I’ve been working on this post for awhile. There was a knee jerk reaction to start this and then… I lost motivation and started to put off my writing in general… But I am back. I am making myself sit and write this as I attempt to get back into the swing of things.
I want to express my disdain for the relationship meme. The issue I have, generally speaking, with such memes as that many many of them give terrible advice. They are pervasive all over the internet and primarily on teenager’s/juveniles social media. I see it relatively often across my facebook newsfeed… I have said it to friends before, and I will say it here as well – many of those that share relationship memes etc appear to me to be 15 years old. Regardless of their actual age… whether they be 16, 18, 26, 28… or older… I just want to say “What, are we in Junior High?” or “Grow the fuck up… That’s not how mature relationships work.” #Relationshipgoals are also something that bothers me as so many youth – and immature adults – take it as an ideal to strive for an feel that they have failed if they don’t reach that ideal.
While there are of course memes that are from the male perspective – the majority seem to be from the female perspective… I suppose it is because females are more likely to share them and obsess over relationships/relationship ideals/DRAMA. Regardless it is a shame at how much is put into a girl’s consciousness that a man should bow to her whims and make her happy more than making concerted efforts to make him happy or understand the essence of being male. (Like memes about being annoyed he hasn’t noticed your new hair do – Men legitimately, very often do not notice aesthetics such as that. Unless it is a drastic change don’t expect him to notice or care. Hell, I sometimes take a few days to notice when my husband gets a haircut or what have you…) It seems there are memes a plenty pointing out the behaviour of women that baffle men – that should tell us something, ladies. Experience should tell us something as well (given I grew up through my past relationships without Facebook inspirational or relateable quotes, it can be done!) That men simply do not think the same way women do in general. If he seems to not know why you’re mad – he legitimately doesn’t know why you are mad.
Anyway, I have gone and collected several terrible memes to point out and
bitch about feel the need to explain in one way or another. I will also periodically point out some that actually are good in my opinion – though I don’t believe our youth should be learning about relationships from memes, if they must prevail we should be trying to get more decent ideas out there and/or bring up the discussion when they share or like others that are crap.
No. Just fucking no. Look at how many memes there are in support of Jealous behaviour! And that’s not even all of them I came across… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jealousy looks terrible on you. Jealousy does not equal love. Period. Jealousy is about control. My fucking abuser was a Jealous man…. JEALOUSY DOES NOT EQUAL LOVE. IT IS NOT HEALTHY. I can’t wax lyrical that jealousy is not a hard emotion to fight or keep down, it may be a natural reaction when you are afraid of losing someone… but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to act on the impulses. It’s not okay to emotionally abuse or attempt to control another person. If they want to be with you they will be with you. If they want to cheat or walk away, they will. That’s life. That’s part of navigating the the waters of relationships. Some work, many do not. Bad behaviour and, again, jealousy is unbecoming and makes you just as much of a problem in a bad relationship as perhaps the other person might be if they actually give reason to cause you to react as such.
It doesn’t matter if you are their significant other, that does not give you any right to look through their phones, or demand passwords to their social media, or give them any other demands on their autonomy as a person.
Also, side note about the Animal Crackers meme – it actually does not make sense?? My husband told me awhile ago that when a guy says a girl looks like Animal Crackers, it means she is so hot that he “wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers” which is a related phrase I’ve also heard elsewhere…
That being said – here is some other memes which should replace and multiply over the previous ones…
Jealous behaviour is obviously one of my major pet peeves – obviously since I’ve written about it before. I also have a huge issue with the Psycho Girlfriend idea – not cute nor funny ladies. This next group of images is a bit of a mashup of MESS….
There’s psycho behaviour, there is glorification of abuse… and the more subtle ones that while are not immediately objectionable – they are fodder for self importance in a relationship and as the “Marilyn Monroe” quote (not something she actually said…) has been used by many accounts by abusive women who quote it back at their abused partners. Bad behaviour is bad behaviour. Your “worst” is not excused simply because you believe your man should love you regardless and he wouldn’t otherwise deserve your “best.” When your worst is abusive, then your best is just you cycling him through – guess what? – The cycle of abuse. You then don’t deserve him, not the other way around.
Instead, consider these:
These speak for themselves as far as I am concerned. Treat your relationships – and your life – with some maturity, use discerning thought, some critical thinking… and a healthy dose of reality.
Now for another set of memes I have an issue with – re: exes –
OH GROW THE FUCK UP. Automatic assumptions that exes are trash, or not worthy of your friendship, or any of those stupid “rules” (NO! There are no “rules” in a relationship except don’t fucking abuse each other! All else is dependent on individual cases and what works for that couple. Ask yourself… Who made up these rules? Why would you assume they are hard and fast rules? Even if you agree with the sentiment, what makes you think it’s a “rule” that can be enforced on your partner or friend? (AGAIN with the jealousy “shouldn’t be talking to anybody that used to like you…” etc etc BULLSHIT.))
Not all relationships end in friendship. That would be naive of me to make a sweeping statement to the contrary. But it is most certainly not a rule that exes should be generally avoided or hated.
Some relationships end on negative terms. For example, I am no longer remotely friends or have contact with my abusers. Even with Andre, a man I loved dearly and when we broke up with no animosity – I couldn’t bear to be friends with him for many years simply because it hurt my heart too much. However, as time passed – 13 years to be precise – we reconnected and can thoroughly enjoy being friends without any lingering feelings being harbored. Justin and I have remained very good friends as well – and neither of our spouses are jealous because there is absolutely no reason to be. I am, in fact, on friendly terms with all of them except the two abusers.
Again, let’s vanquish the idea that exes are trash or dangerous to future relationships and all of that. It is all relative to individual situations. Don’t be friends with an ex if it’s right for you, but remain friendly and mature to others that are worth it to you – regardless of what future partners may think. Don’t allow them to dictate to you who your friends can and can’t be. That, again, is not love – it’s jealousy and control.
Gosh, this post is getting long… Probably should have split this into two posts… Oh well, lol. Might as well just get this rant out! Next… on to more “rules”:
So much wrong here. Please, youth, please don’t automatically believe or relate to memes that give rules or facts or whatever – get life advice from your parents or *ahem* cadet leaders or other trusted adults, not your computer screen. And also keep in mind some “adults” nowadays also take their advice from these memes (can you see me rolling my eyes?) so take care who you get advice from and take it with a grain of salt regardless… consider the advice and compare against your relationship before taking actions.
I also want to note here as well – Unstable after 3 relationship status changes? Soooo… In a relationship, not in a relationship, in a relationship…. Soooo more than one relationship means you’re unstable? Bullshit. Especially as youth – dating is for practice. Practice relationships, get experience… don’t take things so seriously.
Also, things like what your ex is thinking when he texts or how seriously a guy takes you because of a preferred sexual position are assumptions and ridiculous. They of course may fit some situations – but that by far does not make it a rule that fits all situations. And AND being happily married or in a happy relationship has no bearing on fashion choices or level of flirting. Many people are naturally flirtatious and that does not mean they are not happy in their relationship or that it is in danger.
Alright, I’ve ranted long enough. I just want to end it on this: those of you that share these, if you act like you are a relationship expert based off of such ideas then you are no relationship expert. If you base your relationship expectations off of such ideas or the many “Relationship Goals” you will invariably end up disappointed at one point or another – at least until you grow up and recognise lessons you hopefully will have learned in previous relationships.
Don’t commiserate and feel sorry for yourself when a relationship goes sour. I’m not saying don’t take time to mourn a loss, or deal with your emotions. But work through it and move on. Don’t post shit all over social media blasting your partner or ex or even friends for doing you a perceived wrong. That is very fucking immature and says more about you than the alleged wrongs they did you. It does more damage to a relationship than it does to fix it or drive your point home. It does not endear them back to you and basically burns your bridges should you ever want to make things better. I have had to call out teenagers for this by private messaging the offending party. Especially when I know both parties – I will always speak up. Luckily, my youth were always willing to speak with me and accepted the fact that I have had much more experience in such things. You are also no better than anyone else because you have had less relationships or longer term relationships (doesn’t mean they had more substance…)
I don’t call myself a relationship expert, and I have always prefaced advice to my youth with the fact that I acknowledge that all relationships are different and they must take my advice with a grain of salt and with consideration to their own relationship. Only they really know how their relationship works; I can only tell them what I would do in a given situation. The thing is – utilise maturity, take time to think don’t give in to impulse emotions, treat your partner with respect, treat your partner as you want to be treated. Forgive, don’t play the blame game, listen, don’t dwell on the past… Work through issues if it is worth it to work through for you, if it’s not worth it don’t waste you and your partner’s time… Either put up or shut up… Break up or let it go. Basically, relationships take common sense to navigate – not fucking memes.
And sometimes they just don’t work out and that is OK.