Comparing your relationship to another couple’s is a slippery slope, and chances are, social media may be to blame. 

We’ve all been there – bored and curious. It’s a relaxed afternoon and you have some time to kill, so you go to social media and take a scroll through your feed. You see your friend’s latest post with their significant other and they’re smitten. The picture is so beautiful, you decide to take a look at the comments and see #couplegoals, #swoon, #coupleshoot – it goes on and on. You scroll further and see more and more of these posts from other friends and even strangers. And that’s when you start questioning your relationship.

Stop! Comparing your relationship is not only toxic, it could mean the end of a perfectly good, meaningful bond with your partner.

Here are three ways it could harm your relationship and what you can do to stop it.

1. You may become jealous for no reason
Let’s say it’s your anniversary and your partner planned a lovely evening for the two of you. He cooked your favourite meal and paid attention to the small things you love. You’re happy. But the next day you log onto social media and see someone had a similar experience except their partner was extravagant. Bought flashy jewellery, booked them into a fancy hotel – you think their partner went all out and wonder why yours didn’t do the same. You start becoming dissatisfied with what your partner did and later question him.

Try this instead: Remember what made you feel special. Don’t be controlled by what you perceive to be the ‘ideal’ when there is no such thing. Recognise what your partner did and how it made you feel in the moment. The joy you felt was real. The effort your partner made was just for you. Every relationship is different and unique, and while that couple may have had an extravagant night, it doesn’t take away from how special your night was.

Related article: How to deal with your jealousy

2. Your communication may become strained
If you’re spending lots of time on social media, you’re increasing the amount of content you’re consuming and possibly putting embellished ideas in your mind about what a relationship should be. This may result in you becoming upset that your partner doesn’t do this or that... and as a result, start unnecessary arguments.

Try this instead: Limit your use of social media or take a break, especially from accounts that are affecting the way you view your relationship. Remind yourself that one image does not display an accurate reality. What was your relationship like before you saw that page? Good? Great? Hold on to that and try to block out the rest, it probably wasn’t an accurate depiction of what their relationship was, to begin with.

Related article: Divorce the warning signs

3. You may start taking your partner for granted
Some couples are very active on social media, constantly posting and singing each other’s praises for all the world to see. You might love this and wonder why your partner doesn’t do the same. You may even start to formulate ideas and ask yourself questions like, “does he really love me if he isn’t telling the world he does?” or “why doesn’t my partner never post about me the way hers does?”. These questions could do two things, one: make you question the legitimacy of your relationship, and two: drive your partner away because whatever they do, might get criticised by you.

Try this instead: Remember that no two people are the same. Your partner might not want to post on social media. Perhaps telling you in person how much he loves you is enough, and means more to him. He may show you love in other ways, ways you cherished before you saw those social media posts.

Forget the standard social media is trying to set, and focus on the below to enrich your relationship:
  • Connect with your partner physically, whether it’s a hug, holding their hand, or stroking their hair. A loving touch could go a long way in showing you care.
  • Remind yourself of the things you love about your partner every day and why you’re grateful to have them in your life.
  • Take time to do a random act of kindness like giving your partner a sincere compliment, doing a chore that they would usually do. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
  • If you feel like things are a bit monotonous, do something about it. Surprise them with a sweet picnic, cook them dinner, do something special to reignite your flame. Your partner will see and appreciate your effort.

Related article: Love resolutions

Comparing your relationship to other couples can only damage it, especially if there was nothing wrong, to begin with. Ask yourself, was I happy with my relationship before I saw that couple or found that social media post? If the answer is yes, you’re doing just fine.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on March 05, 2021 Rating: 5
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