Don’t judge a couple by their pictures, they shouldn’t have any bearing on your own real-life connections

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THE concept of looking at someone else’s relationship and aspiring to be like them based on a snapshot is nothing new.

I pretty much thought all marriage boxes were ticked when I saw David and Victoria Beckham sitting in actual thrones at their wedding.

Peta Todd believes we shouldn’t judge a couple by the pictures they share on social media
Stewart Williams – The Sun

Don’t judge me, the Spice Girls raised me.

Our obsession with someone else’s love life is big business, from exclusive wedding photoshoots in magazines to fly-on-the wall documentaries following celebrity couples around at home.

We are instinctively nosy so we compare, dissect and make up our own narratives to fit between the lines.

But the hashtag #couplegoals is another phenomenon that the social media era has hyped up.

Peta Todd says she feels removed when people #couplegoals her relationship with Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish

We can take one look at a photo and decide whether someone is in love with their partner, and in the same moment question the value of our own relationships and dating habits.

Our lives are filled with ideals of couples with six-packs and perfect teeth, or immaculate pregnant women dressed in couture gowns with their adoring husbands and spotless children. That’s “couple goals”.

I am terrible for looking at a picture – a contrived snapshot of people I don’t know – and thinking, ‘Oh my God, I think they really love and support each other. Look at them, bringing the best out in each other’.

Maybe it is true. Or maybe it’s a snippet of a particularly good day for them. Or even a posed situation to paper over a crack.

Peta Todd believes to have a ‘very normal relationship’ with husband Mark Cavendish

The fact is, it is not my relationship to invest time or emotion in, and it should not have any bearing on how I feel about my own real-life connections.

I have a small (OK, giant) obsession with the singer Example and his hot-as-the-sun wife Erin. I don’t know them. But I crush on their fun and supportive relationship depicted on social media.

Do I think they are fun all the time? No, of course not. I’m an adult so I know that’s not real life.

But sometimes, for a moment or two, the image I see on social media can make me place other people’s relationships in a fictitious level of perfection.


Occasionally people will #couplegoals Mark and I, and I always feel removed from how someone could think that about our very normal relationship.

Our partnership is hard and amazing, stressful and passionate, delicate but a strong fortress. It’s complicated.

But I only show what I’m happy to share – the same as everybody else.

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