Wifeys & Gentlemen,
Over the past 2 months or so, my newsfeeds and timelines have been absolutely flooded with articles and advertisements of a romantic nature. If someone isn’t trying to sell me a wedding band or a tell me about their unique available, and ‘affordable’ venue, they are giving me advice on how not to fail as a wife or how to keep my future husband forever interested in my (hopefully) scintillating personality. Many times, unless stricken with cases of extreme and unpleasant boredom, I don’t bother clicking much of what is advertised. The title really has to grab me and the substance must either hold my attention if really long or keep it short and sweet. However, what I cannot stand is what so many of us discerning readers affectionately call the ‘click bait’; a seemingly interesting and dynamic article that lures you in with a great title only to let you down with mindless or useless information.
A lot of this is my fault. Sometimes, I allow the bored and unmotivated version of myself to turn off her brain and completely forget that I fell for the SAME click bait a week ago. As a result, I can honestly tell you that a fair amount of these articles I have read more than once (embarrassing? Yes, yes it is!). Occasionally, however, I find myself clicking on and reading an article more than once, and instead of being annoyed, I become intrigued by what the article is trying to convey. Maybe I keep clicking for some cosmic reason? The universe is warning me! Hehe.
On Twitter and Facebook, I was linked to an article entitled ‘In Modern Relationships, We Cheat Every Single Day’. While the source of the article often changes, once I click it and get to the 3rd paragraph, I realize what I am reading and, though I am plenty irritated, I have to begin to wonder about 2 things:
- Why do I keep clicking on this article?
- What is this article trying to teach me that I might not already know?
The answer to the first question is simple: cheating terrifies me! I have never cheated on a lover, but I have been cheated on. I can promise you that no matter how much distance you get from the relationship once it’s done, cheating stays with you. There is something very profound in the knowledge of knowing that someone who was supposed to love you is giving a part of themselves to someone else, and many times, I fear that I will hurt someone in the same way.
Don’t ask me why, I really don’t know, but I can be kind of paranoid at times, ok?!
At times, I reach for articles of this nature so I can feel safe. I can learn what not to do to ruin the best thing in my life, and I can keep an eye out for the “signs” so that, for a moment, I can pretend that my love can’t ever hurt me without me being fully aware! While these goals are insanely unrealistic, for those of us who worry as I do, being educated and knowledgeable about our boundaries and limitations makes us feel a sense of relief. I relish in the pride I can take in my personal control (though I can’t control much) and it eases my mind.
This article, with its somewhat misleading title, essentially attempts to relay the importance of communication and priorities in a relationship. The author states that we should all put down our phones, log off of social media, and let our partners know (daily) that they are number one in our lives. While I can say I 100% agree with MOST of what is said here, I couldn’t help but be extremely annoyed.
What about this concept has to do with cheating?
The author goes out of her way to mention:
Sure, sex is cheating and may be the most hurtful case, but have you ever stopped to think you’re being cheated out of your relationship every day? We experience a lack of communication, attention, passion, intimacy and even lack of love. Why are we okay with this and all the communication shortcuts that have become so common? This type of cheating causes much more damage than that of any sexual affair. You’ve given your heart to someone and love him or her with every bone in your body, but you have to beg for his or her attention. You sit back and watch this person post status updates about useless things, or post pictures just so people can comment. You need to take a minute to tell her she’s beautiful. Call her after work to say, “Get dressed in 30 minutes. I’m picking you up and taking you somewhere special.”
Seriously! That’s your big reveal? That’s the secret? Here I am freaking out because I could be cheating on my fiancé without even knowing it, and you’re telling me that “in reality” my relationship is dying because we like to check our Instagram feeds at the dinner table?
My first instinct, and the instinct I had the first 3 times I read it, was an epic eye-roll! Are we all really so needy and narcissistic that we can’t decipher how to adapt our modern love to modern times? Has social media really become so bad that we don’t know how to show love and affection to a significant other anymore?
Suddenly, I realized something.
The answer, my darling wifeys, is yes. Yes, we are narcissistic. Yes we are needy. & yes, we truly have lost something in the wake of social media, self-publication, and oversharing. Just because my fiancé and I are not exactly guilty of this in the sense mentioned in the article, doesn’t mean it isn’t important and doesn’t mean it isn’t something that deserves our reflection and attention.
Still, I must adamently insist that this is NOT cheating. If you accuse your partner of cheating as a result of actions mentioned in this article, they will think you are a crazy beast and be thankful that you’re breaking up!
At the end of the day, this is the problem I have with these types of publications; the implication that because something is different or has evolved past a way that might seem traditional or comfortable to the “norm”, that it must be equated with failure or wrong-doing.
For many of us, cheating is extremely shameful. It makes us feel like crap when we do it and it is often very difficult to recover from the fallout. If you are annoyed with selfies and status updates and ‘Instagram Models’ competing for your man’s attention, fine, but to draw parallels between what has become a popular, cultural trend (one that, in my not so humble opinion, has more to do with attention span, lacking fulfillment, and our desperate need to feel accepted than anything else) and something that can effectively break the very foundation of a relationship is…for lack of a better way to say it, stupid.
Don’t misunderstand, I get why we are clicking this article, why we are sharing it, and why we are singing its praises! & I will get it when, a week from now, I forget and click it again. I’ll understand (& forgive) myself when I click on other articles like it!
In a society where the face of dating has drastically changed (we can use an God-awful App that lets us dismiss someone with a simple swipe for crying out loud!) we are all looking for answers. We want to know why things just haven’t been working out for us or why we just can’t seem to “get it together”. Articles like this have their place in helping us make sense of the sadness. They reinforce what I say every single week about communication. We MUST keep our loves as a top priority in our lives. We must make them feel needed. This article nails that.
What I think we have to remember most is to talk to our partners! Go on dates, argue face-to-face, pick up the phone on a lunch break & say “hi”, surprise them with gifts for no reason, and let them know that we are thinking of them often. Sometimes, this means putting down the phone, sure! But sometimes, this means telling them how cute their selfie is, tagging them in a meme, or ‘checking in’ with them at a concert or a restaurant to make all your friends jealous.
Balance, wifeys. Balance.
Am I right?
Until Next Week,
Carry on Wifeys!