Celebrates ‘Love With No Filter’
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Love with No Filter

We know we shouldn’t compare ourselves to what we see on social media. Everything, from the poreless skin to the sunsets over pristine beaches, is edited and carefully curated. But despite our better judgement, we can’t help feeling envious when we see travelers on picturesque getaways and fashion influencers posing in their flawlessly organized closets.

This compulsion to measure our real lives against the heavily filtered lives we see on social media now extends to our relationships. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are littered with images of #couplegoals that make it easy to draw comparisons to our own relationships and give us unrealistic perceptions of love. According to a survey from, one third of couples feel their relationship is inadequate after scrolling through snaps of seemingly-perfect partners plastered across social media.

Oxford professor and evolutionary anthropologist Dr. Anna Machin led the study of 2,000 Brits for Among the men and women surveyed, 36 percent of couples and 33 percent of singles said they feel their relationships fall short of Instagram standards. Twenty-nine percent confessed to feeling jealous of other couples on social media, while 25% admitted to comparing their relationship to relationships they see online. Despite knowing that social media presents an idealized and often disingenuous image, an alarming number of people can’t help feeling affected by the images of “perfect” relationships seen on television, movies and social media feeds.

Unsurprisingly, the more time people in the survey spent looking at happy couples on online, the more jealous they felt and the more negatively they viewed their own relationships. Heavy social media users were five times more likely to feel pressure to present a perfect image of their own online, and were twice as likely to be unhappy with their relationships than people who spent less time online.

“It’s scary when the pressure to appear perfect leads Brits to feel they need to craft an idealised picture of themselves online,” said dating expert Kate Taylor. “Real love isn’t flawless – relationships will always have their ups and downs and everyone’s dating journey is different. It’s important to remember what we see on social media is just a glimpse into someone’s life and not the whole unfiltered picture.”

The study was conducted as part of Match’s “Love With No Filter” campaign, an initiative to champion a more honest view of the world of dating and relationships. Over recent weeks, has begun releasing articles and hosting events to fight misconceptions about dating and celebrate love that’s honest, authentic and occasionally messy.

After surveying thousands about the effects of social media on self-esteem and relationships, Dr. Machin has this advice to offer: “Humans naturally compare themselves to each other but what we need to remember is that each of our experiences of love and relationships is unique to us and that is what makes human love so special and so exciting to study; there are no fixed rules. So try to look at these images as what they are, aspirational, idealized views of a moment in a relationship which sit some way from the reality of everyday life.”

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