I would say that for a minor period of my life, I felt that first Instagram photo was the standard for "it's official", similar to 2008's "single, in a relationship, it's complicated" on Facebook. And the higher the number of perfect shots you uploaded, the more you clearly loved each other. In fact, if he wants you to know he's serious, he will make you his #wcw and all his #tbt’s.
What the fuck was I thinking? In this perfectly curated world of social media, I wanted to represent my relationships as strong, loving, awe-inspiring, etc…when at times they were actually hard and painful, with no shortage of 2am fights. I wanted to distort reality to have some kind of claim on my partner. I wanted to be a couple other people were jealous of and aimed to be. Why would other couples want to be in a rough spot in their relationship? My insecurity to fix the inside of our picture drove me to be obsessed with how the world would see our outside.
But the image we would be showing wasn’t truth. I’ve talked to many friends who are “influencers” as well, and they admit that it is utter and complete bullshit. "Sometimes it's not even real happiness” one young blogger said to me after I commented on how adorable a shot of her “surprise” gifts were. Throw that image of a girl surrounded by a room of roses away! This was the real deal of the photograph: imagine a woman excited to get into her pajamas and a man annoyed to have the “perfect” shot already so they can just watch the damn movie. Why were they doing this? The answer was simple. She admitted boldly, “The illusion of the perfect man and romance brings me more followers and with more followers, I can charge more money to the brands I work with…”
Like so many others, she had monetized her relationship. The flowers actually were sponsored from a local shop and her boyfriend had nothing to do with the whole thing. Maybe I didn’t feel the need to have the “perfect” couple photo in quite that way, but I wanted the world to know we were happy together. Why?
I always tell people marriage means nothing because if you’re going to leave, a piece of paper won’t stop you. So why would the perfect photo? Let’s stop pretending that there is a value in the world perceiving you as happy. There is absolutely no benefit in people thinking you are happy when you aren’t. So I’m done with couple goals. Upload what you want to share. It’s the inside job that matters most. Save the little photos for yourself and instead find happiness between you and your partner.
I’m not saying don’t post a photo, but don’t let the image of perfection jeopardize actual perfection in your life. Sounds simple but good luck.