We have a few guarantees in life: death, taxes, and an inevitable invasion of our Facebook newsfeeds on and around Valentine’s Day, when the love-struck masses make melodramatic — and incredibly public — proclamations of love and devotion to their significant other. You know, those ones where someone posts a lengthy ode to their relationship so over-the-top it makes us wanna make like Romeo & Juliet and drink poison?
Happy Valentine’s Day to the world’s best husband! Babe, only I know all the challenges you’ve faced to get to where you are now and, of course, it will always remain our secret… I will say that I truly feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have this type of love in their life. Our connection goes beyond this lifetime; our love is so deep the sea wishes it were us.
Or something like that. Vague references to events that will never be explained and a botched quote from Pablo Neruda included.
These types of posts make me cringe. It’s like getting a peek into someone’s private life, except it’s one you never wanted. A ménage à trois we wish were a ménage à text so we could respond “K.” It makes your eyes burn.
Look, I’m by no means anti-Valentine’s Day and I love my husband dearly. I just don’t need social media to tell him that.
Of course we shouldn’t let these types of posts bother us. But they do. And instead of telling you to stay away from social media this week or giving the ultimate in useless fucking advice — “just don’t let it get to you” —we’ve compiled five simple tips to help you endure the barrage of disgustingly sentimental Valentine’s Day posts you’ll likely see on Facebook.
Poke the bear
Sure, we should take the high road. But that doesn’t mean we have to. So when your cousin who argued with you over every post you shared during election season starts in on how his girlfriend, Emma, is the first woman he’s ever loved, feel free to leave a comment. Something along the lines of, “So happy you’re finally over Lisa!” should do the trick. Keep in mind this may make the holidays awkward, but the day will pass in a far more entertaining manner.
Feed their ego
I’m going to reach way back to those two semesters of college psychology classes I took and say the root cause of a lot of this is image crafting. Those not-so-humble-brags are intentional because they want to make you jealous, thus making them feel superior. In that case, I say let’s give the people what they want! The more excessive the post, the more excessive the comment can be. “Wow, Jeff, you do have the best wife in the world! As I read through your list of all the selfless things she does for you it made clear my shortcomings in my own marriage. Has your wife considered writing a relationship book?” They won’t know if you’re being sarcastic or serious, and you’ll enjoy their awkward response. A real win for all involved!
Consider the source
Okay, Katie from junior high. I am so glad that “the world’s best husband” just gave you “the world’s best Valentine’s Day gift.” But I also remember when she was posting thinly veiled references to her husband’s indiscretions a few years back. Perhaps her marriage is recovering from a rough patch and maybe by telling others how wonderful it is she’s trying to convince herself of that, too. If you think back to previous posts by some of these offenders, perhaps you’ll see that they are simply trying to polish the turd that their relationship has become. In many cases these call upon our sympathy more than anything.
Phone a friend
(Actually, text them because some people get irritated if you call) My best friend and I find endless entertainment in these types of posts. Especially when we know for a fact that the woman who just posted seven different photos of the gifts she received with the caption, “Bae did so good!” just unloaded in a group text that she wants to break up with her “bae” and date his brother instead. To make these posts go down a little easier we screen shot our favorites and share them throughout the day. In case this is not clear, yes… we make fun of these people.
Tell on them
The most petty of all options and must be saved for those posters whom you truly can not stand. The ones who don’t only disrupt your newsfeed on Valentine’s Day, they violate you on a weekly basis. Everything is bigger and better in their world, and they aren’t too shy to tell everyone about it. Countless photos of the gourmet meals they’ve cooked, children who are most likely smarter than you and vacations on private islands. Just when you think they can’t get any more insufferable, Valentine’s Day rolls around and they casually mention being gifted a trip to the moon on Elon Musk’s private space shuttle along with Lady Gaga. With that, you’ve had enough. It’s time to click those three dots to the right of their name and report their post, sending your complaint straight to the desk of Mark Zuckerberg himself (not really). Chances are, nothing will come of it but damn, you’ll feel like a badass in the moment.
And remember, if you can’t ignore, anger, tease, pity, ridicule or tell on them, you always have one last option. Write your own sappy post and join them.