I love Pinterest. I mean, I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I love gaining inspiration from others, most of whom are way more talented than me. I love looking at gorgeous houses and trendy clothes. I’m a fan of new recipes and absolutely love pinning images of coffee mugs. It’s totally okay to look and gain inspiration. It’s even okay to dream and live vicariously through someone else. The tricky part, however, is that inspiration and daydreams can lead to discontentment and frustration, if unchecked.

And it doesn’t just end with dream homes and gorgeous wardrobes. We can begin looking at our significant other negatively as well. Our world is all about appearances. Let’s face it, no one wants to upload pictures of average days or unflattering moments, so we’ve learned to hide behind the internet. We photograph one clean corner of the room, and no one ever sees the piles of whatever is behind us. We slide everything out of the way to make it seem like we live that way, talk that way, eat that way, and love that way. You want to know the worst part? We know this!

I follow some amazing photographers on Instagram, and instantly start feeling insecure when I see their perfect images. The same is true with relationships and I fall for this all the time too. We all know that couple. The couple who constantly post adorable things about their significant other; describing the cute things he does for her, bragging about how their love is eternal, and subliminally saying “be jealous that your love isn’t like ours”. They have chosen to publicly brag on their person. You know what that means? Not a thing. I’ve known couples who looked so happy on social media but were DOA in their relationship. Heck, I was one of those people in past relationships. You know why it doesn’t matter? Because it’s just words. It’s not tangible.

Anyone can “know” the right image to post and the right words to say; practicing is the key to success. I think most of us know the “right” thing to do in whatever situation we’re in, but practicing right in every situation is the key. It’s so easy to love our significant other when they’re being pleasant and are spoiling us with compliments and gifts. What about when they’ve had a crummy day? Or when they’ve done something that deeply offended you? How about if they forgot your anniversary or just aren’t as into wedding planning as you? How will you respond? It’s so important to put on relational blinders. Gain inspiration from others, but don’t compare yourself to plastic relationships. They’re not real. Your response and ignoring the “image” of others is the key to destroying comparison. Once you know how to focus on your relationship and ignore the progress of others, you can stay focused on the relationship that matters most; yours.