There are a lot of posts on social media about relationships. They give “advice” on how to better your relationship. Some tell men how they should treat a woman. “If she is important to you, show her.” “Don’t let your pride get in the way of treating your woman right in front of your guys.” Some tell women how to treat a man. “If you have a man, do what you can to make him happy. If he’s hungry, feed him.” Blah blah. Most of the people who share these posts don’t follow the “advice.” I’m sure there are some who really do, but for the most part, they think the posts are inspirational or somehow make them seem smarter by sharing them.
It seems that social media has pushed intimate/boy-girl (or otherwise) relationships to the forefront. Social media helps teach us and put in our minds that having a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife should be the most important thing to us. To me, this is just absolutely absurd. In The South, most of us have been raised to think that we are supposed to get married young and have a family almost immediately. That’s our culture. Add in the pressure from social media posts and it gets our young people (and some grown-ups) all twisted.
While there is technically nothing wrong with these bits of advice, what about the age-old sayings “chicks before *ahem* dicks” and “bros before hoes?” Why do we not push friendships like we do romantic relationships (RR hereafter)? Friends are there when those RRs break down. Friends become family at certain points in our lives. In my opinion, it is more important that we cultivate true and lasting friendships. When we are able to create lasting and healthy friendships, it will be easier for us to later in life create lasting and healthy RRs.
Let’s be honest, RRs should start out as healthy friendships first. So instead of worrying about getting a man to treat right, treat your friends right. Check up on them regularly. Do things to let them know you care about them and that they’re worth something to you. This not only helps you, but it helps them, too. You build their self-worth. When someone knows their worth, they are less likely to allow themselves to be in a RR where they are underappreciated or not really appreciated at all. It’s a bit of a positive feedback chain or a “pay it forward” type of thing. You cultivate healthy relationships and help your friends do the same. In turn, they help their other friends have healthy relationships. It goes and goes.
(Originally posted on my old blog on November 3, 2015)