The term “relationship goals” is casually tossed around on social media to convey admiration, or sometimes envy, of an action/gesture/moment that you want to see in your own relationship. Sometimes when you tag a post with #RelationshipGoals, you are completely serious, and sometimes, well, it might be with a hint of facetiousness. Regardless, the idea that we are admiring others’ relationships, based on as little as one photo, can be unhealthy or healthy depending on your mindset.
First let’s discuss the unhealthy mindset. Longing for the happiness a friend/coworker/celebrity appears to have in their relationship is not beneficial to you. If you are not in a relationship it can create unrealistic expectations for your future. And if you are in a relationship it can make you believe that the grass is always greener on the other side. As we’ve discussed before on the blog, social media is the perfect platform for the highlight reel, not the everyday, real life struggles in a relationship. Even if you lightheartedly take note of an aesthetically pleasing image of a moment in someone else’s relationship, don’t let your desire to experience that moment yourself overshadow the importance of building a genuine and profound relationship, or forget that it takes hard work to do so. I know #RelationshipGoals is trendy right now, but think about it—how truly authentic and intimate can this moment be when a) you’re having your picture taken and b) it is shared with social media followers (be that ten or a million)?
On the flip side, there are times where it can be healthy and productive to have goals based on others’ relationships. Maybe your parents or grandparents have set a fantastic example of a successful marriage, and in celebration of their anniversary you post a picture tagged with #RelationshipGoals. Or perhaps you read a blog post with tips to increase closeness in your relationship, such kissing your partner 3 times a day – go ahead and consider that worthy of the #RelationshipGoals tag. In general, setting goals is a great way to motivate positive growth and change in your life, so if the action/gesture/moment you are calling out as a relationship goal will result in or is the result of a better relationship with your partner, then by all means, tag away! Ultimately, the key is to remember that real relationships are made up of a lot more than just well-posed photo ops and shareworthy anecdotes. If you’re going to set #RelationshipGoals, make sure they have some substance.
Do you think the #RelationshipGoals tag promotes healthy goals or not? Let us know your thoughts!