Updated: May 20, 2019
When i was in high school, i knew this super adorable married couple. They were my #RelationshipGoals. The way they acted towards each other and treated each other was so amazing to me. They seemed so in love. They had met in high school, fell in love, got married and had been together for about 20 plus years. They were always so lovey-dovey on social media. I loved it so much.
The wife had this nickname she always called him (i forgot what it was), but i'm just going to say Sweet Tea. Every day she would post about her Sweet Tea. How much she loved her Sweet Tea and couldn't live without him. Sweet Tea was the best man ever. The love of her life, etc. She'll post his pictures describing how absolutely handsome and irresistible he was. It was too cute.
She really showered him with endless love and affection on her page on a day to day basis, post throwback photos of them from back in the day, tag him in countless of her loving posts, etc. They were just too perfect and everyone who commented on their photos said the same thing. They were real #CoupleGoals. I loved their relationship. The wife used to post about him consistently every single day, but then one day, it all stopped.
I hadn't seen her lovey-dovey posts in a while so i searched for her page and couldn't find it. That's when i realized she had deactivated her account. I went to her husband's page and his account was still up but i noticed something very strange; every single picture of his wife was deleted from his page. He didn't have not one picture of her left and his relationship status which used to say "Married to...." was now completely hidden. I thought this was very weird.
I became curious and decided to do some digging. It wasn't easy because the people i knew who knew them were older adults and they were not about to spill the tea to a 16 year old, so i was slick and strategic in the way i went about asking what i needed to know. And i got the answers i was looking for, and it was not pleasant. I found out that my favorite couple, my #RelationshipGoals couple, were divorced.
Apparently, Sis (his wife), had been unfaithful to her husband repeatedly for years with another man. The husband knew about it and the wife would apologize and say she will change but kept going back to the man. Eventually, they couldn't work it out because she didn't want to end it with homeboy (the other man) and split. I was heartbroken.
My naive, ignorant 16 year old self could not understand how this couple, especially the wife, were so loving in public and online and gave the illusion that they were the absolutely head over heels in love with each other, but behind closed doors they were battling adultery and betrayal. Was it all just for appearance sake? That day i learned something very important:
Appearances can be very deceiving. People will only let you see what they want you to see. They will portray the life they think they should have publicly, but in the background, it's a war zone.
From that time, my perspective and understanding started to change a little bit. I started to realize that a lot of what is going on on social media is all a facade. People pretending their life is one way when it is actually another way. People trying to overcompensate for what they don't have privately, publicly. People desperate for others to see them in a certain way and not the way things really are. And they build this facade with fake smiles and many start to envy without seeing the whole picture.
The truth of the matter is, if you saw the whole picture, you wouldn't want it.
One day i was hanging out with my friend and he blabbed about his friend "Andrew" and his wife. I knew Andrew and his wife. Andrew's wife was one of those women who is very lovey-dovey on social media with her husband as well and will post EVERY LITTLE THING he did for her. Her posts were a little something like this, "Today Andrew brought me lunch at work. Aww what an amazing husband i have." "Look at this beautiful text Andrew sent me" (then she'll post the screenshot of the silly little message) "Andrew is the best husband ever. He loves me so much. So lucky to have him.", etc. Anyway, i learned from the Sweet Tea couple debacle that social media lies all the time so i was a little suspicious of the reason why she felt the need to post about every little thing her husband did for her on social media. Then my friend told me that Andrew confided in him saying he doesn't find his wife attractive at all. There's no love in their marriage, he can't stand her and that there has been times when his wife would lay butt naked in bed right next to him to get his attention and he wouldn't even look at her because that's how much he was repulsed by her. This is a couple that many people admired and always had many people commenting on their lives saying how they are so perfect and wished they had what they had.
Knowing what i knew, i told myself, "If you knew what really goes on in their relationship, you wouldn't want what they have."
A lot of us that have #RelationshipGoals only judge by the outside appearance. You don't know what that couple is like behind closed doors. You don't know their lives, their struggles, their fights, etc. You only see the perfect picture they create to hide the hideous mess that goes on in the background and you wish you had that.
Envying or admiring somebody or people. and wanting what you think they have without truly knowing them is like blindly picking a box because it is well wrapped, ignoring the fact that there could be snakes and spiders and knives in there even though it looks so well wrapped and decorated.
We blindly admire people sometimes and many times we even compare our relationships with those fake ones. "Why can't you be like her" Why aren't you more like him" Why don't you dress like her" Why don't you open the door for me like him" , etc. We envy those things but don't see that yes, she dresses nice but belittles his manhood behind closed. Yes, he opens the door for her, but beats her when they get home. He calls her beautiful publicly but is verbally abusive at home, And so on and so forth. I have heard so many people admire relationships that i know personally and in my heart, i know they wouldn't want that relationship if they truly know what goes on in there.
Nobody in their right mind wants the whole world to see their mess. That's why we pretend like we got it all together because the affirmations of others make us feel a little better about our complicated lives.
Let's stop blindly admiring or envying what we think others have that we don't. You think "her" life is so much better because she has a husband and kids and you are single, but she hasn't slept through the night in months and you sleep like a baby every night, something she wishes she could do. "Her" husband is very affectionate with her in public but yours isn't at all but you don't know that behind closed doors, the affection stops but your husband can't keep his hands off you at home, something she wishes she had. I could go on and on with the examples.
Bottom line is this; Be grateful for your portion. Be grateful for what you have. You may not have what they have, but you have other things working out for you. Nobody is perfect.
Don't envy what you don't know. You could be admiring a box full of snakes.
Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. If you wish you had what they have, you just might get all they have, the full package; the good, the bad, the ugly.
Admire the good people in your life that you truly and genuinely know. I always say that my only relationship goals are my parents. I have watched their life and lived with them all my life. They have been married for about 33 years and they are the real deal. They love each, they make each other better and stronger, and they have raised amazing children together. I admire their marriage because i have seen the background stuff and it is admirable and inspirational to me.
If you've seen the background stuff and you still feel inspired by it, it is worth admiring. If you haven't seen the background stuff, don't envy, don't admire. Ignorance is no excuse when it comes to consequences. Stop admiring the shiny package. Everything is not always what it seems. Appearances are deceiving. Stop wishing, stop envying and work for what you want.
Admire and emulate real people that you truly know are worthy of admiration, and stop envying this social media attention hungry fake relationships. And stop admiring celebrity relationships too. Many of those relationships are fake. Super fake. Plastic fake. Many of those celebrities are paid to stay together to keep a good image and promote their brand (even though they absolutely hate each other and want to get out of the relationship).
Be wise. Be smart. There's no perfect relationship. There's no perfect marriage. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it. Be happy for people. Wish them well in all their dealings. But work on yours.
Don't wish. Wishes are for the weak. Work for what you want. Make your own #RelationshipGoals happen, by being a better you.