relationships

My Boyfriend Won’t Stop Showing the Goods on Instagram

Hi Tavion,
Nice site. I’m a fan of the advice you give. It’s good advice but not too harsh. Anyway, hoping you can help me to figure out what to do with my boyfriend. He makes me feel like I’m competing with all of Instagram. I get that he’s really proud of his body transformation, but why does he have to post his body so much? At first I didn’t mind, but now I’m starting to feel some type of way. Like he can’t save some stuff for my eyes only. Everyone one doesn’t need to see what he looks like in underwear and what his print looks like. We are in a committed relationship and if he’s committed to me, why does he need to advertise for someone else? I don’t care what he says about it being for the sake of leg day pics or whatever, it’s inviting thots to blow up his inbox. By the way, I’ve asked him to chill with those kind of posts, and he kind of brushed me off. Told me I have nothing to worry about. Anyway, what do I here short of backhanding him and reporting all his photos on Instagram?
Thanks,
No Prude But

Dear No Prude But,

Thanks for writing to me and letting me know you’re a fan of my advice. Positive feedback like that continues to motivate me and reminds me why I started According to T in the first place. So again, thank you. Now let’s move onto your dilemma.

As great as social media is, it has many downsides. Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter serve as the world’s best distractions. Millions of people around the world waste precious time scrolling through posts and liking videos and pictures, when they probably should be dedicating that time to working and/or pursuing their destinies. Heck, I want to kick myself right now thinking about the time I’ve misused. Social media has also brought out the cowardice bullies of the world. Everyone has so much to say these days as long as their behind a glass screen. And bringing this back around to you, social media has done a number on relationships.

In my opinion, social media is like that game show Wipeout when it comes to relationships. Platforms like Instagram can provide all sorts of obstacles. If people don’t navigate them carefully, they are sure to get knocked down or fall, and ultimately lose. Except folks won’t lose money, but lose a mate instead. That’s why it’s imperative that when two people in a relationship are on the Gram, Twitter, and/or Snapchat, that they have an understanding. They know what they have is ultimately more important than likes.

With that said, I’ve never really been the type to tell a partner what he can and can’t post. Partly because he’s grown and has parents, and partly because I know no one is about to dictate what I choose to share with the world. I also keep in the back of my mind, that if Jay can support Bey dressing as sexy as she does for the public, and Gabrielle Union can support Dwyane Wade posing nude for the cover of the ESPN Magazine Body Issue, then my bae should have no problem if I show a little chest or a little leg for the gram every now and then. (And vice versa should he want to show a little skin.)

I’m sure Beyoncé and Dwade get all sorts of thirsty people in their DMs, but they’ve apparently remained true to their spouses. I’m assuming that’s largely in part to the couples knowing that social media and images are just that. They are with the ones they want to be with, and realize their love trumps outsiders likes. You may want to share in this perspective from time to time for the sake of your sanity.

Now before I end this post, I don’t want you thinking I’m against you here. You shared your discomfort with your boyfriend about some of the things he posts, and it sounds like he dismissed your feelings. I don’t think that’s right or fair. As your partner, it’s his duty to try and understand where you are coming from. While he may ultimately wind up disagreeing with you about his social media posts, he should at least try to comprehend your feelings. If you feel that strongly that his posts are opening your relationship up to thots and infidelity, he could at least think about your concerns. I realize what I said about someone trying to tell me what I can do with my accounts, but if my bae had a real issue, I would at least validate his feelings. Heck, I may even reach a compromise with him in regards to what I put on display.

Suggestions going forward.

1. Have another conversation with your boyfriend, and this time, don’t let it end until he gets how strong your feelings are about this issue.

2. When you have the conversation, don’t go in with the expectation that he’ll stop posting all the things you hate for him to post. Instead, go to him in a spirit of compromise and expecting that you two can reach one. Perhaps you two will agree to a situation where he posts as many “provocative” photos as he likes, as long as he posts more pictures of you two together to let the world know he’s taken.

3. Now if your boyfriend tells you he is just trying to build his followers up, because he has future coins on the mind, you may want to be a tad more understanding here. Social media influencing has been profitable for quite a few people, and you can only do that if you have a healthy amount of followers. And I hate to say this, but we live in a society fascinated by flesh.

4. Remember, you two have parents. Neither one of you is in a position to tell the other what to do. If you two reach a compromise about his social media, it’s presumably because he wanted to. Not because you run him.

5. Also, let Jay and Gabrielle Union be “role models” here on how to handle “partner exposure.”
As always nothing but love,
Tavion Scott

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