I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had my share of relationship goals moments. Like when I see an older couple being all cute and in love even after all those years, I can’t help but be filled with so much respect for how their love has stood the test of time. Or like when I was single, and I would come across a meme where the guy was watching his bride come down the aisle and he was bawling his eyes out. I would think (half joking, half serious) “duh, my man better cry when I come down the aisle or we’re gonna have to do that whole here comes the bride thing all over again.” Well guess what? My groom didn’t cry when I came down the aisle, and we definitely didn’t do it all over again. Wanna know the crazy part? For a split second after the wedding and honeymoon was over and we were back to reality part of me was a little salty looking back and thinking “He really didn’t cry when I came down the aisle”. Sounds really silly right? Here I am with this incredible husband who treats me like a queen and I know would do anything for me, yet I had the nerve to be giving a second thought to a photo I saw on social media? *Insert long blink. The truth is our wedding ceremony was perfect for us just the way it turned out, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As ridiculous as I was being, and as funny as it sounds, that’s the current reality of so many people, maybe even some of you. You may not be bothered that your groom didn’t cry when he walked you down the aisle, but maybe your proposal didn’t go the way you planned, or maybe you don’t even have a man in sight to even consider getting proposed to, or maybe you keep seeing all these extravagant wedding pins knowing you won’t be able to afford all of that, or maybe you thought you would have had children by now. Whatever it is the goals haven’t been met and you’re left a little or in some cases, a lot disappointed. And there lies one of the issues with #relationshipgoals and it’s this: there’s a fine line between relationship goals and envy. Really, what we’re doing is comparing what someone else has to what we don’t have and calling it goals. It’s the gap between where we are and where we desire to be. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with admiring and respecting another couple, the love they share, what they have achieved, and what they have built together, but when we do so at the expense of our own contentment, it becomes a problem.
Social media is a beast. As great of a platform as it is, it also has the potential to stir up jealousy bitterness and comparison in a person’s heart with its constant display of highlight reels, humblebrags, and sometimes straight up facades. If we’re not careful to guard our hearts, we can inadvertently become casualties of our newsfeeds. What tends to happen is we place unfair expectations on our own life and our own relationships. Suddenly, your man isn’t doing enough, doesn’t treat you well enough or doesn’t look good enough. Instead of giving your man grace in certain areas, you become impatient and begin to compare them to so and so’s husband or boyfriend. The grass on the other side begins to look greener when in reality the grass is green wherever you water it.
Furthermore you don’t know what that relationship has costed them. Sometimes we walk into chapter 12 of someone else’s love story (or life) when we failed to read what happened in chapters 1-11. Many people have fought hard to get where they are today. Together they may have argued, sacrificed, been through counseling, endured hardships and all types of things that we may never know. So we ought to be careful when we make someone our relationship goal unless we’re willing to walk in their same shoes. The up’s and the down’s, the mountains and the valley’s, the high’s and the lows, the highlight reels and the unedited clips.
The main issue I see with this whole relationship goals is that it robs you of the potential to write your own unique love story. Where before, the sky was the limit, suddenly this particular couple has become your ceiling. Whether we realize it or not, it causes us to stifle the growth of our own relationship because we’re too focused on someone else’s and it causes the perspective of our relationship (or potential relationship) to become skewed. My advice? Don’t indulge in the hype. Instead, keep your eyes fixed on your own life otherwise you might miss the beauty of what’s already there and what God is trying to do in and through it.
Still Hidden in Him,