New year, new goal: Quit fussin’ about your relationships

We’re nine days into this beautifully fresh new year and a little over a month out from Valentine’s Day. So let’s get this out of the way now: Let’s lay #relationshipgoals to rest. Although I get a good laugh from the memes that make fun of the idea, I fear that too many people in our generation spend too much time comparing themselves to others instead of developing worthwhile relationships.

First and foremost, the concept of #relationshipgoals seems to create a lot more anguish over being single than anything else. In fact, on my timelines on social media, #relationshipgoals come up far more among single people than those actually in a relationship. I’m not sure exactly why, but I’d imagine it has something to do with both putting too much self-value into romantic relationships and having unrealistic expectations. Companionship is nice and if you’re lucky enough to be in love, then great. But you’re a whole person on your own. Your sole goal shouldn’t be a relationship. See what I did there?

As for expectations, it seems as a generation that we’re either setting the bar way too low or way too high. If you’re really into another person, it shouldn’t be an almighty goal for that person to ask you about your day; that should be pretty standard. But you also shouldn’t have a basic expectation that they’re going to give up their world for you — especially not at the beginning.

Sorry, friends, but if your significant other can’t buy 24kt everything, doesn’t talk to you 24/7 or isn’t a prince who can design you a custom engagement ring — I’m looking at you Prince Harry — that doesn’t mean that your relationship isn’t worthwhile or valuable. Believe it or not, relationships are about mutual trust, support, understanding and care. Sometimes, that isn’t easily communicated or even displayed in an Instagram post. The truth is relationships are a lot of work for both parties and they aren’t always easy. At our best, maybe we will be featured as a “relationship goal,” but at our worst relationships will be trying. They’re supposed to be.

It’s cool that there are some people who are falling in love through DMs and buying their significant others jaguars, but that shouldn’t be the standard. Instead of worrying about what another person can give you, look into what you can share. Sure, it may not be as illustrious as sassy tweets, but it’ll be more satisfying in the long run. It’s a new year, so let’s start a new kind of goal: Find, if we so choose, relationships that matter to us and accept them for the good and the bad.  

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