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Sex + Relationships

Why Relationship Culture Can Be Harmful

Growing up, it’s hard for girls to not to be exposed to the “perfect” relationship. The perfect princes rescues the perfect princesses and they fall in love and live happily ever after in their perfect fictional world. If you would have told me growing up that this would not happen to me, I’d probably be crushed. However, as I grew older, I realized that instead of focusing on Disney princess for “relationship goals,” our focus has now shifted to Instagram and Twitter, on which the concept that happiness is impossible without a relationship is solidified.

Twitter is an amazing place where you can find pretty much anything that you are looking for, whether it’s cute animal pictures or memes. However, one thing that I often see on Twitter is a description of the “ideal relationship” or what an ideal partner should do. There could be 50,000 retweets on a tweet that says that if a guy really likes you, then he would pay for you to get your nails done, pay for all your meals, brush your hair, etc., and because of the amount of the attention that the tweet gets, people start to believe that this is true. This sort of concept of “groupthink” is very widespread on social media (especially Twitter), and it can be very harmful to both budding relationships, romantic or otherwise, and one’s relationship with themselves alike. 

I, too, fell victim to believing that what other people described as the ideal relationship was supposed to be mine as well. What I, and I’m sure a lot of people, didn’t realize is the fact that everyone is different, and what may work in one couple’s relationship may not work in their own. I just had to learn that Twitter is definitely not the place where I should be getting my relationship advice (I feel like that probably should have been obvious, but oh well).

Another thing that Twitter relationships perpetuate is the need to have a relationship in general. Already, a lot of girls grow up thinking that they need to find a boyfriend to be happy. We grow up brainwashed to think that the one thing that will solve all of our problems is some teenage boy with a struggle beard. Don’t get me wrong – I love being in a relationship, but depending on someone for your happiness is one of the most mentally unhealthy things you can adopt. Once you learn to rely on yourself for your own happiness, you’ll realize that you don’t need anyone. Now, I’m not saying to stop dating or making friends, but rather just be conscious of how much you rely on them for your own needs and feelings.  

Remember that the perfect partner or relationship doesn’t exist, but they can definitely come pretty close. For now, it’s okay to just do your own thing. You have so much time to get to know yourself right now, so make sure that you don’t spend all your time searching for the perfect person. If it’s meant to be, they will come to you naturally. 


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Lauryn is a current freshman mass communications major at VCU. Some of her passions include writing, social issues, and missing her dog from back home. Some of her other interests include fashion and watching makeup videos on youtube. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in the journalism field.
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