With social media becoming an increasingly large part of our daily lives, it can be hard to resist sharing everything with your followers and friends online. Like, you’ve probably posted to your Instagram story since you started reading this. And when you’re in a new relationship (or sitting cozy in a long-term one), you might inadvertently become one of those couples on social media. You know the ones: They post everything, from their adorable bunny Snapchat selfies to the public declarations of love for every six month anniversary.
And we totally get it: It seems harmless to share details of your romance online, especially the totally relatable stuff (ugh, bae forgot to take the trash out again!) but you may want to rethink all of that. According to a study published last year in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the more insecure you feel in your relationship, the more likely you are to post about your significant other online. The results showed that you’re more likely to seek validation by way of Likes and double-taps when you’re actually feeling less secure with your significant other. Yeah. Yikes.
If you’re worried you’ve become that couple on social media, here are a few basic rules that happy couples follow to keep the harmony in real life. You know, the one that isn’t broadcast for hundreds of devoted followers to see.
1They keep the public affirmations of their love to a minimum.
We understand how tempting it is to let the world know how much you love your partner, especially when they do something nice for you, like that birthday breakfast in bed or when they stop to pick you up your favorite sweet treat on the way home from work. But oversharing every single wonderful aspect of your relationship leaves way too much of it up for public consumption…and too little of it for you both to actually enjoy for yourselves.
Sure, it’s fine to post when you hit a sweet milestone in your relationship, or to give your boo a shout out when they get a promotion at work and you’re proud, but think twice before you post heart-eyes emoji-laden selfies every single day. Truly happy couples want to keep the best parts of their relationship private and protected, without feeling the need to share every little detail with the world. There’s power in shouting something from the rooftops, but there’s also a hell of a lot of power in keeping things just for yourselves.
2They don’t air their dirty laundry.
On the flip side, you’ll also want to avoid sharing details of your tussles online…even if you’re just looking for a little bit of harmless sympathy from your pals. Plenty of us tend to forget that our online posts can reach a very wide audience, so you might want to chill on oversharing when you’re hitting a rough patch or simply had a fight over their snoring habit again. And it should go without saying, but you’ll definitely want to avoid actually fighting with your S.O. in a public way online. Has anything good ever come from a fight in the comments of a Facebook status? If it doesn’t work with your narrow-minded second cousin, it’s not going to work with your other half. Save the squabbles for IRL, please.
3They don’t post bedroom selfies.
Posting a selfie in your fluffy hotel robes during a weekend getaway? Cute. Sharing a photo of you and/or your partner in the glow of post-coital bliss or in various stages of undress? Much less cute. Even if your partner gives you permission to post an intimate photo, you definitely run the risk of your loved-up shot being seen by people who have no business getting all up in your business (hi, grandma!) so you might want to keep the sexy selfies between you and your boo…no matter how hot the two of you are. No one really needs to see that. We all already know you’re gorgeous.
4They don’t brag about lavish gifts and gestures.
If your other half put a ring on it and you’re now engaged, congratulations! You have every right to share your happy news on social media. This is maybe the one time when giving a quick social media flash of your new bling is acceptable. But cut it off after that. Posting endless photos of your new ring, or the jewelry you gifted each other for Christmas, or any other lavish gift is definitely a bit tacky, and we don’t recommend it. For starters, it’s a pretty easy way to let potential thieves in on any luxury items you’ve got in your possession, but aside from that, it just feels like you’ve got something to prove to the world…and happy couples don’t particularly care about showing off online. They know they’ve got a keeper.
5They don’t send passive-aggressive messages on social media.
We all know that couple who is constantly tagging each other in posts online, trying to send messages to their S.O. by way of a viral video or meme. Sure, it all seems cute and in good fun, but you should try and refrain from publicly disparaging your bae online if you can. Even if you think you’re tagging them in a light-hearted joke, it can certainly come across to those not in-the-know as a little bit mean, even if you don’t intend for it to be that way.
6They keep it cute, not cutesy.
We’re not going to suggest you never post about your relationship online — it’s pretty unrealistic in an era where everything we do can be fodder for an Instagram photo or a hilarious Twitter thread. But you definitely don’t need to post photos of your #mcm or #wcw every single week, or your sweaty post-gym couples’ selfies after every single workout. It’s great that you have found your soulmate, the one person who just ~gets you~ in this world, but gushing about your partner using every hashtag in the book feels unnecessary at best and slightly irritating at worst.
7They don’t do joint accounts.
We want to follow you, not both of you…at least not in the same account. How does this even work, anyway? Do you both log in from separate devices? Or do you browse your news feed together? Just don’t do this — keep your own accounts and let your partner give us the play-by-play on their own life.
8They use discretion on posting overall.
Research has proven that the happiest couples refrain from posting much about their relationships, so even though you want to shout from the digital rooftops how in love you are or how adorable your better half is, use discretion on how much you’re sharing online. Less is usually more when it comes to most things, and especially when it comes to bunny filter selfies and over-the-top status updates. We’re so happy you hit the 15-month milestone on your relationship, but we don’t need a three-paragraph post about it. We’re happy you’re happy, now cool it a bit on the TL. You’ll likely be better off in the long run.