Before I vent, I need you to know I’m not an insecure person. I love myself and know I’m cute. But the problem I’m having is with my boyfriend of 8 months. After hopping off of social media for about 2 months, he recently got back on and it’s annoying me. I don’t care about him liking guys’ posts on Instagram, but all the commenting. It’s like heart eye emojis, or comments talking about looking good. And he doesn’t even know most of these people. He knows I follow some of these people so I’m not sure why he feels so comfortable commenting like this when I can see. I feel like he’s almost cheating. When I talked about it, he said he was just complimenting guys and doing harmless flirting, but I’m the only one he wants and the flirting means nothing. That still didn’t make me feel that much better. What would you do here? Like am I bugging about nothing?
Dear Beyond Annoyed,
Thanks for writing to me. While social media can be great for connecting, getting instantaneous news, advertising, and socializing, it can present a huge challenge in relationships. If people let it that is.
I’ve noticed my fair share of relationship problems caused by platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In some cases, I’ve witnessed couples oversharing on social media, inviting the public to have a stake in their relationship, which is dangerous. Posting baecation photos and “I love you” shoutouts is one thing. However, couples venting their frustrations about their mate every time an issue arises, sets the stage for a relationship to become overloaded with too many opinions from followers and trolls, when really a romantic partnership should be centered around the opinions of the two people in it.
Sadly, I’ve also seen social media present problems for couples because of what can go down in the DM. The thing about IG and Twitter is that they are platforms that give many people a sense of boldness to shoot their shot. And while there isn’t anything wrong with that necessarily, sometimes couples find DMs problematic because one or both the mates don’t agree on how to shut down pursuers. In worst-case scenarios, DMs become a way for folks in relationships to “inappropriately” connect with people virtually, which can lead to other things (but that’s a topic for another day).
And lastly, I’ve witnessed social media serve as a source of arguments for couples because they haven’t agreed on what’s considered inappropriate on the various platforms. For example, they haven’t decided if it’s inappropriate to send a DM to anyone outside of real friends and family? Or if it’s disrespectful to post shirtless or perhaps even nude photos? Or like in your case, if it’s unacceptable for a partner to be leaving flirtatious comments and emojis under folks’ posts?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a universally accepted list of dos and don’ts for couples on social media. Every romantic pair has to come up with their own set of boundaries that they follow to limit problems in their relationship. That means you need to have a real conversation with your boyfriend and come up with a list of your own so you both feel comfortable.
Suggestions going forward.
- Have a face-to-face conversation with your boyfriend about social media. Remember, you’re trying to reach a place of understanding and compromise on both sides. This conversation should be about you feeling respected and not him feeling controlled.
As always nothing but love,
P.S. Make sure you check out my new scripted show, Majoring in Me the Podcast.