If you have an Instagram, there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled across the “picture perfect” couple with thousands of likes on each post. They usually have montages of their month-long vacations to tropical destinations and surprisingly perfect “candid” photos. They live the dream life. At least, that’s what you think when you find yourself scrolling through their profile while your significant other is passed out and drooling in bed next to you.
It’s hard not to compare your own relationship to the perfect Instagram couple. Through your eyes, it’s all rainbows and butterflies. That couple doesn’t argue about dirty dishes left in the sink. That couple doesn’t get annoyed with each other for some unknown reason. That couple, believe it or not, does not exist.
With social media taking over our lives more and more each day, it’s hard to differentiate between what’s real and what’s an act. Most people only post about the positive things going on in their lives (minus that one person from high school that you’re still friends with on Facebook). We want everyone to think that our life is perfect, but that’s just not realistic. And when we’re surrounded by these fake perfect lives, it’s hard not to want more or better for ourselves.
Now, imagine you just had a colossal fight with your partner, you pull out your phone, and that couple is the first thing you see. In your head you might think, “I bet he would never say/do that super annoying thing my boyfriend just did.” You spend the rest of the night comparing the relationship you see on your screen to the relationship you’re currently dissatisfied with. You fail to see that couple’s arguments, faults and struggles. That is the problem with idealizing the “picture perfect” couple you find on social media.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that 45 percent of internet users ages 18-29 in serious relationships say the internet had an impact on their relationship. That’s just about one-half of that age demographic. It’s not really surprising considering technology was shoved down the throats of this age group since they were born, but you have to wonder how it formed their idea of love as they grew up. Movies, music, celebrities, and social media icons all paint a new, overly romanticized kind of love that just isn’t realistic. And when you’re surrounded by these ideas your whole life, why would you think it’s wrong?
Now, I’m not saying that couples need to start posting about the negative aspects of their relationship. Actually, please, please, don’t do that to everyone on your friends list. I’m just saying that we need to realize that what we see isn’t always what’s real. It’s never good to compare your situation to others because you don’t know any of the details. You’ll never know the entire story, and you’ll most likely never be in the same exact situation as someone else.
A perfect example of this is the Instagram couple Alexis Ren and Jay Alvarrez, who are no longer together. Alexis, a model, and Jay, a photographer, spent months traveling to sandy beaches across the world while filming exhilarating sky diving scenes and romantic beach rendezvous. Oh, and did I mention that they are both gorgeous? Suddenly fans noticed that they stopped posting pictures and videos together, and soon they were on opposite sides of the world. Their messy break up was publicized and soon after Alexis admitted that she struggled with an eating disorder during their relationship. The couple’s perfect image was shattered, and their fans got a real glimpse of what their life was really like.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s life would look perfect if they had money, professional beauty teams, and high quality cameras following them around at all of the best moments of their life. We have to remember that everyone has their struggles, and that we will too. We have to embrace the life we’re given and make the most out of everything instead of wishing we were someone we saw on social media. We have to remember to not compare ourselves to others and give in to jealousy and our own insecurities.
The perfect couple does not exist. We need to stop idealizing the picture perfect couples on social media and wish our relationships were just like theirs. We need to feel secure in our own relationship and avoid comparing ourselves to others. We need to remember what’s real, what we believe in, and who we love.
The next time you stumble upon the perfect couple, just remember that they face their own challenges too. Remember that someone out there would view your relationship the same exact way too.