If we want to find love that lasts, we need to stop blaming our shit on our smartphone.

Photo by Josh Felise.

There seems to be this idea going around lately that love is incredibly hard to find in the age of social media and smartphones, or at least harder then it used to be. Facebook, instagram, pinterest, and tinder (but especially tinder) are making it impossible to just settle down with someone and stay settled down.

Because of pinterest and instagram we have incredibly high expectations of a mate. They should have the body of a fitness model, dress like an oligarch, be bold like a rockstar, talk like a poet, and think like a philosopher. We want all of these things not just a few. This has made us too picky and whenever we find someone’s warts we call it off even if they are a decent human being who actually loves us.

Because of our phones, when we go out on dates we can’t put them down and lose the ability to look into another person’s eyes.

Because of our phones we are all alone.

Photo by Samuel Zieller

Because of facebook and instagram it seems to us that everybody else has a perfect life, that they’ve all found someone, and that we are the only ones who are lonely, unhappy and miserable. This causes us to act out in self-harm, either pushing us into a relationship with someone we don’t actually care for so we too can seem to have it all together, or breaking up with someone who is perfectly decent but who doesn’t make us seem picture perfect like everybody else.

Even if you find someone, because of Facebook we accidentally stumble on the profile of an ex from years ago and all those feelings we once had come rushing back and we wind up entangled in an affair.

We can’t fall in love, and it’s instagram’s fault. We can’t not hook up with each other, and it’s tinder’s fault. We can’t stay in love, and it’s facebook’s fault.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I propose to you that we may have 99 problems when it comes to love, but our smartphone ain’t one.

It seems that most of us have forgotten, despite the fact that we spend so much time wishing we had been born in ‘simpler times,’ where ‘things were just easier,’ that before running into your ex’s profile on facebook made you have an affair, it was just running into them at the supermarket or coming across their number in your flip phone.

Before we began hiding our unhappiness with our lives and our bodies behind Instagram’s color filters and the bravado of a selfie we used hide behind a smile and an answer of, “oh I’m doing great” when it actually felt like the walls of our lives are closing in, and yet still do.

Before we planned our picture perfect lives on pinterest or evernote, creating unrealistic expectations no human being could possibly live up to, we used to do that with our imaginations and our brains, and yet still do.

Before we avoided awkward small talk on a first date with our phones, we used to to use a drinks menu, or stare out a window, and yet still do (like when our phones run out of battery).

Remember in middle school, before we had smartphones and social networks, we all thought everybody was having sex except us. Nobody was, of course, but that’s what we though. Nowadays 14 year old boys post anonymous lies to yik yak about sexual exploits they never had, but back then we just lied to our friends about it. It’s the same thing but slightly different.

Before we blamed facebook and instagram, we blamed texting and mms. And before that, we blamed television and before that it was film.

Even Adam and Eve blamed each other, and then that snake satan, after covering their bodies in shame.

As it has always been, the reason we have too high expectations for others is because we have too high expectations of ourselves. The reason we had an affair with an old flame is because we never really fully cut ties with them. The reason we think everybody else has it together and we’re the only ones who aren’t happy and healthy is because we haven’t accepted our own flaws and learned to still love ourselves.

It is and always has been the legacy of mankind to cover ourselves, to hide, and to blame a million things for the reasons why we blow up perfectly beautiful things, hurt ourselves, and make ourselves miserable.

But does it need to be that way?

I don’t think so.

Maybe, if we stopped trying to pretend to have it all together and impress people who aren’t even paying attention because they are too busy trying themselves to pretend — if we were honest with ourselves and others about how we really were doing and feeling we would give permission to the ones we love to not instantly have it all together the moment they meet us.

Maybe if we stopped blaming everything and everyone besides ourselves for own shit, accepted that we are flawed and yet still beautiful and worth being pursued, we would accept the flaws of others and yet still pursue and love them.

Or maybe we just haven’t met the right people yet. Let’s go with that.

Photo by Crew
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