Some Portrayed Standards Hurt.

The toxicity on social media can be rampant. You do you boo.

Elizabeth Lowe, Managing Editor

Growing up, I always heard different recounts on how exclusive relationships should be, and today I still get my relationship compared to others. I think that’s incredibly unfair. The bottom line is: Everyone has different boundaries, and consent is (and always will be) key. 

However social media, and the people close to you, can readily disagree. I remember telling a few friends once that my partner had other friends of their preferred gender(s), and I was met with awkward silence. Of course, in the past I’d seen multiple online threads that hold the heteronormative belief, “I should be the only girl he talks to,” but it didn’t feel right. Why should one deprive someone they care so deeply about of other meaningful relationships? This opinion has left its mark on me to this day, making me anxious to chat so openly about my own relationship. 

My mother also made quite an impression on me. Starting in high school,““ she always asked which boys I found cute, who talked to me and she rambled on about how “exotic” I looked as an Asian American. Jokes on her, I came out as not heterosexual, and this is what began a lot of tension. See, she really wants grandkids, and her thought of exclusive relationships is moving in together, tying the knot, and conceiving a child with your partner. And then another child. My thought is, it’s now 2022, and all I wish to have is pets. As a cat owner, my cat is very much a cute, whiny little being. She is my favorite only child.

“Why should one
deprive someone they
care so deeply about
of other meaningful

Another concept not so readily portrayed in the media is a couple not living together. To put it short, couples moving in together is seen as a milestone. A large one. On Tiktok and Instagram, you can watch couples’ process moving into apartments, and their entire—very captivating— renovation journey. And the couples that live apart, even after getting married, are met with more hesitation. But perhaps the most questioning is done to those who don’t sleep together every night, instead choosing to have their own bedrooms to retreat to when wanted. Some people openly talk about how they wish they could live with their partner(s) and fall asleep next to them every night, and others don’t seem to have much of a voice on their opinion, so I’ll state my own here. 

 I love and appreciate my partner, and I also highly value my sleep. Sure, I’d enjoy falling asleep next to them every once in a while. But after falling asleep in my own bed alone for the majority of my 21 years, I want the room to turn and fumble about. I also get all the sheets to myself, no fighting or anything. As for sleeping in separate rooms or entirely different locations, you can each adjust the lighting to your own liking, and never be banished to the couch. No hate to those that do live together, but I’m what people like to call “picky”. 

With Valentine’s Day this week, I gather most of us were overwhelmed by the pink and red decorations at our local Target, and to the swarms of happy couple posts but listen to me here – everyone’s relationship can present itself in a different way. If your love language is quality time, maybe cook a favorite dinner with your person. If it’s physical touch, maybe a few hugs will suffice. And if you just don’t celebrate with your partner, I hope you stayed warm and maybe even treated yourself! After all, self-love is something we should all aspire to practice.