Aren’t You Tired of the Overload of Relationship Advice on Social Media?
By Akunna Ofodu
Let’s do a test! Try scrolling through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for more than 5 minutes, see if you can get through your timeline without seeing a tweet, status or post about “the secrets to keeping a man,” or more generally speaking, relationship advice for women. Odds are you’ll fail the test.
It’s everywhere. Highly respected publications are fascinated with the “single women” syndrome and spew daily a variety of articles on how to fix the problem of single women. Entire careers are fixated on what women do wrong and how women can begin to please their men.
I’m an avid Twitter user, who follows a good chunk of “Black Twitter” influencers. I can say that I constantly see tweets bombarding women with insights on the standards men have created on how to act around a man, how to intrigue a man, how to keep a man, and even how to get your old thang back – as if women were not originally intended to be pursued.
Almost weekly, new threads created by men circulate my timeline as they explain away their behavior, define their idea of the perfect relationship and insist on blaming women and instructing us on what to do to keep them.
In the world of “Black Twitter” nothing is off limits. Conversations on splitting rent, the type of women who deserve $200 dates, the best types of women to have sex with – and, the worst – and the reasons why women fail at maintaining relationships are rampant.
I must confess that I too have fallen victim to the standards portrayed on social media. After seeing those tweets amass hundreds or even thousands of RTs and replies of agreeance, it’s hard to believe that everyone does not agree with the amateur and prestigious experts who share their advice so effortlessly. Often, I would find myself subconsciously using the information I receive on social media as benchmarks to my own life, allowing those standards to tap dance on my insecurities and failed situationships. “Well he didn't do that, he must not like me that much” or “I use to do that, so why did it not work out?” Or my favorite, “Well he definitely did that with me so maybe we still have a chance.”
Now don't misunderstand me, I love Twitter and social media. I have had a Twitter account since 2011 and its one of my most used apps. It is one of the most influential outlets and has change the way we receive and discuss news and other topics. And honestly, the conversations I mentioned can be quite entertaining and engaging.
But where do we draw the line between good conversation and overexposure of diluted relationship advice? While the term “feminist” has become a buzz word, social media has made it difficult to balance or even shed light on different points of views without looking like a man-hater. Besides, rarely do you see media outlets lend relationship advice to men detailing “5 Reasons You Should Be the Best Man to Your Woman,” “15 Ways to Support Your Woman, When You Make More Money Than Her” or “How to Get the Girl of Your Dreams Back After You’ve Broke Her Heart.” If anything, it’s a conglomerate of bitter memes, articles and tweets from and for women who are scarred from past relationships.
So where is the disconnect? You would think that with so much advice floating around on the web about how women can get and maintain a relationship, there would be no need or want for women to search for answers to why they’re single. In fact, if all this advice worked there would be no such thing as the single woman.
All of my close girlfriends are beautiful, intelligent, goal-oriented, ambitious and single. And, we were the same ones who compared our past relationships to what we heard around us or saw online. One day, per usual, I scrolled through Twitter and saw people discussing women, but this time I realized that nowhere did anyone mention seeking God for guidance when choosing a mate.
The reason there are more situationships than relationships, and why those are not working either is because people – men and women – are not speaking to their creator about the who, what, when and why when it comes to relationships. And for those women who do lean on God, in most cases, the prayer is often for the Lord to send you a man, instead of asking God to reveal to you how to become the best version of you so that you can be a better companion in your next relationship. God has your love life under control.
The standards on social media are worldly and not of God, so of course the comparisons and advice you read while scrolling through your favorite apps will never fully satisfy you. Humans are imperfect. There will always be questions, confusion and “exceptions to the rule,” but with God there is none of that. Unfortunately, we can’t force social media, and the media as a whole, to create a balance between the relationship advice distributed to women and men. But you can foster a relationship with God, where you can get insight on the decisions related to your love life. Ask him what to do when you meet someone. Ask him if you should let someone go. Ask him for complete guidance in your newfound – or long lasting – relationship. Keeping God at the center of your love life can save you time, heartbreak and give you peace.
So ignore the “experts” on social media and trust God, he’ll always reveal what you need to know…on his time, of course.