While I’m sure the #RelationshipGoals hashtag—like most other hashtags—had a rather innocuous beginning, it’s current existence is an absolute mess. It’s become little more than an ode to either unrealistic corniness, or what should be highly simplistic everyday expectations.
This past Sunday, Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend left the Grammy’s and made sure to allow the world to capture their antics on SnapChat. A highly intoxicated Teigen was clearly so gone that she needed help from her man to remove her jewelry. Yet somehow, this bare minimum act of decency, somehow became regarded as #goals.
— Nicole McCabe (@elocinbitch) February 13, 2017
And that’s a weird truth that was not lost on Teigen.
How is John taking off my jewelry “relationship goals” like your fuckin boyfriend won’t take your necklace off jfc leave him
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) February 14, 2017
And therein lies the harsh, yet fantastic reality behind the lowered expectations contained in this horrific hashtag. Some of y’all may say I’m being reactionary and over-the-top, but to you I say, if you’ve never heard real life examples of how low expectations are getting, it’s probably because you’re the one who has them.
Take a good look at some of this BS.
I want someone literate. (How the HELL do you change the pages with only one hand?)
— BookPandemic (@BookPandemic) February 10, 2017
I want someone who will do their homework.
Seeing a college aged couple studying together on Skype at Starbucks.#relationshipgoals
— Kurfy (@Kurfy_Collie) February 6, 2017
I want someone who will show me some form of affection.
— hot937 (@hot937) February 6, 2017
These things are not #RelationshipGoals; they’re #RelationshipStandards. If you read books, finding someone who actually enjoys reading is not as complex of a task as it may seem, and it’s definitely not some endpoint of success. If you’re in school, finding someone who does their schoolwork and cares about their education shouldn’t be some marker of relationship achievement when it’s just a basic accomplishment. If you’re in a relationship, a kiss on the cheek is #goals? For real?
Look, the only reason why I’m so invested in this topic is because once again, these are the wants and needs that are manifesting themselves on us in our everyday interactions with each other. Whether single or in a relationship, far too many of us are subscribing to the idea that receiving base affection is somehow praise worthy. This is how folks stay in messy relationships for far too long, believing that the substandard treatment they’re being subject to is actually better than what they’d receive if they were single. And this is how single folks end up pursuing “situationships” that are completely untenable, simply because the person they’re dating has exhibited slightly more than basic qualities.
While I refuse to condescendingly state what someone’s #RelationshipGoals should be, but as Eames said in Inception, “you mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.”
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.