A Sign of a Good Relationship is No Sign of it on Facebook – Apparently

Is it true that the sign of a good relationship is no sign of it online?
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?

  • Lucy
    Posted at 11:48h, 22 March Reply

    Ooooh this is interesting. I think I agree with you, although mostly — my relationship is ‘off Facebook’. I do hate the “This guy……” and “BAE’ posts but realistically, I also share wedding pics and get a bit mushy about my hubby sometimes so I’m in gang too I think!

    Raising awesome questions as ever doll!

    L x


    • Flora McCormick
      Posted at 12:38h, 29 March Reply

      Thank you for reading & commenting Lucy! Awh glad you’re in the gang, it’s nice to be a little mushy sometimes isn’t it? x

  • Amy
    Posted at 13:46h, 22 March Reply

    Ooo interesting thoughts Flora! I don’t particularly agree with that statement either as, with anything, it really boils down to the individuals involved. There are certain people who are camera shy or hate having their photo taken, but that doesn’t mean that this lack of photographic proof means that their partnership is any more successful than someone who shares. I think it really comes down to consent. If both partners are happy to have their ‘us-ises’ shared, then why shouldn’t they? With all the horrible things that happen in the world we should definitely share all the bits of good too! I think there are other social norms that have got caught up with that statement too, such as how people are expected to be modest about their achievements etc etc. I wonder if it has something to do with social constructs around women too as females are usually the ones to share photos? Or maybe I’m just thinking about it too much haha! xx

    • Flora McCormick
      Posted at 12:39h, 29 March Reply

      Thank you very much for reading & commenting, Amy! I agree – I guess a lot of it boils down to personality and whether or not you’re a sharer or a very private person, as well as the way you use/view social media. You’re absolutely right – it all boils down to consent – and your thoughts on sharing about achievement and being a woman sound interesting and would definitely make for a really interesting blog post, if you ever fancy writing it. You’ll have a reader over here, for sure. 🙂 x

  • Eleanor Austin
    Posted at 14:21h, 22 March Reply

    I love posting photos of me and my partner, I don’t do it often but I do post photos and I don’t see the harm in that. What I don’t agree with, is posting photos of you and your OH, when actually behind the scenes you’re on the verge of breaking up. My friend does this a lot and I don’t think it’s healthy.

    I think you’ve got to find the balance between posting photos because actually you really are in love and you want to show your partner off to the world and posting photos to try and make yourself feel better about your relationship. Does that even make sense? Probably not aha.

    I loved this post though!

    • Flora McCormick
      Posted at 12:39h, 29 March Reply

      Hi Eleanor. 🙂 Love your name, by the way! It’s cool to hear you enjoy posting photos like these too, and I agree that you need to find balance/question yourself about why you’re sharing… that makes perfect sense, don’t worry! x

  • Tamsin @ A Certain Adventure
    Posted at 11:02h, 25 March Reply

    Super interesting post because I feel that couples who post ‘us-ies’ tend to fall on opposite ends of the couple spectrum: newly dating or long-established. I’ve posted a few over the year that my boyfriend and I have been together and haven’t regretted it – they’re nice to look back on and as long as you’re not spamming the world with captions about the fact you have the best boyfriend in existence, I think they can be really sweet. I’m certainly a fan of the odd post of my friends looking loved-up 🙂 xx

    • Flora McCormick
      Posted at 12:39h, 29 March Reply

      Hey Tamsin 🙂 That’s an interesting thought – I hadn’t considered it from the angle of the duration a couple has been together. I noticed that I posted loads in the early days and it’s since tailed off a little… I wonder why that is? x

  • Cherie
    Posted at 11:27h, 27 March Reply

    Interesting thoughts! I don’t I was ever a ‘yay love – me and boyfie (cringe that that word haha)’ posts kind of person but I’ve certainly posted a fair few snaps here and there with my boyfriend but I don’t think they ever go to the realm of too mushy because I’m just not that kind to do that? I mean, in real life we’re very much close and we have pictures we take to look back in private, so to speak. I’m a fan of photos that really show genuine emotions instead of ‘bae did xxx for me, bae did well’ because that feels so much more contrived and looks like they’re showing off, if you know what I mean?

    • Flora McCormick
      Posted at 12:39h, 29 March Reply

      Hey Cherie, thank you for reading & commenting. 🙂 That’s an interesting take on it: I wonder if there’s a magic formula for posting a relationship photo that doesn’t come across as being contrived or that you’re showing off? x

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