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Sex + Relationships

Don’t Let Society Define Your Love: Social Norms in Relationships

I think we can all agree that society has set its standards on what relationships should look like. But in today’s generation, it’s clear we are making our own rules and defining love for ourselves. Women are paying on the first date, and men are showing more emotion than ever before. It’s safe to say that we are throwing away traditional relationship standards and creating our own. However, as a young woman trying to figure out her love language, I understand it’s hard to not compare your relationship to society’s social norms. Luckily I have some advice for you.

 Well, let us start from the beginning. Let’s say your scrolling on Instagram, and you see a boy you think is cute. You think to yourself, ‘I hope after I like some pictures, he will dm me and shoot his shot. A couple of days go by and nothing. Now, ladies, I am guilty of this myself. You probably just gave up and keep it pushing. But NO, try sliding into his dm’s first! I know that sounds crazy to some of us, but believe me, it might be beneficial in the end. We have to keep in mind that some men are shy and might not feel comfortable approaching us first. Society has taught us that women should never make the first move, and that’s not the case! If you see something, you want to go after it. There is nothing wrong with letting your feelings be known.

 Okay, so you just dm’d your Instagram crush, and guess what? He responded! You guys begin to text, and finally, he lets you know he wants to take you out. Now, who pays for the first date? Everyone knows that the man pays on the first date. Personally, I agree; however, that’s not realistic for every couple. It’s okay for you all to maybe split the bill. But whatever you all decide, don’t let some random person on twitter tell you that that’s not the way a relationship works. Maybe he can’t afford it. Let’s be real times are hard, and Ruth Chris isn’t cheap. But whatever you and yours decide to do, don’t feel like your relationship won’t last or won’t work. 

 Fast forwarding, you and your Instagram crush are in a relationship and have been going strong for almost a year. However, his birthday is coming up in December, which happens to be a week before Christmas and two weeks before your monthly anniversary. This could be an issue because money doesn’t grow on trees. Getting extravagant gifts for every holiday is not realistic for every couple. The media will make you think that you have to rent a hotel and decorate it with roses and candles. Be open with your significant other, and make sure you guys have a clear understanding. Maybe you guys can only celebrate birthdays and Christmas, or even just do a considerable anniversary gift. But whatever you decide, just make sure you are on the same page. 

Jumping ahead, you and your boyfriend are going strong. You guys have developed a healthy relationship, for the most part. But, you are starting to feel suffocated. Believe me, I can relate. After being in a relationship personally for almost three years, I have realized that yes, I love the company of my significant other. But I also love my own company just as much. Unfortunately, it took me a while to tell my significant other that. I recommend first; just take a step back and realize this feeling is entirely familiar. Next, have an open conversation with your partner. Yes, this may not be easy; however, I guarantee that it will only help your relationship in the end. Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s. If you need your space, TAKE IT. Society has made us think that you have to be around your boo all day every day, and let’s face it, that can be annoying. 

After reading this, I hope you have a different take on relationships, and remember that everyone’s love is different. Try not to compare your love life to society’s love life because I promise it’s not real. Create your own passion and define it. I promise you won’t regret it.

Korrin Swinton is a first year journalism major at the illustrious Hampton University. Korrin expresses herself through her writing and visual art. She aspires to be a professional journalists and creative director for a magazine. She also does special occasions and special effects makeup on her free-time. To see all her work follow her via Instagram: @LookByRin.
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