Yesterday I saw yet another romantic viral video. I’m sure you’ve seen the ones, where the guy goes through some extravagant day for his girlfriend. He brings her puppies, buys her favorite foods and by the end of it you’re sure it’s a proposal. This one didn’t end in a marriage proposal but rather a simple statement “guys, the bar has been raised”. This got me thinking, and then festering and then, honestly, fuming. See, these viral videos aren’t a reflection of real life or real love. The bar has indeed been raised but, it’s not a good thing. Let me tell you why.
1. REAL LOVE DOESN’T GO VIRAL.
It’s just that simple. Because real, true, deep love is reflected in the small moments. It’s when your significant other does the dishes when you really don’t want to, or when they give you a big hug after a long day, or when they let you watch Grey’s Anatomy even though they hate that show. Real love isn’t anything fancy, it’s doing life together and supporting each other. The more we get caught up in this idea that real love means extravagant gestures, the more harm we are doing to ourselves. See, if I expect something big, I’ll be vastly disappointed when I come to realize the real side of true love. If I stand there waiting for a camera crew and a basket full of puppies, I’ll be hurt when I get a heartfelt note or test message instead. By expecting viral-worthy gestures, we diminish the small, meaningful ones.
2. HE IS NOT LESS-THAN.
When we put weight into these videos we forget to realize that not every guy was made to be this viral video making genius. If every guy were, it would become boring real fast. Not every man has a built in gage for thoughtfulness. Heck, if I want flowers I have to hint forever to get them, and that’s OK! Flowers don’t define Jared’s love for me and neither do grad gestures. If we make these gestures a requirement, we turn away men who just aren’t made to go viral. We turn away potentially wonderful human beings all because we want the 5 minutes of fame to say “look at what my boyfriend did!” Love isn’t about bragging, love isn’t about who is better, love is about sacrifice and doing life together…even when life is boring. So no, my fiancé is not less than that guy who “raised the bar” just because he didn’t get me a basket of puppies or a Lyft ride in a fancy car and your boyfriend/fiancé/ husband should not be made to feel bad if he doesn’t do these things either.
Sure, thoughtfulness is a wonderful thing and should be appreciated and encouraged but just because you don’t get a grand gesture, doesn’t mean your love is less-than.
3. WHAT RAISING THE BAR SHOULD LOOK LIKE
Raising the bar shouldn’t be about who can do the most romantic thing because, as we’ve discussed, that’s just not realistic. However I do think we need to raise the bar. How about we raise the bar and teach men that we are worthy of respect? How about we don’t let a hot guy treat us like crap just because we want to be with him? How about we stop making excuses for men who are jerks by saying, “he’s just a typical guy”? How about we raise the bar and start going on dates instead of Netflix and chill? How about we raise the bar that way?
Raising the bar could do so much good for society and yet, we get caught up in the superficial side of things. We want these big romantic gestures but don’t desire to do the real work it takes to keep a relationship going. Relationships are work, plain and simple and no amount of romance is going to change that.
4. GOOD GUYS DO EXIST
Okay so not every man is going to give you a viral-worthy gesture but that doesn’t mean that great guys don’t exist. I know they do, I’m marrying one. Maybe if we stop looking for love in the wrong places, we’ll find genuine connections. If we stop putting pressure on guys to be this picture perfect boyfriend then maybe the good guys will be able to step forward without fear of failure.
We have to stop saying that the good guys don’t exist simply because we’ve only run into jerks or because no guys have ever brought you a basket full of puppies. Demand the respect you deserve and you just may be surprised at who sticks around. Don’t let someone talk to you in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself, you have the power over who is in your life so use it. And, while your first date may not go viral, you just might find a guy worth keeping.
So no mister viral video, you didn’t “raise the bar”, you just made women’s expectations even more unrealistic. True love doesn’t go viral and that’s OK because true love is so much better than words could ever express.