This one is a spicy topic. It’s something that’s often brought up on social media, and, although the sample pool is skewed – it’d make sense that the more online you are, the more you’d want a partner equally online – people are still divided. The arguments for following your partner on social media are easy; it’s a simple way to show support for their endeavours, showcase your partnership, and live in public together.
However, this has downsides. If you break up, there’s an awkward period of unfollowing each other and deciding whether to scrub your social media. Or worse, they’re trapped in mutual pettiness and silent muting of their stories. If that sounds specific, it’s because it is.
Making your relationship public
Divorce aside, there are other factors when it comes to social media and your relationship. How much you reveal about your relationship can also colour public perception, which can then bleed back into your relationship. If you vent one time too many about your partner in public and people will assume you’re “going through it” rather than temporarily annoyed. Relationship expert Jane Greer, PhD notes in a Brides piece that this can also leave your partner feeling exposed. “This violates both your partner’s and relationship’s privacy and only shows your desperate need to feel important and be noticed.”
On the other hand, the line between ‘relationship goals’ and ‘god, why won’t they stop posting’ is so thin it’s imperceptible. Post too much, and according to matchmaker Rori Sassoon, it can give off insecurity. Constant comments under a partner’s post also do the same. “If it’s your partner who is constantly commenting and including you on everything he or she posts, they are either trying to claim you as their property or showing signs of codependency.”
Are you following your partner on social media or keeping tabs?
There’s also the potential for stalking. This goes beyond the healthy start of the “relationship Google”. Social media stalking of a partner is a home for paranoia and letting your imagination go into overdrive.
In a Mic article, Barbara Greenberg, PhD said, “if you’re looking at somebody’s Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, and you start to get suspicious, you will create a problem.” And often, the problem doesn’t exist. “The problem you create may eventually lead to the relationship’s demise because you may start inventing fantasy stories. Then you can end up being mad at your partner, and your partner doesn’t know why.” Basically, no good has ever come of discovering your partner’s favourite jumper was actually a gift from an ex.
Should you follow your partner on Social? Ask your partner first!
Despite all of this evidence, it all comes down to communication. If your partner enjoys your social media comment hype sessions, then it’s worth doing. If a partner finds social media
a useless timesuck, consider that too. All of it requires communication to avoid crossed wires. Whether you should follow your partner on social media is entirely up to your partner, but it’s best to consider it an honest discussion instead of something that’ll figure itself out.