The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you! 

Having recently had my heart broken, I've been thinking about relationships a lot recently. One thing in particular that I've noticed is that we tend to like the most damaging, horrible relationships best. In real life, we stay in relationships that we know are never going to work. We get ourselves into relationships because we believe anyone is better than being single. We go back to people who have hurt us terribly and call it love. In fiction, we ship characters who are horrible to each other. On TV we see couples who are forever getting together just to split up just to get back together again. I've realised, I so very rarely see a healthy relationship. I can think of a handful of couples I know in real life that I would describe as healthy and loving relationships but when I think about the couples I like most on TV or in films, none of them really provide a good model for my own relationships.

In part, this blog post was inspired by this article. For those who are too lazy to click through, it's titled "You Are Not Blair Waldorf" and it's all about Chuck and Blair's relationship in Gossip Girl. The general consensus is that they are not in fact a great love story, they are two people who cause each other horrible pain and you absolutely should not model your own REAL LIFE relationships on them. Reading this really hit home for me. I love Chuck and Blair. They were always my favourite couple in Gossip Girl from the very first time they coupled, and I was rooting for them to succeed right until the end. I used to get genuinely angry whenever they slept with someone else and when Blair got married to Louie I could barely carry on watching. I cried and cried and cried throughout the last episode, I was so goddamn pleased for them. But when you actually think about it, their relationship is hardly the epitome of romance. In fact it's horribly destructive and I don't want to post any spoilers, but in the final episode of Gossip Girl, what happens, happens for entirely the wrong reasons. After reading this article, it got me thinking. Why do I love Blair and Chuck so much? Why was it so important to me that their relationship succeeded? The more I think about this, the more I realise why. If Chuck and Blair's relationship can pull through all that, so can mine. I had to begun to use Chuck and Blair's deeply troubled relationship to justify my own not so perfect relationships. When I first started watching Gossip Girl, I was in a relationship with someone totally and utterly and completely wrong for me. Yet when he said the words "Marry me" I nodded away and let him hack my Facebook page and change my relationship status to "Engaged". Hey, Chuck and Blair are much worse than us right?! By the time I finished watching Gossip Girl, my relationship with the boy I thought was "the one" was starting to fall apart and the ending of Gossip Girl made me feel like there was hope for us. Of course, that hope was unfounded.

The fact that other people have written about this shows me I am not alone when it comes to romanticising relationships that are incredibly unhealthy. Just look at Twilight for example. Millions of women idolise the idea of a Bella and Edward relationship - a relationship that just happens to meet all the criteria of an abusive relationship! My own personal experiences have taught me that we use fictional relationships, or even the relationships of people we know in real life, as models for our own or a basis for comparison. When we see other people's relationships going wrong, we decide it is ok that our own relationship is going wrong. It doesn't take a genius to see that this really needs to stop happening. Rather than using other people as an excuse for your own shortcomings, when you feel like your relationship is failing, examine why, and get yourself out of there! I know, I know, that's easier said than done. It took me nearly a year after deciding I wanted one of my relationships to end to actually end it. But, even if you can't end it, stop deceiving yourself that your dysfunctional relationship is normal. Don't say it's ok because so and so's relationship is like this too, work out where you're going wrong and do something to fix it.

I think part of the problem comes from the fact that relationships are such a public thing now. Facebook means we all know who is single and who is not. In the blogging world, there's the ever present question of "do I mention my relationship on my blog?". I've realised in the event I do get a new boyfriend, he won't be someone I speak about online because I've realised I like my relationships to be sacred and private, and I truly believe they work better that way. When everyone thinks they know your business, they also think they have a right to comment on it and I personally think relationship advice from other people besides yourself and your own gut is hugely damaging. Particularly when said advice comes from people who have never been in a relationship! At the end of the day, the only people who really know your relationship are you and your partner. Only you know how you really feel about certain situations and only you can decide whether it's better or worse for you to stay or leave. Each and every relationship is unique and we should never, ever compare our relationships to the relationships of other people, particularly fictional relationships which are purposely crafted to be as dramatic as possible to reign in the most viewers possible.

I also believe that so many people wouldn't remain in unhealthy relationships or even get into them in the first place, if we didn't live in a society that is obsessed with finding a life partner. But that's another post for another day! What do you think about my position on relationships?