This Is What It Means When A Guy You're Dating Posts A Photo Of You On Instagram

by Sydnee Lyons

Most guys are notoriously bad at Instagram. The average guy has 22 posts on there and at least 10 are of random food items like half-eaten burgers and blurry beer mugs. The rest include the occasional bro pic and the unavoidable ~action shot~ of him catching some poor, unsuspecting fish. Being featured on his Instagram isn't quite the same as being caught in the background of Keeping Up With The Kardashians or anything but hey, it's a start. If a guy posts a photo of you on Instagram, it means he's happy you're in his life and probably expects you to be there for a long time.

As a disclaimer, you should know that even if he doesn't make you his #WCW, that doesn't necessarily mean he cares about you any less. Relationship expert and author Dr. Nikki Goldstein explains that some people just prefer to keep their romantic lives to themselves and that's totally OK. She adds, "I have a partner and I have never posted one pic of him on Instagram. It's not that it's a secret but some people want to keep an element of privacy in this very public, online world." Don't take it personally if the person you're dating hasn't shared that cute selfie you guys took at brunch forever ago. You don't need an Instagram post to validate your relationship.

If your bae isn't opposed to sharing the love on Insta though, here's what he's thinking when he posts that adorable photo of you (with hopefully even more adorable hashtags).

He's Open About His Relationship Status With Everyone In His Life

According to your boyfriend, you two are way past the grey area. You've had the talk, you've agreed to be exclusive, and it's been going pretty freaking great so far. I mean it. Your guy has no complaints about your current situation — he's loving every second of your new relationship together and he wants the world (or his 172 Instagram followers) to know it.

He's Probably Not Sliding Into Anyone Else's DMs

And they're not sliding into his. Now that you're a clear presence on your boyfriend's Instagram profile, the fact that he's in a relationship is public knowledge. Remember when people would actually update their relationship status on Facebook? Well, that's pretty much what posting an Instagram photo of your significant other for the first time means now. It's unlikely that he's talking to other girls behind your back — especially on Instagram — and if he is (dump him ASAP), they're probably quick to turn him down.

He's Proud To Call You His Girlfriend

If this were a high-school prom in a Disney Channel Original Movie, your boyfriend posting a photo of you on Instagram would be equivalent to the two of you making a grand, show-stopping entrance before glamorously descending a staircase that would never ever exist in any real-life public school. You could have come in through the side door of the gym but he preferred to do it this way just so everyone could see how proud he is to be with you. As he should be.

There are a few exceptions to the rules of couple pics on Instagram. For example, while making an official appearance in an actual post is a big deal, guest-starring in his Instagram Stories sends a far less explicit message. Stories are temporary and way more spontaneous, which means that your boyfriend's ~decision~ to include you in one or two of them after a few drinks together might not be the grand gesture you were hoping for.

A far less complicated exception is the guy who never posts on his Instagram. Just because he's happy to take your Instagram photos for you (lucky!) doesn't mean he wants to post any of his own. Remember that life exists offline, too. Everything isn't always as it seems on Instagram.

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