By: Morgan Snyder

While listening to a podcast called “The No’s of Dating”, I heard someone say this, “If someone makes a big romantic gesture, I always wonder if they are overcompensating. It’s like if someone has huge wheels on their car… you always wonder what they’re trying to make up for!”

The highlighted relationships on Instagram and Tik Tok are the ones where one person make an elaborate grand gesture or does something so romantic that it leaves everyone else wishing they had that kind of relationship. It’s the boyfriend that sets up a home theater on a rooftop at sunset with twinkly lights and comfortable pillows. Or the girlfriend that writes “250 things I love about you” because they’ve been dating 250 days and gives it to her boyfriend with all his favorite candy. Don’t get me wrong, people deserve to be loved and to have nice things done for them, but often I think our goal is to have the perfect relationship- one that will go down in history as passionate, crazy, and epic. But those things don’t necessarily indicate true love, or even a relationship where both people are happy.

You can easily pull off a big romantic gesture just because you have a desire to be recognized as an amazing significant other, but certain things you can only do if you truly care for someone. Choosing to hold your tongue in the heat of an argument because you don’t want to hurt them truly takes true love/ genuine friendship for someone. When you really don’t want to listen to them when they are telling you about something you really don’t care about, but you choose to anyway, that is because you know how to put someone else before yourself: truly caring for someone. If you can still speak and act respectfully when you are disagreeing, then you know how to treat others the way you want to be treated! If you refuse to gossip about the other person, and instead go to them to work out a problem, this is a sign of a healthy relationship goals. Someone who truly cares isn’t going to try to get credit for the kind things they do every time; they just want to make the other person feel cared for and don’t care if they are recognized. 

You know what I don’t ever see on romantic Instagram and Tik Tok videos? Someone apologizing for doing something wrong. But that is a sign that the person has high character and they are willing to give and not just in it to get! We don’t see people show up at their job every day and work their tail off to support their family, but that takes a great love. We don’t see much waking up in the middle of the night to take care of a hungry baby, when losing sleep for the sake of another is one of the most selfless things that anyone can do! We don’t see a lot of little things. 

Everyone is eager to show the world that something big happened, but it might be setting a standard that isn’t based on reality. Some things feel great and make you feel like the most special person in the world, but it only lasts one moment. If someone isn’t willing to focus on the small things, then the relationship as a whole isn’t satisfying. Let’s keep our standards high. We can’t let people mistreat us and then just “make up” for it by trying to compensate. We should all prove that we love the people in our lives with our actions- big and small. What we do consistently is who we truly are.