30 Hilarious Memes From This Facebook Group That Perfectly Sum Up Relationships
If a tear opened up in the space-time continuum and a little green man from the future popped in to say hi, probably one of the first things he'd want to learn about humanity would be our love life.
But imagine explaining all the intricate aspects of romance in the 21st century to someone who isn't familiar with it. 'A couple of co-living friends with benefits who agreed to marry each other if they're both single when they're forty' would alone take at least a year to describe.
Luckily, there's a Facebook group you could show to this curious being instead. Aptly titled 'Relationship memes', it has over 2 million members who are constantly sharing heartfelt and humorous snippets from their everyday life.
Although it's quite young even by the internet's standards (the group was created in July 2020), this online community has already touched on pretty much everything a person can experience with their partner.
Continue scrolling to check out some of its top posts and the conversations we had with Dr. Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., who is a professor and former chair in the Department of Psychology at Monmouth University, and a relationship expert with over 33 years of experience with children, teens, adults, couples, and families, Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein.
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As you can see from the pictures and probably already know from real life, there are many, many ways in which two (or more!) people can commit to one another. However, Dr. Bernstein, the author of 'Why Can't You Read My Mind? Overcoming the 9 Toxic Thought Patterns that Get in the Way of a Loving Relationship' told Bored Panda he thinks the cornerstones of a healthy romantic relationship are:
Mutual respect and trust. "By this, I am referring to being sensitive and self-aware when interacting with your partner," Dr. Bernstein said. "It's important to remember that they are a separate individual from you with their own sensitivities, preferences, and struggles. It's easy to take a partner for granted and minimize the value of them being there for you. The reality is that all relationships take work, and by speaking/engaging in caring thoughtful ways, you will support a strong mutual connection."
And ascribing positive intentions to your partner, i.e., giving them the benefit of the doubt. "That means believing that they don't want to hurt you and they have your best interests at heart."
But no matter how compatible and willing to work a couple can be, disagreements are inevitable. It's how they are handled that matters. "I believe a complete lack of conflict is a bad sign," Dr. Gary W. Lewandowski, author of 'Stronger Than You Think: The 10 Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship...and How to See Past Them', told Bored Panda.
"It's impossible for two independent autonomous adults who share power equally in the relationship to not disagree on occasion (or even frequently). Rather than avoiding disagreement, the goal should be to keep small problems small by being willing to frequently engage as differences arise. This way they don't accumulate over time to become bigger problems that result in fights that could threaten the relationship."
Dr. Bernstein agrees. No two people are alike and when they spend so much time with each other, there's going to be friction. "We all get toxic thoughts about our partners, which I explain in my book, this comes from the idea that we all have self-talk. From the moment we wake up to when we go to bed, we can either be our own best friend or our own worst enemy. Similarly, we have a lot of thoughts and feelings that run through our heads about our intimate partners. For example, 'He always thinks about himself' or 'She is lazy' are toxic thoughts that left to their own devices can create tension."
The best way to counteract these types of toxic thoughts, according to the relationship expert, is to consciously realize that understanding our intimate partners is just as important as loving them. "The more we lead with empathy, the more we reduce conflicts."
As more Americans turn to online dating after the #MeToo movement left its imprint on the scene, nearly half of U.S. adults – and a majority of women – say that dating has become harder in the last 10 years.
Daters who had difficulty finding people to go out with were asked about some of the possible reasons that might be the case. Among them, the most common explanations include the challenge of finding someone who is looking for the same type of relationship (53% say this is a major reason), difficulty in approaching people (46%) and trouble finding someone who meets their expectations (43%).
Interestingly, most single people (including both those on and off the market) say their friends, family or society in general don't make them feel obliged to find a partner. Just two-in-ten (22%) say they feel at least some pressure from friends, while 31% say the same about family members, and 37% say they feel society is pressuring them.
However, it's worth mentioning that pressure to be in a committed relationship is highly dependent on age—younger singles have to carry a much heavier burden.
For example, 53% of single 18- to 29-year-olds say there is at least some pressure from society to find a partner, compared with 42% of 30- to 49-year-olds, 32% of 50- to 64-year-olds, and just 21% of those ages 65 and older. In fact, a majority of singles 65 and older – the vast majority of whom are widowed or divorced, in contrast to young singles who are mostly never married – say they feel no pressure at all from each of these sources.
If scrolling through these memes you feel the urge to send them to your partner, do it. Dr. Bernstein, for instance, believes that humor is super important to the quality of a relationship.
"I think it's important to be able to laugh at ourselves and laugh with our partners," he said. "Humor allows us to make hyperboles out of our shortcomings and even use lighthearted comments about what our partners do that annoy us. Thus, humor is another means to work through toxic thoughts and diffuse them to lower potential conflict."
Moreover, compatibility in the couple's sense of humor can make a difference, too. "Compatibility in any form is important for relationship harmony, and having a shared sense of humor is part of that," Dr. Lewandowski said. "Being able to laugh together is an important part of friendship and the best romantic partners are also best friends. Humor is also a fantastic way to reconnect following conflict. Being able to laugh at ourselves or at the ridiculous things we’re arguing about helps get the relationship back on track."
There's often wisdom in silliness. "Memes are useful because they help us look at our relationship from a new perspective," Dr. Lewandowski added "Like a lot of humor, it disarms us by making a point in a funny context that makes it less personal, judgmental, or confrontational. When we let our guard down, we can gain new insights that ultimately strengthen our relationship."
Note: this post originally had 84 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.
But it all boils down to making a habit of being honest with each other. Dr. Bernstein emphasized that we need to remember that all relationships take work. There's no way around it. Everything that's worthwhile doesn't come easy. But the key here, the relationship expert said, is to ask ourselves is it work with a capital W or a small w.
"Big Capital W work refers to emotional abuse, active additions where partners refuse treatment, ongoing infidelity, and gaslighting. Small W work means managing stylistic differences, respecting each other‘s wants and needs, and communicating about the positives in the relationships as well as the struggles."