Relationships
If your boyfriend never posts about you on social media, you might have to ask them to do so.

If Your Partner Never Posts About You On IG, Here's What To Do

ƒStep one: Don't panic.

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To post about your SO or not to post: That is the question. And the answer is, well, complicated. There’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to relationships, and that includes your partner’s social media behavior. Whether you have your SO’s post notifications turned on or you forgot to follow them back, social media plays a role in relationships. Either position is valid. But if you often ask yourself the (digital) age-old question — why your boyfriend doesn’t post about you on social media, or why your girlfriend rarely shares cute Instagram tributes to you — it’s important to remember you’re not alone.

As much as we may try to deny it, social media can have a big impact on our mood. Being Insta official sounds simple enough, but there are tiers to it. Everyone knows a couple pic on the main feed is more serious than a casual IG Story mention. (Right?) It’s natural to be upset if you have a significant other who doesn't post pics of you on social media, if that’s important to you. "Social media is the coming-out party for your new relationship," bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily.

In other words, it’s totally fair that you want a virtual celebration for your relationship. But what to do if your partner isn’t on board? Maybe they’re pretty private online, or they simply haven’t taken the initiative to post about you yet — and you haven’t worked up the courage to ask. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. It comes down to clear communication and respecting each other’s boundaries, which is admittedly easier said than done. Luckily, you do not need to navigate this tricky situation alone. Here’s some reassuring advice from relationship experts and other fretting partners on how to deal with a SO who doesn't post you on the ‘gram.

Respect your partner's social media habits
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Social media may be super important to you, but that’s not everyone’s MO. I mean, when you first showed your friends your new beau, how quickly did you reach their middle school photos? If it only took a few swipes, try taking a deep breath. As with most things in life, it’s not you, it’s them.

To suss out whether your partner is purposefully leaving you out of their page or is simply unsure of your preferred social media protocol, Winter has a strategy suggestion. “Rather than counting the number of dates as a barometer to correct behavior, ask your date directly. 'Do you mind if I take a photo of us?' If they seem hesitant, don't push it,” she explained. “Respect their boundaries and judge the correct protocol as time goes by."

Listen to your gut

If you’re truly concerned about your SO’s social media habits, there’s likely a reason. Now, it might not be what you instantly assume (I can’t be the only one who goes to the worst-case scenario right away), but trusting your instincts – especially the ones that tell you something is up – will rarely lead you astray. Isabel, 22, tells Elite Daily that a lack of IG posts was a “huge issue” in her previous relationship. “He refused to post about me on social media. And although it's not that big a deal, it made me feel as though he was hiding something and that he didn't want people to know about me,” she explains. Considering her boyfriend had no problem posting about his past relationship, she felt like something was off. “It gave me such bad anxiety. It made me feel like I wasn't worthy and he was ashamed of us. I didn't feel acknowledged, and that's all I wanted.”

Even when she expressed these concerns, her ex did not take them to heart. “It just pushed him further away,” she explains. Unfortunately, Isabel’s worries were not unfounded. “It turns out he was cheating on me in the end, and now he posts all about his new girl,” she continues. “So, not posting on social media is a big red flag for me. You should want to show off your partner and make it known that you love them.” Agreed.

Focus on how your partner naturally expresses love
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If you haven’t already learned each other’s love languages, now is probably a good time to take that step. There are five: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, receiving gifts, and physical touch. With so many different ways to express love, it’s a possibility that your partner’s love language does not include social media posts, but it’s just as possible that you’re too focused on this one shortcoming to see all the ways they do show affection.

“So much of the time, especially in working with couples, each partner has no idea of their own love language, let alone their partner’s love language, which can leave both feeling continually disregarded, unappreciated, and unloved despite trying hard to connect,” Donna Keehn, licensed marriage and family therapist, explained to Brides. “That’s why I believe it’s so important to understand our own love language, as the more self-awareness we have, the more emotional intelligence we have...the more we can connect to others, including our romantic partner, in healthy ways.” In other words, taking the time to get to know how your significant other expresses love could help you see their lack of Instagram posts in a new light.

See if there's a compromise

Any successful relationship requires compromise. “You cannot be in a relationship on your own terms,” licensed psychologist Dr. Rachel Needle told Bustle. "In a relationship, not everything can always go your way,” she added. “Choose the things that are most important to you to focus on to find that middle ground.”

That being said, if social media is one of the battles you want to take on, then you should be prepared to compromise. It’s highly unlikely that your partner will happily go from posting a social media update once a year to posting couple-y photos of you every week. If that’s what you’re pushing for, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be disappointed. Instead, maybe start with tagging them in your Instagram Story and asking them if they want to repost it. It’s a low-effort and low-stakes option for them to start publicizing the relationship on IG.

Of course, it’s ultimately their decision what they post online, but expressing why it’s important to you could make the compromise more doable. Plus, hearing out your partner’s perspective on things could help you see the sitch in a different light too. At the end of the day, if the answer’s still “no,” you have to respect that. But maybe an open and honest conversation about compromise will help both of you understand each other a little better.

Know it might take some time

If there are no other red flags, it might just be a matter of time before your SO feels comfortable posting about your relationship. Hannah, 26, explains to Elite Daily that was the case with her boyfriend. “I love Instagram and use it daily, whereas my boyfriend almost never posts anything. By the time we had been together for almost a year, it slightly bugged me that I had posted a ton of photos of him, but if anyone looked at his feed, they would have no idea I even existed,” she says.

She opted not to confront him directly about the issue, but did mention it a few times in passing so he knew where she stood. “I didn't want to straight-up ask him to post a picture of me (I didn't want him to feel pressured to do anything he didn't want to do), but I did mention the discrepancy to him two or three times — often enough that he noticed it bothered me,” she tells Elite Daily.

Turns out, patience is a virtue. “One afternoon, when I was randomly having a bad day, he posted a really sweet picture of the two of us and wrote a caption about how amazing I am,” Hannah explains. It wasn’t the start of a full-blown virtual relationship, but it showed that he was listening – and, even more important, he cared enough to compromise.“He still doesn't post regularly (he's only uploaded one photo since then, and it was one of us), but I don't mind. Like any other bump in a relationship, I think the key is for both people to listen and see the other's side.” For Hannah’s SO, this meant realizing that Instagram was important to her. For Hannah, this meant seeing “his lax use of social media isn't a reflection of his feelings for me at all.”

Recognize they might keep their personal and professional lives separate

Remember when you were applying to colleges and frantically making all of your Facebook albums private? You didn’t want your personal life to impact your academic and professional future. Sure, you might have grown out of that worry, but not everyone does. Some people prefer to keep strict lines between their professional and personal lives, which probably translates to their social media behavior.

If your partner uses social media as a way to share their professional pursuits rather than their photogenic brunches, the likelihood of them completely shifting gears to start posting lovey-dovey photos of you is slim. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Your social media styles do not need to match completely for you to be happy together. In fact, according to experts, it might be better if they don’t.

Having different interests as a couple is crucial in staying happy and feeling free – even if it means you feel slightly neglected on IG (as long as it’s only on IG). “A relationship thrives when the couple[s] have their own interests. It puts less pressure on the relationship being the sole source of happiness and sense of identity,” relationship expert Laura Yates told Marie Claire UK. Just because your partner’s Instagram account is dedicated to their job and not your relationship does not mean there’s trouble in paradise.

It could be just the opposite. “We’re always going to be happier when we have the freedom to explore our own hobbies and passions,” Yates added. “We all know, when used productively, social media is a great way to find like-minded people, communities, interests, hobbies, and inspiration outside of your relationship.” Typically, couples are happier when that’s the case. So try viewing your significant other’s strictly business account as a hobby that has nothing to do with how they feel about you – because that’s exactly what it is.

Be honest about why you want them to Instagram you
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The best way to approach this sitch is with honesty. It’s not a bad thing for your SO to not intuitively understand why you’re craving more social media love. Contrary to popular belief, they are not mind readers. You need to tell them how you’re feeling in order for them to take it into account.

If you want to see a change in how your partner using social media, try telling them why you find it hurtful. Niharika, 19, explains to Elite Daily how her ex’s approach to social media is definitely going to influence how she approaches the topic in future relationships. “My ex used to refuse [to post me on Instagram] and even said that it’s pointless to — which I understand if you don’t want your love life in the public eye,” she says. Fair enough, but when it starts to impact your partner’s happiness, it’s worth addressing with a smidge more sensitivity.

“I do feel that it’s bad and hurtful when they know it’s something that you want and it would make you happy if your partner was showing you off a tad,” Niharika tells Elite Daily. She ended up not bringing up the conversation with him, knowing it was a lost cause, but she’s planning on acting differently in the future.” With a future partner, I’d be honest about why I’d want it. I’d explain that it’s more of the sentiment of the posting rather than showing off that we’re in a relationship.”

Be mindful of what else is on your partner's plate

Unless your partner is an IG influencer, they probably have more pressing matters to deal with on a day-to-day basis than maintaining a consistent posting schedule. TBH, that’s a good thing; it means they have a life beyond their phone screen. As long as it isn’t affecting how they treat you IRL, staying busy and posting less could be great for your relationship.

The takeaway? Keep in mind what your partner does for you beyond the likes, comments, and tags. "People can get pulled in many different directions and it’s possible your partner is very busy and has a hard time managing all of their commitments," Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, told Bustle. For example, if they forget to IG Story your weekly date night, try to focus on the fact that you have a weekly date night. Paying attention to how your partner prioritizes you in other, non-virtual ways could make all the difference.

Of course, if that’s not the case, a conversation is in order. "Still, people usually make time for what they value. If your partner has time and energy for family, friends, hobbies, and work, you have to ask why [they] can’t make you feel like a priority, too," Bennett explained.

Just ask

If you still have questions about your partner’s social media behavior, there’s really only one way to get answers: talk to them. Having tricky conversations with your significant other goes with the territory of being in a relationship. Instead of focusing solely on the lack of social media posts, center the conversation on how it makes you feel, aka insecure in your relationship. (BTW, they should take that seriously. Even if you have different priorities, you deserve a partner who cares about your concerns.) Try this conversation starter: “Is there a reason you rarely/never post me on social media? It sometimes makes me doubt where we stand with each other.” It’s straightforward, but it’s also vulnerable. Plus, it leaves space for them to explain their habits – even if they don’t change them.

The goal of this conversation should never be to change your partner (or their IG habits) but to give them a better grasp of how their behavior affects you. How they respond to that vulnerability – how they choose to support you – is the crucial part. "Your partner should always go out of their way to reassure you of your importance in their life,” Penelope Lynne Gordon, a women’s empowerment coach and hypnotherapist who specializes in relationships, told Bustle. Now, that reassurance might not equal more Instagram posts, but it should give you both a better idea of where you stand.

Looking at all the sage advice on this subject, there are a few routes you can take, but the main idea is to let go of this golden ideal, where you SO posts about you as frequently or tenderly as your heart desires. It just might not be in their nature to immortalize your love in Instagram posts. (And besides, would you rather have a bunch of sweet-but-disingenuous IG posts about you, or a partner who stays true to how they express their love for you?) Instead of focusing on the missed opportunities to IG Story, pivot to embracing the benefits of keeping your relationship private.

Research shows that, more often than not, posting a lot about your relationship may signal you and your SO aren't in a good place. Apart from correlations between constant relationship Instagramming and posters' insecurity, staying off social media tends to be better for your mental health and gives you space to focus on your relationship. Just know that high "relationship visibility" isn't all it's cracked up to be — and not worth comparing your relationship to.

Keep in mind: Your partner might not see couple posts in the same way you do. It could be new territory for them. Maybe they've never had a long-term SO to post about. Or maybe they have dated seriously in the past, but have never posted about an SO. Your partner might have the capacity or the urge to make cute Insta posts about you, but not know how to proceed (or that it's something you want). All you might need to do is ask.

At the end of the day, as much as you might want the crowning glory of your social circles' #RelationshipGoals, it's your compatibility with your SO offline that truly counts.

Sources:

Susan Winter, author and relationship expert

Donna Keehn, licensed marriage and family therapist

Dr. Rachel Needle, licensed psychologist

Laura Yates, relationship expert

Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert

Penelope Lynne Gordon, a women’s empowerment coach and hypnotherapist

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily’s staff.