Wifey’s & Gentlemen,
From time to time, I see and hear things that I just can’t resist weighing in on, and this week, there has been something that I’d really like to speak about (well…several things, really, but for today, I’ll narrow it down to one).
Has anyone else noticed a trend of articles flooding their news feeds and timelines lately? I can’t seem to open my Facebook page or Twitter account with seeing articles entitled:
5 Signs that You Are in a Happy Relationship
17 Things Happy Couples Always Do
Weird Stuff Only Happy Couples Will Understand
Is Your Relationship Headed for Marriage?
50 Signs that Your Relationship is Doomed.
Is it just me? Perhaps my timeline knows the kind of things I research and write about & feeds me these articles out of caring and concern? Or out of spite…depending on how you look at it. Hmph!
I mean, I know some of these articles are funny and cute (or exaggerated for dramatic effect), but I can’t help but feel a tinge of irritation when I review the seemingly endless list of qualifiers. Here’s why:
What if little Gary Gullible is reading online one day and notices that he and his girlfriend only do 6 of the 17 things that happy couples are always supposed to do?
What if Penny Paranoid doesn’t relate to any of the 5 signs of a “happy relationship” that have been outlined for her? Is she weird? Is something wrong with her or her partner?
What if Andy Abuser is making his partner miserable but can still relate to all that “weird stuff” that only happy couples can understand?
Aren’t these kinds of articles, even on some small subconscious level, damaging to our psyches?
Okay, okay, I’m not crazy! (Well, generally speaking anyway) & I am not on a crusade to end all relationship-oriented, Buzzfeed articles, videos, and cutsie lists. Furthermore, I certainly don’t think the average person is naive enough to base their entire romantic life off of silly things they read online. The average Joe knows that browsing through a majority of these articles won’t doom your relationship to fail, but once again, I can’t help but wonder how these messages really factor into our insecurities and the way we measure up.
Let’s be real, many of us (all of us) who are exposed to the modern times respond (in some way) to the allures of instant gratification and the “me me me” mentality. No, we are not all certifiable narcissists! But we have been conditioned (primed?) to hold on to a strong sense of entitlement and self-involved indulgence.
With that, I personally believe that it can be difficult to allow our brains to separate what is literal from what is general and/or figurative. We read articles like this and signals go off in our brains.
Melissa and I don’t do weird things together, why?
I thought my relationship was happy, but we don’t do 10 out of 20 things on this list!
How do I get my boyfriend to spoil me with love? Is he emotionally distant?
This article said I was headed for marriage, why isn’t he proposing?!
In our madness to feel adequate and our strong desire to project an image of perfection/happiness to others, somewhere in our subconscious minds we install from these articles all the ways in which we aren’t good enough.
So, in an effort to be a part of the solution, I decided to come up with my own little ‘blurb’ (my 2 cents, if you will) in order to help my wifeys and gents really find out if they are in a happy relationship. Without further introduction, here goes:
How To Know If You Are In A Happy Relationship. – by Ms. Renai
Are you currently in a relationship or seeing someone new? Does this person make you feel good in a variety of different, meaningful ways? Do you enjoy spending time with and/or being in a relationship with them? Are you reasonably sure that they feel the same way about you? If you answered yes to these questions, CONGRATULATIONS! You are (likely) in a happy relationship!
All snarky sarcasm aside, the point is, “happy” means different things to different people. Some of us are happiest when our relationships are dramatic and over the top! Some are happy being very independent from their partners and some prefer doing everything together. Some of us are more private and some are more open. All of it is perfectly fine, as long as it makes sense to the people involved. As long as both parties feel good, confident, and assured, happiness is there!
So Instead of using someone else’s list as your barometer for happiness, determine what happy means for you and then (maybe) if you want an outside perspective, use other resources to decide if your relationship is healthy (healthy and happy can be two very different things…as I am sure you well know)!
Maybe you disagree, and that’s okay too! But I personally relish in all of the ways that my relationship fulfills me; the good things, the weird things, the even weirder things, and everything in between. & while some other couples out there might define their happiness in similar ways to mine, I know that there are some things so delightfully unique that no list could ever accurately apply. I encourage you all to make lists of your own!
But…that’s just me!
Until Next Week,
Carry On Wifeys!
Ps. If you are shocked by the brevity of this week’s posting, don’t get comfortable! I promise that the next 2-3 weeks will offer some lengthy, interactive topics that are sure to occupy at least 15 minutes of your time (or however long it takes you to read 2000+ words).
Looooove You! 😉