My Thoughts On #RelationshipGoals | Emily Bashforth

My Thoughts On #RelationshipGoals


If you're a frequent social media user, or spend a lot of time with those who are, you may have come across the term "relationship goals." In fact, it's unlikely that you won't have heard of it. Whether it's Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or Snapchat, the phrase seems to be thrown around left, right and centre, more so now than ever.
For those of you who perhaps aren't fully clued up on Internet slang, the Urban Dictionary defines 'relationship goals' as;
When two people are in a relationship and people envy them, usually a celebrity couple or popular couple in high school.
For example, people may refer to a celeb couple such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as 'relationship goals,' probably because they aspire to have a relationship like theirs in the future. However, despite spending 99% of my life online, 'relationship goals' isn't a term I am a fan of. I like a bit of Internet slang every now and again and have probably used the term in question a few times in the past but have grown to dislike it more and more and have become confused as to what it really means. Allow me to explain to you why 'relationship goals' isn't a phrase which sits comfortably with me...

First of all, it's a rather general, ambiguous term, don't you think? What actually is goals about the relationship you're referring to? Because, according to social media 'relationship goals' is frolicking on the beach but it's also cuddling on the sofa eating pizza. It's driving in an expensive car with your other half but it's also hiring a cheap van to go on a road-trip in. It's looking glam on the red carpet but it's also wearing your pyjamas and being lazy at the weekends. Can you see why the term confuses me slightly? What exactly is it that people are so envious of? Also, different couples are referred to as 'goals.' On one hand, impressionable youngsters are in love with David and Victoria Beckham, a mature couple who have been married for years, have careers which have lasted even longer and have children. On the other. they also love Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes, (also known as Zoella and PointlessBlog) who are YouTube stars who rose to fame simply by posting videos online which they film in their bedrooms. They're in their early twenties and have been together for three years and rely, heavily, on their social media popularity to earn a living. So which of the two couples are more goals, if any? Or are they on the same level? The whole thing just puzzles me slightly. Do we want a relationship like the Beckhams or Zalfie?
Additionally, I feel as though the phrase 'relationship goals' has been thrown around so much, it's almost lost it's meaning. Any couple could post a snap together on social media and receive a mass of comments containing the two words. For example, a high school couple who have been together for two months could post a selfie together and a teen could post a snap of her grandparents who have been married for sixty years, yet, for some reason, the two of them would still be considered 'goals?' (Side note: this blog post isn't supposed to be negative or hateful, it's simply me trying to express my confusion more than anything, and my dislike for an Internet term).
And, what exactly makes a relationship 'goals?' Is it going on holidays to the Maldives? Is it showering each other with gifts constantly? Is it being attractive? Is it having lots of money? Is it having a family? A mansion? Or is it simply leaving a comment on your boyfriend/girlfriend's Instagram selfie telling them they look good?

Speaking of looking good, I can't help but think the term 'relationship goals' has connotations with appearance. There is no denying the fact that a boyfriend and girlfriend in their early twenties who are both models are more likely to be referred to as 'relationship goals' than a couple who are maybe in their forties and work in an office.

Furthermore, is the term 'relationship goals,' (is anyone keeping count of how many times I've mentioned that yet?) having an impact on young people on social media? I can't help but think it is. We are becoming so used to seeing stereo typically 'good looking,' young couples with slim/toned bodies, nice hair, pretty faces and stylish clothes on social media and them being told they are 'goals' that it's ruining our ideas of what a relationship should really be like. Not every relationship is constant trips abroad, cute workout sessions together, matching outfits, presents, healthy food and flash cars parked outside a seventy three bedroom house. Yet, we go on Instragram and see that Tyga has just bought Kylie Jenner a new car for her birthday and instantly think "RIGHT! OMG THAT'S IT! Ultimate relationship goals! I want that, yes. absolutely." But, honestly, who the hell cares? Yeah, a new car is nice, but is it really all that? To me, a relationship is simply about being happy and spending quality time making memories with a person who you feel a connection with, regardless of looks, financial situations and all that jazz. Social media is teaching us that we should aspire to have met the love of our lives at twenty one and should spend our lives drinking champagne on a private jet wearing diamonds and 'his' and 'hers' dressing gowns, but it's all a load of rubbish, to me. Sites like Instagram and Twitter are ruining the reality of relationships and encouraging us to believe that, if we don't have all of those things that hot Instagram couples have, our relationships is, if you'll excuse me, a bit crap. It's almost as if it's saying those relationships are better than others. But there is no competition! It isn't about which couple can give each other the most Christmas presents or post the cuties selfies. As long as two people are enjoying each other's company, that's a good enough relationship to me. I think we should simply aspire to be happy and in love with both the person we are dating and with life, not to have a load of materialistic things or take nice photos which will please people on social media. If social media didn't exist, would those relationships still be goals? I do also think that some couples show off their relationships online because they want people to tell them that they are "RELATIONSHIP GOALS!!!" ...It's all a bit cringeworthy if you ask me.

Moreover, since social media is such a big part of this blog post, what a couple post on social media, unless you know them personally, is literally the only part that you see of their relationship. Yes you see Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid post a cute photo online and your heart melts at their adorableness, so you leave a comment telling them they are 'relationship goals,' but did you see what happened after that selfie was taken? Are you with them 24/7 and know the ins and outs of their entire relationship? No you aren't. We only see what people want us to see on social media. They're not going whip out their phone and start filming their heated arguments or when they've just woken up and so don't want to talk to each other just yet or the moments when they're watching TV and are sitting upright on the sofa because they just don't feel like cuddling at that moment in time. It is very easy for anyone to post a smiley selfie on the Internet with their partner and for people to assume that's what they're like all of the time. You know they aren't, but you still assume it. It's as if people assume celebrity couples don't face the same struggles as "normal couples" but I can assure you David and Victoria Beckham will have had plenty of arguments over who is supposed to be washing the dishes or because David forgot to turn the light off before he got into bed or because Victoria spends too much time working, rather than with her family. The cheery couples you see online really are just like the rest of us, they just pick and choose what they share. The nights when your Dad has slept on the sofa because he came in late from work and your Mum isn't talking to him? A-Listers experience that too, you know! So, don't believe everything to be as it seems, because it isn't, which is proven when relationships end. Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama recently separated, yet they were told on a daily basis that their relationship was "goals." You really do have no clue what goes on behind closed doors, which goes for every life situation, not just in relationships. I don't want this blog post to take a sinister turn, but how do you know that the couple you just Tweeted to tell them they are 'relationship goals' aren't actually in a toxic relationship where one person is physically abusing the other? Perhaps we should think twice before telling a couple how 'perfect' they are because a lot of people can post a picture of a pretty necklace their boyfriend bought them, but how many people are actually in happy relationships? We are all guilty of completely reinventing ourselves online, it's one of the great things about social media, you can choose to portray yourself however you want, but just remember that there is always something else going on. (I know the image below is cliche and you've probably seen it a million and one times, but it's important).



To bring this post to a close, I'm not trying to tell you to stop telling people they are 'relationship goals,' because you can do what you want, however, it's a term I no longer feel comfortable using. Sure, I like to tell couples their photos are cute or look mighty fine on that red carpet, but I just don't feel right admiring their relationships. I'm not sure what society has come to, however, we started off having career idols and aspiring to be as successful as certain people, which is great, but it's got to the point where we are now aspiring to have bodies like other people and even relationships. No relationship is perfect and, personally, if you spend so much time idolising another couple's relationship and dreaming of how amazing it is, I can't help but think it says quite a lot about your own relationship, if you're in one.
Honestly, just do you. I get that some people look cute together and it is really sweet when they do nice things for one another, but don't spend your life dreaming of having a relationship like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West or like Allie and Noah from 'The Notebook', it isn't realistic for one and there's more to life than that. Your relationship can be it's own kind of goals, it doesn't need all the riches or the approval of others. As long as you're happy, that's cool.

I'm not entirely sure how much sense all of that made as it felt like total word vomit and a bit of a ramble, but hopefully you managed to decipher a sentence or two from it. Apologies if I sounded a bit like a Grandma telling the kids to stop using Internet slang because it muddles up my old brain, although, there are times when I'm convinced I was born at seventy.

Be sure to tell me your thoughts on the phrase 'relationship goals!' <3

Love, Emily :) xx

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