If you have social media, then you’ve witnessed the over the top Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts praising a significant other with “how happy they are” – when in actuality half of millennials pretend to others that their relationship is happier than it really is. According to a new study, couples who are blasting our news feed with adorable statuses and far too revealing selfies may actually be a sign of masking insecurities by bragging to others.
Relationship support charity, Relate, conducted an in-depth survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, which discovered nearly 51 percent of millennials and 39 percent of the general public claim they make their relationship look more appealing to others than it actually is. Digging further, 42 percent of millennials and 27 percent of respondents admitted to using social media platforms to imply their relationship is perfect.
Nikki Goldstein, a sexologist and relationship expert, claimed earlier this year, that this type of behavior is a sign someone is “seeking validation for their relationship from other people” and by taking relationship selfies (relfies) it means that the couples are missing out on important moments.
Madeleine Mason, a psychologist, dating coach and relationship expert also agrees, stating that there are several reasons why couples may want to portray success when things are less than peachy. “People want attention, and positive stories are likely to be celebrated, liked and commented on,” she tells The Independent.
“In other cases, some feel pressured to display success for fear of coming across as unsuccessful, and some people want to believe things are going well, so by curating a positive image they attempt to trick themselves into thinking things are fine.” Mason adds that social media and reality TV shows feed into this perceived need to show off your significant other and feel they need to “keep up with the Jones.”
“While I think maintaining a facade to ones community about the true state of affairs has been common throughout the generations, it’s more apparent in an online community, which is mostly subscribed to by millennials,” she explains.
“The consequences can be that many people are more miserable than need be and there is a greater is of mental health issues as poor relationships are not dealt with.”
The new study also shows that a majority of us are simply tired at the concept of a ‘perfect relationship.’ 92 percent of people admitted they would prefer and even benefit if everyone was more open and honest. It also found that the majority of millennials, 87 percent, aspire to having a relationship for life, while 33 percent of participants said their relationship survived some form of infidelity.
“As our research shows, there seems to be a lot of pressure today, particularly amongst millennials, to give the impression of the ‘perfect relationship,’” Relate counsellor Dee Holmes said regarding the findings.
“We’d probably all benefit from being more open and honest with each other about our relationships and realising that nobody’s perfect, however it may seem on the surface.
“Having been a relationship counsellor for several years and in my own relationship for 35, I know that long-lasting and fulfilling relationships don’t just happen – they require hard work, humour, and may benefit from support such as counselling during tough times.”