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.
You want to know what’s interesting? Overhearing the conversation that’s taking place at the table next to me. A very attractive young lady who I would assume to be in her mid-40’s is having the most intriguing discussion with her two girlfriends concerning her recent break up. I mentally detach from my News Feed and take a sip of my Caramel Macchiato just in enough time to hear her remarks about how he’s “dating down” as she arrogantly states. As her two associates pass the iPhone amongst themselves to look at random social media pics of the ‘New Boo’ the flood gates of verbal manslaughter are opened. I hear, “Oh girl he can do better than that”…”Girl, I heard she…” and of course the “Girl, I bet they were already talking” comments. I smile and continue to simulate being entertained by my mobile device, but deep down I’m laughing at the hate bandwagon that her two colleagues have mounted simply out of pure loyalty. The Ex-Girlfriend continues to talk about the things that her ex-boyfriend will be going without in his new relationship. She recalls the history that they have together, the times they’ve spent on exotic vacations, and finally she discusses how she used to put it down on him in the bedroom. Her demeanor slowly changes as she goes into deeper conversations about her experiences with him and despite the Academy Award winning performance that she puts on I can still hear the love for this guy in her voice.
Is this what women do? Come together in clusters to rebuild the self-esteem of their sisters in arms? Sure it is! I’m convinced that every woman at some point in their lives has played the role of one or all of these women. Cheating…lack of ambition on one’s part… financial issues, these are surface level items that can easily be used for justification on why a relationship failed and forced you to walk away, but they have absolutely nothing to do with the root cause. I’m tired of seeing awesome relationships go South. I’m fed up with seeing good women lose their men to THOTS and not knowing why. I’m disgusted with seeing the divorce rate rise like the S&P 500 and it’s time that someone bridges the gap of misunderstanding between the sexes.
I’m going to cut straight to the chase. I could talk forever concerning the EFFECTS or the final acts of a failed relationship (cheating, dishonesty, etc.), but that would give absolutely no value to you as a reader. In other words, why waste energy discussing unwanted outcomes when we can discuss prevention. What I am going to share with you is priceless. I’m going to give you the CAUSE of these events from a man’s perspective. After reading this your emotional cupboard will be equipped with the ingredient that many women seek, but are unaware of. We men have known from the beginning what this ingredient is, but it has the tendency to lose its savor if we have to repeatedly tell our spouses or girlfriends to add it to relationship's recipe. I can assure you that not only is this element the easiest to administer, but it is the one thing that almost guarantees that your man will NEVER leave, NEVER cheat and will practically tattoo “Till Death do us Part” on his aorta! What is this ingredient you ask???
First, you have to understand the inner workings of your man. A man will invest 100% of himself into you and will expect a very small Return on Investment on your part. What do I mean by Return on Investment? A man will work night and day to provide a home for you, put you in a nice vehicle, and ensure that the household is secure and will never expect those same things in return from you. There is just something in us that makes this type of behavior normal once we’ve accepted our roles as leaders of the society. So what does a man’s (ROI) have to do with the most vital of ingredients that so many relationships lack? It’s simple, even though your man expects very little in return from you (on a monetary level) the thing that he still needs from you is reciprocity. Somewhere within the conversations that our grandmothers had while showing the women how to properly fry hot water cornbread the secret to keeping your man forever was either miscommunicated, misunderstood or simply forgotten. So what is this portion of the recipe that so many have disregarded?
APPRECIATION….. Whaaaat?? No, it couldn’t possibly be that simple could it? I mean you always tell bae thanks for holding that door opened just before he wines and dines you … you’re always sending him kissing emoji’s while he’s pulling that all-nighter on the job… and it’s all to recognize him when you post that new car on Facebook or the roses that you received “just because”…right? I mean all men really want in return is for you to look good on his shoulder and to be a beast in the bedroom…correct? This is the great disconnect and here lies the secret that your friends that have been married for 20 years aren’t sharing with you. This is the ingredient that has your grandparents still holding hands and sipping sweet tea on their East Texas porches after 60 years of matrimony. The old saying that “actions speak louder than words” is so cliché, but has so much truth behind it. You want the secret sauce that will make your relationship divine to the tongue, well here it is.
You are fully aware that hubby is in love with classic cars. When was the last time you surprised him with tickets to the Annual Auto Event that he’s always talking about? Your boyfriend is always watching YouTube videos about the late and great author Neville Goddard, but when was the last time you stopped by Books a Million and purchased one of his works for your man for absolutely no reason? Sure, this is only your third date with this guy, but what would happen if you decided to pick up the tab to show him that you had a vested interest in the relationship as well? Contrary to popular belief the information that I’m sharing with you is far more attractive to your man than you looking amazing in those Victoria Secret Pink Yoga pants. This same effort can even be simplified to the lowest non-monetary level and still have the exact same effect. When your man walks in from work smelling like 16 hours of the Oil and Gas Industry do you kiss him on the cheek and go get his shower started or do you continue to talk on the phone to Bonquisha about the latest episode of Housewives? When your boyfriend has to be up three hours before you because he has to catch a 6 am flight do you tell him not to cut the big light on or do you get up with him and make him a cup of coffee to start his day? What many women fail to understand is that this is really all men need to be content in a relationship. You want your man to be a better version of himself? Show him that you appreciate the man that he currently is and I guarantee you that he will break his back to DO more, BE more, and HAVE more just because you are grateful. I know what you’re saying, won’t he still cheat? When the lion is full there is no desire to hunt. In other words, when your man receives back the same ratio of love that he has poured into you he is content! There is not one “bad chic” on God’s green earth that he will take the gamble on and risk losing you.
I know that this seems like nonsense to many, but you have to understand that appreciation to a man is the equivalent of security to a woman. A woman will tolerate massive amounts of issues with her man if she has absolutely no doubt that her man will be there when the smoke clears. The very moment a man shows inconsistency and fails to reassure her that through thick and thin he will still be there he has lost her. Sure she may be there physically for the time being, but emotionally she is absent. So relate this to your current situation. Yes, your man can deal with your minor social media addiction. Yes, of course he can tolerate the occasional overspending on bags and boots. Yes, he forgives you for not telling him your low tire light was on, but as soon as he feels that his love for you is unappreciated your days are numbered.