Is it true that ‘a sign of a good relationship is no sign of it on Facebook?’. That’s something I’ve been wondering about lately. My gut reaction is that it’s not (and I would say that – I’m a hopeless romantic, ever the optimist and most certainly guilty of instagramming photos of my boyfriend and I).
But what do you think of couples who post photos of themselves – together – online?
I’m not talking holiday snaps here. I’m talking dinner dates, hand-in hand strolls around the park, ‘snuggles on the sofa’ or even public kisses. ‘Us-ies’, as opposed to selfies. With captions like “My world [insert world emoji]”, or “This guy <3 #mancrushmonday”, I can see why they turn a lot of stomachs. But honestly? They don’t turn mine. In fact, I kind of like them. Of course, I’ve been down in the dumps (OK…downright heartbroken) before. After a break up or any stint of singledom when it’s a relationship you’re longing for (or worse, a specific person), seeing Instagram filled with photographs of happy couples professing their undying love for one another or using pet names can feel downright awful. It hurts to see the rest of the world spinning happily on, and it’s hard to not feel cynical. In fact, it’s positively comforting to listen to your bitchy internal monologue chattering away about the fact these happy couples will break up sooner or later.
I know that, for others, it’s even worse than that. Cheesy couple photos can feel obnoxious, insensitive, or even embarrassingly naive; hashtagging ‘love’ after a few short weeks together begets skepticism from the veterans among us that know all about honeymoon periods and hormones.
Now, full disclaimer, I’m part of the happily coupled-up social media community (for today, at least; I’m happy in my relationship but I know things can change in a moment, and I’m not the only one with a say in my relationship status). And, I’ve been known to share many a photo of my boyfriend on my Instagram feed. And yes, I even tagged those snaps with #love in those first few weeks of dating. I resist the urge to post photos of him sleeping (mostly because it’s creepy and I he’d be understandably angry with the invasion of his privacy), and I’ve stopped short of telling all of Twitter how downright fabulous he is for making the bed every morning or taking the bin out. #marriagematerial. So yes – I indulge in a little not-so humble brag about my other half when the feeling strikes me.
But why do I do it? Well, I do it because a good relationship is something to celebrate. Similar to birthdays, promotions and small wins, I believe in talking about the good things that happen, and that includes acknowledging the fact someone who wants to love and be loved by me as much as I want to love and be loved by them. They say that “a sign of a good relationship is no sign of it on Facebook”, but I beg to differ. I agree, we’ve all seen couples vomiting their entire relationship online, and there’s definitely a grain of truth in the idea that insecure or unstable couples might be bolstering things up by putting on a big show for the world – or one another. But the notion that the ‘strongest’ relationships are silent about it? That doesn’t sound quite right to me either.
Each to their own, of course, (and I know plenty of rock-solid couples that would sooner boil their heads than ‘gram their weekend together… they’re just not sharers, and they definitely aren’t social-media sharers), so like most things in life, I suspect the ‘right’ answer to this question lies somewhere in between sharing nothing and sharing it all.
So, is posting our loved-up photos really such a bad thing? Could it be that an eye-roll, a metaphorical (or literal) gag, a pre-emptive “don’t share that, you might break up and feel embarrassed for professing your undying love!”, or even pang of jealously is telling us something about ourselves, instead?
What do you think?