Most of you don’t have married friends on Facebook. But some of you might have parents (questionable, considering some commenters) or some cousin or family friend who’s married and out there in the social media world. So you may have seen this new “game” that’s going on. Married couples (mostly the wives) are taking part in “challenges” (in quotes because there’s nothing challenging about them) where they post a picture of their spouse to signify their commitment and then they tag another friend to do the same.
This thing has many different iterations. It’s presented as “I love my husband or wife and I want to show the world,” but it never really comes off that way. Personally, I don’t really buy it. I’ve never seen a tagged picture of a husband and wife with some sort of glowing paragraph that could have just been written in a personal card or said to their face and thought of their love or commitment. I’ve seen couples take up the challenge and it looks like they’re showing up to a party after a fight. Like they came in, holding hands a little too tight, sweating from screaming on hot parking lot asphalt. It’s them saying hello to some couples, one noticing something is off, and the wife responding with a, “We are FINE,” and fine is said in the most un-fine way possible. It’s a couple I never aspire to become with my future wife (good luck at college orientation!). And honestly, I’m not sure I can control that.
It’s because of competition. Women compete with their level of relationships. The girl at the table with the ring is winning and the girl at the table swiping on Tinder is losing. Today, thanks to social media, that table is endless. Every woman they’ve ever met is sitting there showing off their rings. And there’s a ton of different rings to show at every age. A prom picture that gets a million likes. A dated function picture with her friends commenting with forty different spellings of the word “cute.” A picture from vacation with her boyfriend that has her friends write “LOOOOVVEEE” where they sound like super sexualized cows. The pictures of the engagement, the engagement dinner, the bridal shower, the wedding, the honeymoon, the ultrasound picture, the baby bump, the baby, and the first birthday. Every happy event gets a picture and a day of social media attention. Every time one woman posts a picture, another sees it, and waits for their time to show that they’re keeping up in the race while bathing in a shower of likes. It isn’t wrong. It’s just a current women get caught up in.
But that competition ends. The new relationships aren’t new anymore. The weddings are over. The babies are now ugly. The events aren’t a big deal to anyone else but them. So the likes go down. They’re like retired athletes. They have all the rewards of a life spent living and attaining their goals and now those are just pictures on the wall and they miss the roar of the crowd. These women have the husband and the kids and the house that they wanted, but where will the likes come from? Where is that roar? Where will they get their fix? Maybe it’s a first day of school. Maybe it’s their husband dressed up for some event. But her friends have their own first days of school and her husband once got drunk and called her friend “a 6.” So they turn to a made up Facebook game to fill the “like void” and tell the world about how it’s to “signify commitment” as we all roll our eyes. To me, that’s as sad as blowing a dealer for a line.
As a guy, this is worrisome. How do you commit to someone when there’s more for them to gain than just the commitment? We have nothing to gain by commitment other than the person. Our friends aren’t THAT happy for us. Our Facebook posts don’t do THAT well. Our table is less interested in talking about wedding planning than they are to hear about an unattractive girl we hooked up with ten years ago. For girls, there’s a whole bag of “likes” to be had by getting into a committed relationship and there’s no real way to know how much that’s helping her get through her day.
I don’t know that answer. I don’t know when part of the reason you’re getting serious is because of the social current. I do know that I’ve seen friends swept away in it. I do know that there are no selfless social media posts. That saying you’re posting a picture of your significant other to “signify commitment” is bullshit. None of us are inspired. None of us are looking to the moon tonight knowing that our true love is looking at the same moon because a couple posted a picture of “date night.” If anything, we’re a little more sad. We just hope things are fine in the better than “JUST FINE” type of way..