Social Media-Based Relationships Are Taking Over

by Adrel Articulo

Gone are the days of pure, self-sacrificial, and long-suffering love. Love today has been marred by a barrage of ideas and principles that we see on every social media platform on a daily basis.

Love’s strong power has been made weak.

A Kaspersky research study has shown that approximately 75% of couples before the advent of opinionated social media catalogs stayed longer, if not the longest, than today’s relationships. In addition, research conducted by the Pew Research Center also concluded that approximately two-thirds of couples who use social media advertently ended due to unrealistic expectations and flawed ideologies that are ingrained in social media.

If you scroll through your feed, you will find paragraphs after paragraphs after paragraphs about the kind of “relationship” you deserve.

The advice seems to be everywhere as well. From your relatives telling you how you need a boyfriend/girlfriend to Twitter accounts telling you what kind of boyfriend/girlfriend you need, what kind of relationship you have to have, or what to do when someone hurts you.

These posts will tell you that you deserve a person who always sends you a “good morning text,” buys you anything you want, and gives all of their attention to you all the time.

There was even a list of specific “little things” that are “required” for a good relationship. Included were, dancing, flowers, gifts, and constant communication.

I’m not saying that these things aren’t good, or that you don’t deserve them. What I’m trying to point out is that if you think like the aforementioned statements, snap out of it.

There is no such thing as a perfect person, a perfect relationship, or a perfect boyfriend, or a “movie kind of love”. The truth is that love is hard. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

My parents have been married for 28 years. 25 of those were spent being away from each other – a long-distance relationship.

But up to now, they flirt at each other like 18 year-olds who recently got back together after a breakup.

There was rarely a time that they never got to hold hands whenever we go out for dinner or for leisure walks. Dad calls Mom a variety of terms of endearment like “Honey”, “Baby”, or  “My Love” even up to now, depending on his mood.

I ask them, “Why and how were you guys able to pull this off? 25 years of minimal communication?” To which they replied, “Back in our day when something was broken, you fix it. Anak [Son], if it worked before, it could work forever. Because most of the time, it’s just the circumstances. Walang hindi nagagawan ng paraan [Nothing cannot be unsolved].”

It wasn’t exactly a one-word statement that’s supposed to make you think, but it made perfect sense.

I asked, “What if it’s really hard? What if it’s taxing the people in the relationship?” They responded with possibly the best advice ever, and if I remember it vividly, it goes like this: “A relationship is both hard and taxing. It’s what’s wrong with your generation. Kapag mahirap, suko na. Kapag sunod-sunod na away, iwan na lang, madami pa naman d’yan diba? Sayang naman [If it’s difficult, give up. If it’s continuous fights, leave, there are many more out there, right? It is a waste]. You guys shy away from the problem, not act on it. Nakakatakot nga, parang feeling namin wala nang magtatagal na millennial marriage ten years from now [It is scary actually, we feel like there is no millennial marriage that fill last ten years from now]. They’re so focused on what they can have instead of what they can give. Wala ng compromise [There is compromise]. And when you realize what you have lost, it might be too late.”

This is why my parents have been invited to numerous events to speak about love.

They also told me that in the past years, they’ve had lots and lots of potentially marriage-ending fights. They once went without a week of talking while Dad was abroad.

I asked, “So paano ‘yon [So, how is that]?” Mom replied, “Simple. A relationship is not all sunshine and rainbows. If anything, it’s mostly thunder clouds and scary tornadoes. You just have to choose the right people to endure it with, because eventually, it will end. And the sun will shine again.

You just have to wait for things to clear so you can enjoy the sunshine again. But if you never made it a point to endure it with the person you chose, the storm and tornadoes will carry you away.”

Dad also explained how most relationships ended due to unrealistic expectations and weak convictions about relationships, and how the stuff we see on social media are mostly lies that are meant to promote selfishness in a concealed, subtle way. 

The point is, we’re all human. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone acts a certain way.

In a relationship, there’s love, joy, happiness, peace. But there’s also the negative side of things, and when they come, we curl into our own protective layer of pride.

We all crave affection and we all want something for ourselves, and that is when pride takes over. Our emotions get in the way; we find answers from quotes, advice, and sayings from social media.

Most of the time after that, we become impatient and conceited, blinded by the fact that our pride is much more important than the person. Sure, your personal happiness matters, and there is a thin line between giving too much and giving just enough.

But ultimately, to be happy, you have to give. And to be happy while giving, you have to give without expecting in return.

After letting out some steam and thinking things through, you realize how much you need the person and how stupid it is to stop loving a person when we, as human beings, we’re made to love not just ourselves, but other people as well.

You realize that the person you were fighting against is the same person you’ve practically built your own life with and that that person is a large part of your happiness. 

We can definitely be happy by ourselves;  a significant other is definitely not needed to be happy. But the happiness they bring outweighs the happiness we could bring to ourselves alone. And with that, you’re ready to fight again. And then you’ll be happy.

However, you both will fight eventually, and you’ll be unhappy again. You’ll go through the same cycle of pride and indifference. And that’s where true love comes in: True, long-suffering, self-sacrificial, resilient love– the secret to a successful relationship.

Unless your significant other is physically and/or mentally abusive, fight for it.

Base your principles and ideals from real advice, not from someone or something that isn’t credible.

Choose wisely–suffer and enjoy with the people you love.

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