Bragging about your relationship on social media? We get the impulse. There’s nothing better than being in love, and if you feel strongly about your partner, you certainly want to share those feelings with the world.
Posting intimate details is a sign of poor personal boundaries.
Before you click “post,” however, reconsider what you’re putting out there. Some posts might seem innocuous while putting your relationship in jeopardy. For instance…
1. Don’t post what happens between the sheets.
Why It’s a Mistake: Well, first of all, gross. Second of all, no one likes a TMI-nator. (That’s a portmanteau of “TMI” and “terminator,” by the way. You’ll be seeing it everywhere soon).
We’re not saying you shouldn’t engage in a little long-distance flirtation with your S.O. If that’s your thing, though, keep it on the texts. Whatever you do, don’t post anything publicly without the full consent of your partner, or you could be putting your relationship in jeopardy.
“When someone posts personal information about their relationship, they are also revealing things about their partner that they may not want shared with the public,” Jim Seibold, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells FashionBeans. “This can damage trust between the couple.”
We’ll file that under “yeah, duh,” but it’s certainly something to keep in mind.
2. Keep the personal details about your partner to yourself.
Why It’s a Mistake: You might think it’s cute that your girlfriend sleeps with a Pound Puppy. She probably doesn’t want her coworkers to get that little glimpse into her intimate life, though. Besides, aren’t those details sweeter when they’re just between the two of you?
As a general rule of thumb, ask your partner if you can post a personal detail you’re thinking of sharing. If they say no, honor their objection.
3. Save the mushy stuff for each other.
Why It’s a Mistake: We get it. You love your romantic interest (that’s kind of what “romantic interest” means). The world doesn’t necessarily want to know your secret pet names, though, not even if they are “potchke,” “fleutchke,” “notchke, “motchke,” or “little, little squirrel.”
There are things you share with your partner that aren’t meant to be shared with anyone else.
Again, save that stuff for texts or emails. Better yet, send an old-fashioned love letter. You’d be surprised how effective something as simple as a piece of paper can be.
“Posting this type of information minimizes the specialness of the relationship. An important characteristic of intimate relationships is it uniqueness,” Seibold tells us. “There are things you share with your partner that aren’t meant to be shared with anyone else. That helps create an intimate connection between the couple. The more that information is shared, the less the relationship feels special and unique.”
So while it might seem special to upload a photo of your beau just waking up, you’re actually allowing all these people a glimpse into a private moment.
4. Keep unapproved pictures of your partner on the camera.
Why It’s a Mistake: People are weird about what they consider “unflattering” when it comes to images of themselves. A certain pout might be the most adorable expression in the world to you. Your partner, though, might consider it his Twilight look, and not in a good way.
Remember the social media relationship rule of thumb: Ask before posting. You’ll never go wrong when you get permission first.
5. Stop trying to win points in your lovers’ spat.
Why It’s a Mistake: When you make your fight public, you’re undermining your ability to make up effectively. Why? Because your friends and family will undoubtedly take your side.
You’ve opened the door for people to give their two cents about what you are doing in your relationship.
They might not be so keen on your terrific partner a week or two after you called them a “selfish and horrible narcissist.” Or whatever.
Keep that stuff private. Once you make up, you’ll be glad you didn’t go public with your beef.
6. No one wants to see your tongue-wrestling selfies.
Trust us. Nobody. You have nothing to prove.
Why It’s a Mistake: If you’re not an actor in the latest hit rom-com, nobody wants to see you kissing. There are two good reasons to keep your smooches off of social media.
First, kissing selfies seem a bit voyeuristic. How is that going to make your dad feel?
Second, you won’t gain any points among the lonely hearts in your friend group. People who are having a hard time finding love just about gag when they see their friends making out on their social media feed. We know this goes against everything our culture taught you, but some things just don’t belong on social media.
7. Don’t post mean jokes about your S.O. (Why are you making them anyway?)
Why It’s a Mistake: Social media is famously bad at transmitting tone. And tone is the only difference between a flirtatious jab among lovers and a cruel jibe at your loved one’s expense.
Without the context that you share as a couple, people aren’t going to see the humor in your partner’s uncanny ability to get lost in his own home town. They’ll just see disrespect.
8. There’s no need to flaunt pictures of pricey presents.
Why It’s a Mistake: That’s great if your partner can afford diamonds and jewels and Apple products. Showing those gifts off on social media is a big mistake, though.
First of all, class resentment is a real and powerful force in our culture. Even if you don’t make your friends hate you, you might simply make them feel bad that they can’t afford such a fancy present.
Oh, then there’s the whole burglary thing. Even Kim Kardashian—who has actual, giant bodyguards—was targeted based on her social media posts.
9. Nobody looks forward to reading passive-aggressive notes about your partner.
Why It’s a Mistake: We’ve all seen these. “I still can’t believe some people can be so selfish.” The subtext here is, “You know who you are,” and people are pretty good about reading between the lines.
If you have a problem with your partner, talk it out in person. Throwing vague clues to the hounds of social media is just going to make things worse.
“It can be so tempting in a fit of rage to put info about your relationship on [social media],” relationship therapist Donna Oriowo, M.ED, LCSW, tells FashionBeans. “However, when you post, you’ve opened the door for people to give their two cents about what you are doing in your relationship.”
That’s inviting a world of hurt.
“Having a bunch of random people telling you about how to deal with your partner(s) (solicited or not) can confuse you, and make it seem like you prefer to talk to people outside of your relationship, rather than discuss issues with those involved,” Oriowo says.
10. Don’t post just looking for validation.
Why It’s a Mistake: We’re trained to take our friend’s likes and comments as accurate measures of value. That’s a big mistake when it comes to relationships.
Are you happy with your partner? If so, it doesn’t matter how many shares your kissing selfie gets (also, you need to go back and read No. 6 on this list). Avoid comments like, “Aren’t we just the cutest couple in the world?,” because constantly posting positive photos and statuses can also affect your relationship in a negative way.
“When you post intimate details about your relationship, especially if they are always positive, you could end up in the position to feel like you have to keep up a facade,” Oriowo tells us..
In other words, by keeping things purely positive, you could be idealizing your relationship—and you’ll never be able to live up to perfection.
11. Keep any negative feelings about the in-laws to yourself.
Why It’s a Mistake: It doesn’t matter if your nosy mother-in-law isn’t on your friends list. Social media posts are slippery little buggers.
Remember in Jurassic Park, when Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm warns park director John Hammond that, “Life, uh, finds a way?” That’s what social media posts are like. No privacy setting in the world can prevent your nasty posts from finding the people they’re written against. When that person is your mother-in-law, you’re in for a lifetime of awkward Thanksgivings.
12. There’s no need to share ultrasound pics, or really any image of the inside of your body.
Why It’s a Mistake: Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle and all, but it’s also very personal. Most people don’t want to see a developing proto-human, not even in grainy black and white.
It totally makes sense to announce your joyful event (although note that most doctors recommend you wait until the second trimester, when the risk of miscarriage plummets). However, you don’t need an ultrasound to do that; words will do just fine.
13. The inside scoop on the breakdown of your relationship doesn’t need to go public.
Why It’s a Mistake: Breaking up can make you feel crazy. Still, if you can keep at least a thin strand of ego tethered to reality, it’s best to resist the urge to vent on social media.
Chances are you still share a lot of friends. Coming on too strong about your broken heart can make them feel like they have to pick sides. And if you’re the one who started the trash talk, you’ve got a disadvantage in that contest.
Besides, there aren’t very many ways to pick fights on social media that don’t make you look petty and small. When they go low, you go…ah, skip it, that’s so 2016.
14. What you really shouldn’t post? Everything.
Why It’s a Mistake: Note that we didn’t say “anything.” Your partner is a big part of your life, and it’s appropriate to post exciting news or a funny story.
But if your friends know everything that happens in your household from sunup to sundown, it’s probably time to cool it on the social media for a while. Keep a few secrets.
“Posting intimate details is … a sign of poor personal boundaries. With more potential and current employers monitoring social media, that information is not likely looked upon as positive,” explains Seibold. “It also says to others that you are willing to post personal information on social media about them as well. Other friends and family may be less likely to trust you as well.”