You wake up, and you check your social media accounts. (That's what you do every morning, right?) Twitter, check. TikTok, check. Instagram — wait! You spot a picture of a hottie and notice that your SO has given it a double-tap. It’s hard to know how to react when your partner likes Instagram pictures of other people… especially when you suspect their interest in the photo is more than just friendly. Do you have a right to get upset if your boo is liking other people’s pictures while in a relationship with you? The answer is, of course, complicated.
According to Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking Trombetti, it’s perfectly normal to feel jealous if your partner is liking someone else’s sexy selfies. “You have a right to be uncomfortable,” she previously told Elite Daily. “They might say if there was anything to it, they wouldn't be liking the pictures to begin with, but I find it disrespectful to you and the relationship. It's one thing if it's a friend, but it’s totally different if they are liking hot pics of Instagram models.” And if you notice that your boyfriend or girlfriend is liking scantily-clad pictures on Instagram of other people all the time, then here’s how to handle it.
If Your Partner Is Liking Pics Of An Influencer Or Celeb
Double-tapping a public figure’s IG when you’re dating someone else is not a crime, of course. But if you suspect your SO’s interest in that public figure is sexual or romantic, then it’s OK to get a little jealous when you see all those likes. “It is common for your partner's social media use to make you uncomfortable — several studies have found that social media monitoring of a partner’s profile online is associated [with] conflict," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, previously told Elite Daily. "Additionally and unintentionally, knowing your partner is monitoring profiles can create insecurity within you that previously wasn’t there."
But before you freak out, Silva suggested checking in with yourself about why their behavior is rubbing you the wrong way. "Before approaching your partner, figure out why you’re upset. Don’t focus on the behavior, focus on what the behavior made you feel," Silva says. "Then be honest if something you found online about your partner bothers you." You may both know your partner isn’t actually hoping to shoot their shot with Beyoncé, but if their constantly liking Beyoncé’s pics is gnawing at the root of your insecurities, then feel free to speak up.
If Your Partner Is Liking Pics Of Someone They Know
Again, it’s not a crime to like a friend or an acquaintance's IG when you’re in a relationship. It’s only when your SO’s interest in someone else on social media seems more than friendly that you have reason to feel weirded out. But as relationship coach Brenda Della Casa previously pointed out to Elite Daily, it’s unfair to expect your partner is going to totally stop looking at other people because you’re dating. “The idea that we stop finding other people attractive as soon as we fall in love or commit to someone is ridiculous,” she said. “It's unrealistic to assume your partner will never find someone else sexy or charming, but that doesn't mean they no longer feel those things about you or want to leave you.”
Just because they’re liking someone else’s pics doesn’t mean they want to date that person. Perhaps that person just writes really clever captions or takes particularly aesthetically-pleasing photos. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your SO why they’re liking so many of their old high school classmate’s posts. If their activity is totally innocent, then they shouldn’t have any reason to feel guilty about it.
If Your Partner Is Liking Pics Of An Ex
While it’s one thing to like pics of someone you have no chance (or no interest) in dating, it’s another thing to like pics of someone you actually used to date. According to Silva, the best way to address your discomfort if your partner is liking pics of their ex is to be as direct as possible. "You might say, 'Hey, I wanted to let you know that I feel uncomfortable seeing that are liking photos of your ex on Instagram. It made me wonder if you’re not fully over your ex. Do you still have feelings for them?'" Silva suggested.
Of course, when bringing up their social media use, it's important to stay non-confrontational about your partner's intentions before assuming the worst. "Remember that what your partner thinks is acceptable [may be different than what you think is acceptable] or that they may just reflexively look at their ex because it was a habit. [Speculating] can create a cyclone of unintentional meanings to you," she added.
If Your Partner Isn’t Willing To Change Their Behavior
In an ideal world, your boo would agree to change their ways the minute you question their sus social media activity. But if your partner either becomes overly defensive or makes a false promise, then you should probably be wary. “A partner should make your concerns a priority in their life,” Trombetti said. “If they still refuse to change, that tells you that they aren’t prioritizing your feelings, which is a red flag.” At that point, you’ll need to dig deeper into why they might be refusing to meet your request, as well as how important it is to you that they stop liking other peoples’ photos.
Your partner may have a right to like whatever they please on IG, but if their social media activity makes you uncomfortable, then it’s worth having a discussion.
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking Trombetti
Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method
Brenda Della Cas, relationship coach
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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