Social media: it’s inescapable, and pretty much everyone has some form of online presence. It lets us keep in touch easily, produces less-than-likely introductions, connects long-lost friends… in many ways, social media is a wonderful thing. However, it does have a darker side.
“Social media often encourages people to portray a carefully crafted version of their lives and relationships, minus the problems we all encounter on a daily basis.”
You see staged photos of exotic holidays, gym-honed bodies and we’re bombarded with extravagant displays of affection. But maybe the people posting are going through their own battles, maybe they don’t always look flawless and most likely they have off -days when all they want to do is lounge around in bed at home.
It’s a given that constantly comparing your own relationship or dating life to what you see on social media isn’t healthy, and will only make things difficult for you and your partner.
Because of this, here at Match we’re celebrating Love With No Filter. Love with both the highs and the lows that come with any relationship, love without the gloss of a Snapchat filter. We want to be honest about dating and love, so here are our 7 truths about dating that other couple’s social media won’t tell you.
Truth #1: All couples argue
It’s understandable that couples rarely plaster their arguments all over social media – they don’t want their friends want to hear about them there. Their followers want happy, smiling photos, photos of beautiful things – not posts about sadness and problems.
Arguments between couples are also private; often the only time you see posts about them is when one person is trying to hurt the other. These kinds of posts are generally deleted in a hurry soon after first surfacing, once the anger has faded. The reality is that all couples do argue, even if it’s unusual to see candid posts about arguments on social media.
Truth #2: You don’t have to be doing something exciting all the time
Part of the problem with social media is that it encourages you to share the best, most exciting moments of your life. But often the really amazing moments aren’t Instagrammable or won’t make a good Facebook post. Some of the best times in your relationship will be when you’re sitting at home simply spending time together.
Of course other incredible memories will be made when you’re on holiday or out on a fun date, but it’s all about balance. Don’t feel like you constantly need to be out spending lots of money to be fulfilled as a couple.
Truth #3: Relationships and dating require hard work
Whether you’re in a happy long-term relationship or online dating, you’ll have to put in the effort. Relationships aren’t all easy breezy without the slightest hiccup – they can be hard work. You can’t be selfish in a happy relationship. You have to make time for the other person and you need to take on any issues they might have.
Likewise, you have to put time aside for dating, and be willing to try, try and try again until you find what you’re looking for. Social media promotes the idea of instant gratification, but dating doesn’t work this way, so stick at it and don’t be discouraged by what social media is telling you!
Truth #4: Sometimes you need your own space
Social media might give the impression that certain couples spend every second of their day together, but the truth is that you need your own space to avoid smothering each other. This is fundamental in any relationship as it allows you to keep your independence and also means things stay fresh between you and your partner.
Couples who constantly make appearances on each other’s social media are either just posting when they’re together, or spending too much time joined at the hip to have a healthy relationship. Either way, this isn’t something to aspire to, so just keep doing you!
Truth #5: You don’t have to post about your relationship to be happy in it
In fact, if you’re not spending half your time posting about it, you might even be happier than those who are. Sometimes splashing a relationship across social media is a sign that someone is seeking validation – they’re not happy in their relationship and see reactions to their posts as a way to satisfy themselves when their other half doesn’t.
This isn’t to say that you should shy away from sharing loved-up photos. Just try to avoid overkill, and remember that you’re no less worthy than any other couple just because photos of you kissing don’t appear on every social media platform.
Truth #6: You won’t be in the honeymoon phase forever
Every relationship starts off with intense feelings of lust and excitement, but this inevitably fades over time to the warm, happy feeling of being in love. In the early stages of a relationship you’re a little bit obsessed with your other half and they can do no wrong in your eyes.
Some couple’s social media presence might give the impression that they’re incessantly filled with that initial excitement for their partner, but rest assured that in real life they’ll have the usual challenges to face together – just like all other couples.
Truth #7: You don’t need to look beautiful for each other all the time
Comfortable couples are happy on the sofa together without all their finery – baggy t-shirts and no makeup are in! Even couples who only present perfectly made-up and outfitted versions of themselves on social media will have sofa days. They just choose to show a different side of their life to the public.
So don’t feel under pressure to always look perfect for your other half – it’s not possible in the long run and will just cause you added stress.
So there we have it: the fundamental truths about dating that you won’t find out from other couple’s social media. What this really comes down to is not comparing your relationship to those on social media – it’s impossible to know the full picture. It’s also important to recognise that no relationship is perfect, and plenty have more hidden challenges than you might first imagine.
So do what makes you happy and stop obsessing over that one couple’s social media posts.
Check out our dating advice hub for all the tips you could need on dating and relationships. From articles about long-distance relationships, to how to create an authentic online dating profile, we’ve got it covered.