcements are made and information is posted and communities are bonded over shared experiences, then it only makes sense that you’d be inclined to share the bits and pieces of your life that you perceive to be worthy of documenting. The point is to post the highlight reel. The concept is to share the parts of our lives that those who aren’t immediately close to us otherwise wouldn’t be able to see — and there is nothing wrong with this.
Yet social media has an added layer of nuance, as it is a supplement (if not a projection) of our identity, connectedness, and self-worth. We can piece together an image of ourselves, quantify how loved and seen we are by others, and ultimately begin to gauge and compare where we stand socially.
It should come as no surprise that we end up addicted to the thrill that all the clicks and pixels give us, as those things that social media represents — personhood, connection, inherent worth — are struggles that are very deeply embedded in the human condition.
If you want to know how someone wants the world to see them, look no further than the patterns in their social media feeds. This is never more true (or interesting, to be honest) than when it comes to their most intimate relationships. While it’s normal and even healthy to be proud and public about who you’re dating, there is at the same time a clear connection between how genuinely content you are with your relationship and how often you post about it.
1. Every morning, my wife of 18 years gets up before me and makes coffee. She doesn’t drink coffee.
2. He looks at me with googly eyes and says, “You’re so prettyyyy,” multiple times a day. We’ve been together for 9 years total, married for 2.
Also, the way we argue. He’s so considerate and thoughtful with his words, even when I know he’s incredibly frustrated. That speaks volumes about the way he respects me and loves me even when he’s angry with me. I’ve learned to argue in the same way (but I’m less awesome at it than he is). He makes me a better person.
3. We’ve been dating for five years and we have always gotten Cherry Coke as a drink if we are sharing. A few months ago we went to the movies and he came back, as per usual, with Cherry Coke. I said I was glad that we both loved that soda the most and he replied “I actually don’t really like Cherry Coke but I get it because it’s your favorite and you like to share.”
I can’t wait to call this man my husband next September.
Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had…
1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating.
NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART.
Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again.
You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
1. I asked my wife. This is her response. “When you drove me up the wall everyday and I still couldn’t get you out of my head. I don’t know it just felt right. What are other people saying? Oo he was so romantic. What are you doing? Are you just typing everything I’m saying? Omg thats weird stop”. She has now walked away and started doing the dishes.
2. There were no head games. He always called when he said he would, and said what he meant. Everything was so easy and comfortable. That might sound boring, but having been in relationships where I was always trying to figure out what the other person really wanted, this was so refreshing. He always made me feel sure of us, and that was huge.
3. People think I’m stupid but 3 months in. I was 16, he was 17. He told me he loved me and I knew I was going to be with him forever. My mom told me it was puppy love. He went to college the next year 200 miles away and everyone taunted me saying he was going to be cheating on me with college girls. I knew he wasn’t out cheating on me because we were playing World of Warcraft together every night. We stayed long distance for a year until I graduated high school. I packed up everything I had and $2000 cash I’d saved and moved 200 miles away from home to be with him. My parents still said “You’ll be back in a month.” I worked as a fast food shift manager and he went to school and we lived together for three years. We got married when he graduated. I was 21, he was 22. Everyone who ever told me “it will never last” got a wedding invitation. Haha. We just celebrated our third wedding anniversary and eight years of companionship.
1. Here’s one, tested and approved. Keep a small notebook, well hidden from her, and from time to time, write down a note about something she liked, wanted to buy, a place she wanted to go or something she wanted to do. Keep the dates as well. Then, on a special occasion or when you can afford it (timewise as well as moneywise), get her that little something she wanted to buy or take her out to that restaurant she fancied etc. The key is NOT to do this immediately after she asks for it but rather to wait long enough for “it” to leave her immediate thoughts. With this, she knows you care but more importantly, she knows you LISTEN.
2. If you have to fight, hold hands and go for a walk. It’s very, very, VERY difficult to get angry while holding hands, or while walking together in the same direction.
The latter advice is great for all relationships, not just romantic ones. Conversations that happen on walks are very different from conversations that happen when you sit facing each other. Try it.