Here's a dirty little secret.
A lot of the couples who you see making kissy emoticons and otherwise yapping about their relationships online aren't in perfect relationships at all.
They may be insecure and trying to shore up each others' insecurities. They might be seeking approval or support. Or they might be faking it until they think they just might make it. There can also, at times, be a passive-aggressive component to it. E. g. I'll tell the world everything is awesome with ____ and now he'll have to live up to it.
People who really love each other don't need an audience.
Want to do public displays of affection? Then have it. My husband and I do at times. And at other times, we don't. And that may be all that's behind some of these things you're seeing on social media. But don't kid yourself; we all have an audience, and we'd be pretty damned foolish if we didn't realize we did. Shares, likes, retweets, follows, etc are all the actions of an audience.
Some if not many of these displays you're seeing are, consciously or unconsciously, intended for an audience. And they don't necessarily reflect what's really going on. I look at social media a lot like annual Christmas letters. You get a glowing report of little Johnny's A in Spanish and Dad's new job and Mom's new degree and little Susie's acceptance to State U. What you don't see are the months Dad had to hunt for that job, the nights Mom had to study to get that degree, little Johnny's D in History and Susie's rejection from Yale.
A few things, in no particular order:
- If you don't like the presents you're getting, tell your fellow! He might not know at all that he's displeasing you. He knows that when he got you a Chewbacca action figure 2 years ago, you were ecstatic, so now he's getting you Lando Calrissian because he knows the Wookieee worked then and figures LC will now. He will not change this behavior until you give him more than a clue that it's not working. And I don't mean dropping hints. Tell him. You don't have to be mean, and you shouldn't be. It's more like: ___, thank you for all of the great Marvel memorabilia but I think I'm all action figure-d out. Instead this year for Christmas, can we exchange more grownup stuff? If you still want action figures then I am happy to give them to you but I would like to change things up, okay?
- Flowers and candy don't last. They feel romantic in the moment but understand you've been conditioned by society to feel they are pretty close to the absolute expression of love, and that a diamond is the epitome of that. Those are marketing gimmicks by the florists, candy manufacturers, and diamond miners and merchants. Me, I haven't gotten flowers in years, and I don't give a damn because I know I'm loved when the garbage is taken out or the salads are made - and I don't have to ask for those things. Of course your mileage may and will vary, but understand that people express their love in different ways. Not every expression of love fits neatly inside a Hallmark card. Keep in mind the things your fellow does for you and, if they are expressions of caring, then those are his version of candy and flowers.
- Recognize, also, that you may be growing apart. Things change a lot between the ages of about 16 and 25. And your relationship's tenure is right smack dab in the middle of that. So you might be onto dinner and dancing and champagne while he's stuck in Marvel and cosplay and Mountain Dew. This could very well be a sign that your relationship is coming to an end. And if it does, then that's okay. Not every relationship goes the distance and, in fact, the vast majority of them don't. There is no shame in throwing in the towel if it's not working out, so long as you are kind about it.
Perfection doesn't exist. Being kind, affectionate, and caring does.