Much has been said about the dissonance between your real life and the life you share on social media. In fact, it’s so accepted that the live-laugh-love photos we post are complete BS that people have “finstas” to show their close friends what they’re actually up to. But the one sector of our lives we’re not quite ready to be honest about is our romantic relationships. Love is supposed to be easy, fun, uplifting and, of course, filtered through either Clarendon or Nashville for optimal engagement (pun intended). Although, in reality, it is none of those things. Comedian Jake Weisman knows this, and has had it with people lying about how happy they are in relationships on Instagram. So he created the account @honestcouple.
Honest Couple shows the performative happy photos couples take, but with an honest caption about what’s really going on.
Weisman, the creator and star of Comedy Central’s Corporate, grew incredibly frustrated with the online lie of love.
“Everyone knows how hard relationships are but for some reason there’s a taboo on being honest about it publicly,” he told me. “Also, I’m tired of seeing couples post about how incredible their love is together and then breaking up the same week.”
Honest Couples hits squarely on a trend a friend and I had noticed, and had been guilty of participating in in the past. There’s an underlying mania behind some of these lovesick smiles these couples are posting. “PleaseLikeThisAndCommentAndRetweetItBecauseOurLoveIsOnlyAsValidAsItIsViral” they seem to be screaming through clenched, Facetuned smiles. I’ve shared affectionate photos only to be out of that relationship within a month. I’ve succumbed to the adrenaline of “likes” to replace the complete lack of chemistry in my real-life relationships. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. The reason we look the other way with this sort of performative social media presence is that it's way too raw to call out. You can easily drag someone for photoshopping in a thigh gap, but exposing the false sense of security two people find in one another because they're too afraid to risk going out on their own again feels...intense. Luckily, Weisman is calling it out in a very funny way.
"What everyone experiences in relationships is much closer to jealousy, hard work, frustration and the confusion of making monogamy work," he told me.
I don't think we're about to start getting a break from the curated, unadulterated bliss of people's online romance personas, but being able to identify and poke fun at the fabrications is comforting. Best of luck to all of these dishonest couples out there, I hope you get the "likes" your relationship needs to stay in it for a few more months.