Ahh, memes. The digital windows to our souls. It’s funny how memes can reveal so much about our inner dialogue and bring some things out into the light that previously existed only in the shadows.
We compiled a few of our favourite relationship memes here, accompanied by some tips (take them or leave them, tbh) if you’re looking for these memes to be a little less personally relatable in your romantic future.
1. Own your shit and be accountable.
We all act and react irrationally from time to time. We get emotional, and that’s human. But what also makes us human is our miraculous ability to reflect back on certain situations or conversations and deconstruct them from a calm and rational perspective. That more rational perspective may then reveal that in the situation or conversation, we were, in fact, being a bit of a dick.
It can feel awkward and at times uncomfortable to have to admit fault and apologise, but when it comes to maintaining a relationship that matters to you, it’s also important. Notice in your body when you feel that resistance (perhaps due to pride or wanting to “save face”) and ask what acting in alignment with that feeling means for your relationship. Usually nothing good.
2. Don’t let anxiety rule your relationships.
Many of us are vulnerable (particularly in the earlier stages of relationships) to feeling anxious and uncertain about our partners feelings towards us. When they mean so much to us, we can work up a fear of being without them. If left unchecked, this fear can spiral into anxiety, where we are hyper-vigilant and constantly on the lookout for signs that out partner is now no longer all that into us. We do this in a misguided attempt to keep ourselves safe, however, what it actually does is rob us of enjoying the genuinely good times because we’re always on the lookout for imminent rejection.
3. Get kinky.
Kink is not evidence of psychopathology. In fact, for many people, it is a safe and effective way to engage in erotic play. Also, we kind of love this wholesome meme.
4. Mind your baggage.
When it comes to relationships, we all have our fair share of baggage. But that doesn’t mean we need to let it run the show. Our past relationships (which still includes “almost” and “kinda” relationships) as well as relationships with our parents, create a blueprint that informs all our future relationships. When this blueprint is less than stellar, and marked by incidences of past trauma, isolation or pain, we can bring a lot of unhealthy behaviour into our current relationships. The first step in working through this is recognising these unhealthy patterns as they arise.
Seeing a therapist and gaining a little more insight into your attachment style can be invaluable, and give you the opportunity to unload some of your baggage and help direct you towards more healthy, positive behaviours within your relationships.
5. Be honest about what you want.
It’s your best chance of getting it.
6. Don’t give everything away.
While it’s natural to become similar in some ways to a partner you spend a lot of time with, it’s also important to maintain an identity and lifestyle independent of your partner. When your lives merge too fully, you run the risk of becoming a codependent relationship – where you rely completely on your partner for meeting all of your emotional and self-esteem needs. It’s also a sure-fire way of killing the erotic component in any relationship. To avoid completely losing yourself in a relationship, be sure to maintain strong relationships outside of your couple bubble, set healthy boundaries, communicate assertively and maintain a healthy self-esteem.
7. A little more conversation
Ok, I know it’s not what Elvis wanted but times have changed now. Our partners cannot read our minds (be scary if they could), so we need to be the one’s to communicate calmly and assertively what’s going on in our inner worlds. Silence often leaves to resentment and contempt. Communicating assertively can feel awkward at first if it’s something you’re not used to. But it gets easier with time, and it’s an invaluable resource when it comes to developing honest, authentic and nourishing relationships.
You can learn more about how to level-up your communication skills by downloading the free worksheet on our Relationships Toolkit page.
8. Be the change you want to see.
It can be tough when you want your partner to communicate for their own good, but understand that it’s not possible to force someone into communicating. The best way to support them is through being the change you want to see – communicate more, be kinder to yourself, open up vulnerable conversations. Let them know it’s okay to not be perfect all the time, and that they’re not obligated to uphold gender or cultural norms when they’re with you. Give them space to be open, but don’t force them to be. When they’re ready to chat, they will.