Instagram and relationships don’t really pan out too well. “Why don’t you ever post me on your social media?” Have you ever been faced with this question? In some cases, this question might elicit panic akin to “So, what are we?” When you’re posting stories of all the food you eat, it’d be expected that you pan the camera up and showcase who you’re eating the food with as well. Simple, right? Well, not really.
There are no two ways about it; modern dating is weird. After meeting on a dating app, you basically collect information about each other until one of you decides to ghost the other. When one slips through the cracks and actually establishes a connection with you, now you’ve got to define the relationship and include them in your online persona.
It seems straightforward, and you might not even care so much. But when you’ve been together for 5 months and you notice you’re nowhere to be found on your partners’ social media, it’s bound to be a little concerning. “Why won’t s/he post a picture of me?” “Are they embarrassed by me?” “Am I the side chick?!” It’s perfectly understandable if things like this go through your mind.
Does a story count? Does Instagram kill relationships? Is this now the rite of passage, set in stone? Let’s take a look at why being “Insta official” is so debated and what people think about it.
A Declaration Of Love Like No Other: An Instagram Post
Becoming “Instagram official” is tricky. When exactly do you post the picture, if you’re planning on doing it? Posting an Instagram picture with someone you’ve been on 2 dates with is quite literally the equivalent of saying “I love you” on the first date.
Imagine if you put up a nice, heartfelt caption and your date doesn’t even comment on the picture. Rest assured, everyone who comes across the post is going to get a healthy dose of cringe for the day. You don’t want to be giving off Joe Goldberg vibes, so let’s not post people too soon unless you want them to get a restraining order against you.
And if you post it too late, it brings about a slew of questions. Are you hiding this person? What’s there to be ashamed of? Why is a random picture of a cute cat you saw okay to post but not your partner?
“Honestly, this was an issue early in our relationship,” says Reddit user Beartropolis. “Neither of us were big social media posters, but I wasn’t featured in any photos. Which was fine, but it occurred at the same time when I wasn’t being invited or brought to social events, which meant that it felt like I was being hidden away,” they add. Without meaning it, not uploading a picture might send off all the wrong messages.
Oh, and let’s not even get into updating your Facebook relationship status. Even after you post a picture of your partner on Instagram, a Facebook relationship status update is just… archaic. The people who update Facebook relationship statuses started using the platform when it was called “The Facebook”.
Instagram And Relationships: What Does An Insta Post Mean To You?
Hold on, just how important is it in the first place? What if you two are one of those self-proclaimed ascensional beings who are off social media? We asked this question on Reddit to see what people would say.
Speaking of those who don’t display their lives on social media, a Reddit user tells us, “If Instagram ever becomes something that matters to my relationship, I’m in the wrong relationship.”
“My GF complains about the same [not uploading pictures of her on social media]. I always counter with, ‘I have no pictures of humans on mine, including me or her.’ Does your SO have pictures of themselves with other people? If the answer is yes, then you have a right to be annoyed. Your SO shouldn’t be embarrassed about the relationship,” says a Reddit user.
While it may seem like the last thing someone wants in their relationship, for others, the hurt of not being posted is real. “It really pissed me off,” said Reddit user Ninjacupcake120, talking about how not being posted was worrisome.
“He would always be in my stories, posts, etc. but he would hardly post with me. The only time I was ever tagged was when it was a group picture. We broke up soon after that because I kept feeling as if he was embarrassed to be with me in public (we didn’t tell any of our friends we were dating, would always go out in secret), etc. Just didn’t feel valued enough.”
The variables at play
When push comes to shove, there’s no real answer here. Does Instagram really ruin relationships? But what if you are just casual dating? You already know your equation has a timer attached to it. Do you really want to immortalize it by putting it up on your Instagram? (Until you delete it, like you deleted your high school farewell pictures).
Plus, what happens if you haven’t even defined the relationship? As we said, posting too soon might just make the person you’re seeing pull the old “It’s not you, it’s me”. But then you see them watching all your stories even after you’ve parted ways. There’s nothing more confusing than the dating world we live in, I tell you.
While we’re at it, do stories count? If you upload a story with your date, does that qualify as “posting” your partner? Einstein is probably shaking his head in disbelief right now, watching us lose our minds over Instagram posts. Although I’m pretty sure if he was around, he’d be posting pictures about his hair care routine.
Where this leaves us
If you’re more confused now than when you started reading this blog, there’s only one solution for you, and it solves almost all of your relationship problems: communication. Ask your partner what they’d prefer, why they don’t like posting, whether they want to be posted and if they’d still love you if you were a lamp (it’s important).
Hopefully, by effective communication and not just sending each other memes all the time, you’ll be able to cross the roadblock of declaring your relationship on social media as well. Till then, go ahead and send each other all the memes you can find.