Wifey’s & Gentlemen,
Welcome to the beginnings of spring! I know we still have some weeks to go until it’s official, and many of my readers are going to be shoveling driveways and digging out their cars in the next few days, but as I mentioned last week, the month of March is here to remind us that spring and all of its splendid newness are just around the riverbed (yes, that was Disney reference, good job!).
Not to burst the “almost spring” bubble, but my topic for today is a little bitter sweet! Wifeys, for the very first time in this blog’s history, someone has requested my commentary on a specific issue! (what??? I know, right?)
Of course, I am elated! No one has ever reached out to me and asked for my opinion as a blog topic before! Moreover, I was not previously aware that this person even read my blog, which truly warmed my heart.
The topic, on the other hand… Ugh! I have to admit, when it was sent to me, I was annoyed (no, not with him, and he knows that). I was annoyed at the Facebook post that he sent me regarding some interesting remarks made by a former classmate of ours that read as follows:
Ladies, please make sure to keep your relationship off Facebook. Other females do not need to know what you have & I promise you that the second someone knows you’re happy they will try to ruin it. Facebook should be about you and not ‘you and your man’. Keep your business to yourself and keep your man and relationship strong. Fair warning.
His follow up question was simple, “Why? Why do people think this way?” While it’s probably obvious that I don’t agree with the post at all, the question really did make me think (in the midst of all that irritation, of course 😉 ).
Now, Ms. Renai is pretty old (she’ll be 28 in a couple of months) but since when did updating your relationship status on Facebook become the kiss of death for a happy relationship? Maybe a young(er) person, aged 18-24 preferably, could provide some clarity that I am missing?
I mean, I get it. Let’s be real here wifeys, Facebook sucks! Once you have one, you’re sucked into its web of anger-inciting articles, ignorant posts and commentary, asinine status updates, creepers who message you out of nowhere, and excessive pictures of babies, weddings, food, and vacations you can’t afford to go on. Ironically, for all of it’s lame transparency, Facebook has a funny way of making other people’s lives seem way more amazing than they actually are.
In reality, that is kind of the point of social media, no? Don’t we always get annoyed at the people who are excessively negative or miserable? Don’t we always roll our eyes when someone continues to spout off about how depressed they are or how lonely they feel?
I know I do!
We use social media to perpetuate the idea that we are all “okay”. We want the people we love (& the people we hate, admit it) to know how well we are doing. We use these outlets to keep in touch with people we wouldn’t otherwise see. I for one want to know when an old college buddy gets married or has their first baby. I want to know when my high school friend finally finishes that PhD. Sometimes, I even want to know that a formerly unhealthy friend is crushing it out at the gym! (is that weird? Probably!)
However, when I read posts like the one my old friend sent, it makes me sad for the dating and friendship practices that we have devolved into lately; why do we accept the unacceptable as normal?
Forgive me wifeys, as I know we are all different and the traditional roles of ‘sisterhood’ mean something unique for everyone, but I still believe in the girl code (& guy code) and I still believe that women should stick together and support each other (men too, obviously). How else can we navigate the pitfalls of finding lasting love? Who can we rely on if not our friends? Have we really gotten to a point in our lives where if someone has posted a new relationship status on Facebook we must worry that our “friends/followers” are going to seek him/her out and attempt to destroy what we have built? Honestly, if this is the kind of betrayal we need to start worrying about, I think I might need to restructure this blog.
I decided, to make sure I’m not crazy, to ask a handful of other people if this is a viable concern. I was relived to discover that, for those of them who were in a solid relationship with a firm grip on reality, it isn’t. Even a few of my single acquaintances thought that the notion was a little misguided. Only ONE person would consider adopting this attitude, & frankly (in a totally non-judgmental way) I was not surprised. Her opinions on love and dating work very differently from mine.
Whew! With that, and taking a few days to truly consider my thoughts, I’ve landed on some key ideas that I’d like to mention here in order to best respond to my friend’s questions:
- If you are a person who believes that posting pics of your significant other or updating your relationship status on social media will mean the end of your relationship you likely need to make some new friends or get off of social media for a while until such a time that you can acquire some new, non-toxic people in your life.
I mean, come on! This seems like a no brainer. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are certain things we can’t control. I have over 500 friends (haha, does that make me cool or lame?) on my profile and I have no idea how many of them secretly hate me and want me to fail. At one point I was friends with or acquainted with 90% of them. Maaaayybe there is a small percentage of them who would jump for joy to see my status change to single. Maybe, there might be a small percentage of people who’d steal my boyfriend away if they could. But I try not to keep people around me who carry themselves in that way, and a Facebook friend somewhere on the other side of the country isn’t really my main focus. Who has the time? It shouldn’t be yours either, unless the problem isn’t really with your friends or followers. (dun dun dun)
- If you are a person who believes that posting pics of your significant other or updating your relationship status on social media will mean the end of your relationship you likely need to re-examine/evaluate your relationship and what it means to you both.
I have NEVER had something like this happen to me (and I’ve been in some pretty crappy relationships), but I think I can say with confidence that if someone were to come out of the blue and send my partner a message indicating interest, that partner would either turn them down gracefully or tell me what was going on (depending on the context). I’m not just talking about my current boyfriend either. With the exception of one of my exes (hi there, pal!), I would have said that about any of my previous relationships. If you can’t trust your partner enough to claim them online or in life, there is something much deeper at play here. Is it just that you don’t want them on social media or is it that you want to hide them in general? I understand that not everyone needs to know your business, and I also understand that not every relationship needs to be publicized. But going out of your way to keep your partner away for fear of others ruining it is childish and symptomatic of some serious trust issues between you. Has your partner cheated before and you’re having a hard time letting go? Have you been hurt in the past? All of these reasons for this reaction are totally normal and legit, but you can’t stay in this place if you expect to see growth. Start asking yourself some tough questions.
- If you are a person who believes that posting pics of your significant other or updating your relationship status on social media will mean the end of your relationship you likely need to get over yourself!
Perhaps one of the most offensive trends of the times we are living in is this idea that everyone has “haters”. Seriously wifeys and gents…what is that about? Everywhere I look, someone is making a statement or posting a message (positive or otherwise) that indicates how little they care about the “haters” and how we should all ignore the “haters”.
WHO ARE THESE HATERS AND WHY DO YOU HAVE THEM?
Unless your name is Barack Obama it is likely that you don’t have nearly as many “haters” as you think you do. Seriously, is there a group of people that follow you around all day making disparaging remarks about you and your life choices? Are you being constantly harassed by jealous people who want you to fail? Are you being bullied?
If so, I am genuinely sorry and that isn’t okay! You have every right to be anti-social and anti-social media, but your problem is likely bigger than Facebook and it might be time to get proactive about ridding yourself of toxic people or a toxic environment.
Otherwise, I have learned, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, truly, I have learned that no one gives a crap about what you’re doing 85% of the time!
Even the people who care about you the most are still spending more time thinking about themselves and how they can improve the quality of their own lives, as they should be! Life is way too short to become overly concerned with what others are or are not doing. Right?
When did we become so obsessed with over-thinking about what people think? We learned about bullies and being ourselves back in pre-school and the lesson remains pretty clear to us even now: if what you are doing isn’t hurting yourself or others and it makes you happy, the rest just doesn’t matter as much.
This includes the man or woman that you’re doing. (Or at least it should…hehe)
Look, life happens to us every single day. There is very little we can do to stop it.
Sometimes people are going to hurt us. There is very little we can do to stop them.
So my answer to his question is fear. People act and think with that mentality out of nothing but fear of getting hurt.
That being said, this is NOT a PSA to get everyone to go and update their statuses or post a ton of pics of their boo-thang on Facebook. Some people just don’t care about social media enough for all of that and I totally understand.To some people it just isn’t really a thought. & to some, your relationship might legit be a secret (which is another topic for another post).
I just believe that love is, fundamentally, awesome! Why not love the person you’re with as much as you can for as long as you can?
No one can predict the future and no one can wave a magic wand and make your relationship better or fix what might be broken. If you are walking around carrying so much negativity over something so small, I urge you to check in with yourself and your relationship and see it for more than the sum of it’s tiny, tiny parts.
I’m talking bigger than the big picture here people…
Don’t you agree?
Until Next Week
Carry on Wifeys