Ahhhh...Facebook, the land of Milk & Honey. The place where everyone’s relationship has the stability of Cliff and Claire Huxtable and the passion of Christian and Anastasia. Surely I’m not the only one that scrolls down my timeline and notices the trend that all relationships were made in heaven, am I? The cruises to the Cozumel, happy hour at Pappadeaux, the ‘Netflix and Chill’ nights that you and your man so graciously shared with us is everyday life, right? Of course it’s not! Many of us have either observed or played a role in a relationship that appeared one way on “The Book”, but was a train wreck waiting to happen behind closed doors. As you scroll, the voice in your head says “Didn’t they just get together?” The same couple that you saw carving turkey in November and taking pictures by the tree in December are all of a sudden checking in at two separate events by New Year’s Eve. The relationship, which once showed so much promise, has for whatever reason been terminated. As for the two involved, you will either witness subliminal jabs via their future posts OR you will notice that both parties have taken the high road and have simply chosen to move on with their lives. As the rumor mill spins out of control and the screenshots are exchanged faster than shares of bitcoin, everyone in the world of Facebook continues on with their perfect everyday lives in social media paradise.
Why do we do it? We act as if rose petals fall from the sky and Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” plays on repeat in this mock reality that we’ve created, but offline we read from a much different script. From the couple that just changed their relationship status to endorse their commitment to one another, all the way up to those that are celebrating 50 plus years of marriage, it is all partially a hoax. To all the relationships that are displayed on Facebook, yes we enjoy seeing the love that you have for each other, but why not show us the full movie instead of just the trailer. In other words, the Double or Nothing make-up scene at the end of Love and Basketball gave us reason to celebrate, but it wouldn’t have had the same effect if we hadn’t witnessed the break up scene along with all of the other trials that the relationship faced. All that I am suggesting is that we (myself included) keep it real. Yes, date night at the local theater is adorable, but how about posting a picture of you two when you’re wide awake in bed with your backs turned away from each other and leave the caption “Haven’t talked in three days”. Why not check in at the marriage counselor’s office and tag the 3rd party that texts your spouse’s phone at 3 a.m. How about going live when you two are screaming at each other and pointing the blame because the bank account has insufficient funds! Then we could truly appreciate the love and commitment that you two display on Valentine’s Day…we could all pop bottles together in our own minds when the two of you celebrate that Anniversary.
In a nutshell, all I’m saying is this - we see relationships ending within this forum on a daily basis. Instead of jumping to conclusions and starting rumors, we need to look at ourselves and realize that maybe our own situations aren’t as solid as we portray them to be. Yeah we show the smiles and kisses, but in reality we know that some of our relationships are a façade and that we are one argument away from being Exhibit A in divorce court. Please, don’t act as if your situation is immune to overnight destruction because the statistics show that many of us have tried and failed before. Sure, we know that no one is actually going to air out their dirty laundry on social media, but instead of worrying about what people did to cause their relationship to sink let’s focus on what needs to be done to keep ours afloat.
My two cents?
1) Keep 95% of that extra lubby dubbiness to yourself and realize that not EVERYTHING has to be displayed on Facebook.
2) Know that only 10% of “friends” that like the pictures of you and your man actually desire to see you two win. Half of the remaining 90% are making side bets on how long you two will make it and the other half are thinking about how much better they will treat you spouse once you moved on
3) Realize that we all have the same issues and temptations as the next couple next door. Your relationship is no more anointed than the next.