Why you should stop reading clickbait relationship articles


The other day, I quarrelled with my girlfriend over some “trivial” matters. Well, “trivial” to me. You would expect that she gave me a hard time too.

It doesn’t help that she’s getting angry over the same “trivial” matters for a number of times now. Maybe more than I could remember.

Now, I could always head down to Thought Catalog to read some articles, maybe find one about “that girlfriend who always get upset over the same trivial matters” and share it on my Facebook. She would see it, realise that I was indirectly referring to her and what ensues isn’t exactly something I’d like to imagine.

We all want to love someone and be loved by that someone. But when he or she suddenly does something that makes us question their love, we feel hurt.

What do we do when our feelings are hurt? We rush to get some sort of relief. That relief can come from a friend (not one with benefits, hopefully), family member or in this case, a clickbait article on Thought Catalog, perhaps.

Most of the time, we would rant about how much our significant other hurt us, often omitting a lot of important details to shift the blame. It’s only human, right? Who likes being at fault?

And our listener would usually side with us — that’s the whole point, isn’t it! We feel that our hurt feelings are validated, we get over it eventually and everything goes back to normal. That’s, of course, considering that you merely needed some sort of emotional relief and not really considering to end the relationship (we’ll get to that in a bit).

That’s probably the best case scenario. That our listener doesn’t feed nasty ideas to your mind, saying how much that someone doesn’t deserve your love. Sometimes, our listener did it out of love for us or maybe we were a little too overboard about exaggerating the details (or lack of). Or other times, that listener might just want to see your relationship end for whatever reason.

Nevertheless, the objective of ranting (not just about relationships) is to get our troubles off our chest and feel like someone is there to share our feelings.

Everyone has their own ways of dealing with bumps and problems in relationships. But reading articles on Thought Catalog or any other websites filled with clickbait articles is just not the healthiest way, in my view, at least.

These articles only serve as a means of validating our perspectives about the relationship and that blinds us from considering our lover’s needs. These articles are written in a way that makes you feel good about yourself and not the relationship.

These articles make you feel like the writer perfectly understands what you’ve been through and how you feel. But does he or she really?

I’m no expert in relationships but I do know that selfishness is one of the essential ingredients to add into any relationship if we want things to go to shit.

It might have started off with our curiosity in others sharing their love relationship experiences. But it might also spiral into an endless addiction to reading these articles for the sole reason of feeling like someone else has felt the same way as you do.

We will start to believe that the relationship really is shit and we might find ourselves reading articles about “signs you should end your relationship…”, “traits of the person you should not be in a relationship with…” or “if your partner does this, he/she is not a keeper…”

I think we all can guess what might happen next.

My girlfriend and I, we quarrel over trivial matters and I’m sure many couples out there do, too.

Or maybe it’s just us. I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter to me, though.

What other couples experience should not affect how I look at my own relationship. The relationship belongs to my girlfriend and me.

Comparing our relationships with the relationships of others whom we don’t even know at times is not healthy. This is especially so when we’re comparing our bad experiences with the happy pictures that of other couples.

Every relationship has to withstand ups and downs, quarrels and reconciliations, sadness and joy, hardships and comfort. That’s just how relationships are, no?

Only by experiencing sadness will we appreciate joy, there can only be comfort after suffering hardships, and so on.

Strong relationships are formed through withstanding challenges of time, negativity, moments of doubt and negativity — together.

If I turned to clickbait articles that exist for the sole reason to make readers feel good about themselves, I would be giving in to a devil — selfishness. I would be allowing my needs to be of greater importance than the needs of us and our relationship. And I’m not going to do that.

When a relationship doesn’t work out, instead of thinking of going to someone else (or someone else’s writing), put in the effort to make it work by communicating with our other half. This applies to our other relationships with friends and family too.

So often, we turn to someone else outside of the relationship. But why? The relationship should and can only be fixed by the ones involved and not outsiders who haven’t experienced what we’ve gone through.

This is probably why I’ve never talked with anyone — friends or family — about my relationship problems. They haven’t and will never experience what we did and because of that, their perspectives will always overlook certain crucial details.

As such, I’m eternally grateful to my girlfriend for not bringing other people into our relationships too.

Quarrelling over trivial matters is here to stay in my relationship with my girlfriend for some time but we’ll figure it out, together. I’m not ready to give up and I’m sure she feels the same.

I urge everyone to do the same, work things out with your friends, family members, colleagues, bosses, significant other — together. Don’t read clickbait articles just to feel better. Don’t seek validation from others.

We don’t have to prove anything about our relationships to everyone. At the end of the day, it’s how we personally feel about our own relationships that matter. Communicate and talk to the people who matter to you.

Practice and show empathy to everyone around us. Go one step further and be honest to people whom we want to build a relationship with. Build trust with the people who matter dearly to us.

About the author

Vance Wong

Brain-picker. Cinephile. Koreaboo.

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by Vance Wong


Vance Wong

Brain-picker. Cinephile. Koreaboo.