Okay, don’t take this personally. I don’t mean it towards you. There are plenty of bloggers – especially those who I speak with online often and some I consider friends, who I will take relationship advice from. I will take advice from my mother (sometimes), I will take advice from my friends (again, sometimes) I might take advice from genuine expert articles online.
What I’m fed up of, is these content farm, listicle, let’s-create-some-relatable-content-to-make-people-share-it kind of relationship articles. You know the kind I mean: “I’m glad I fell out of love with you”, “if your partner can’t answer these 10 questions then don’t marry them”, “why crazy love isn’t real love”. They get shared around social networks, and they get hundreds and sometime hundreds of thousands of views. And you know what, 99/100, they are COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT.
I don’t have kids, but I do have a nephew. And you know what? I don’t want him to ever grow up believing there is such a thing as a “perfect relationship”. Is that sad? Is that cynical? Maybe. I just feel like if you spent your life looking for the perfect relationship, you’re going to spend a very long time very disappointed. I’m not being cynical for the reasons you think I am. The parents of my nephew – aka my brother and sister in law – have been happily married for 3 years and were together for 8 years’ pre-marriage. My parents have been happily married for over 25 years.
Myself and my other half have been together for nearly three years, and well I haven’t killed him yet – I kid, he makes me very happy. Do me and him, any of the aforementioned, or any of the other great couples I know have the “perfect relationship”? NO!
Don’t get me wrong, I love R to the end of the earth and back. I would do anything for him. We are beyond proud of each other at our best, and we are the only people who can handle each other at our worst. Just because he makes me laugh more than anyone I’ve ever met, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t drive me crazy more than anyone else I’ve ever met.
He leaves empty food packets all over the kitchen, he has piles of paperwork that he cannot file, he loves sailing more than Saturday morning lie ins. I always forget to throw away the empty loo roll tubes, I feel the need for the flat to be pristine when anyone comes round, I take all the duvet at night. Yes, these may seem like little things. But when you live with someone, they drive you insane. Don’t get me wrong, these little things aren’t the worst, there are bigger things that I won’t go into right now. But does that stop us loving each other, wanting to spend the rest of our lives together? No. These imperfections in our relationship make it perfect. Every time I want to punch him, I want to take him in my arms too. Every times I want to cry, he’s the only person I want to hold my hand.
And I know this is the same for my brother and sister in law, my parents, my best friends. Is my nephew going to grow up knowing his parents have a perfect relationship? No. Is he going to grow up knowing that they love each other, dearly, deathly, imperfectly, despite everything? I hope so.
I hope he grows up learning these lessons from his parents, his grandparents, his crazy aunts and uncles. I hope when he first starts to date a girl he doesn’t try to live up to the expectations that these articles give him. Because he won’t. I don’t. Could my parents answer the “15 questions you should be able to answer before you marry someone”? Probably not. Are they beyond happy? Yes.
So, this is why I won’t be taking the relationship advice of these articles. If I did, I would probably end the happy relationship I am in. And I would spend the rest of life disappointed.
Am I just being cynical? Are you or someone you know, in the perfect relationship?