Some couples are all about sharing their relationships online. If you’re super proud of being with your partner (as you should be!), maybe you can’t wait to share the love with all your followers. Bragging about your significant other is a fun way to show off how much you care about them, and after several months of dating, your partner might start to make regular appearances on your Instagram feed. Should you take the next step and put your boyfriend or girlfriend's name in your Instagram bio? The answer might surprise you.
You’ve probably seen couples who do this, and do it proudly. They tag “madly in love with @so-and-so” and basically build their relationship into part of their personal brand. Everyone is different, and some people are comfortable with a lot of publicity while others prefer to keep things more low-key.
According to social media branding expert Elise Darma, it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your Instagram profile. If you’re creating a personal brand, and you’re hoping to attract followers who can relate to certain themes in your life (such as your relationship), it makes sense to put your partner front-and-center in your bio. “If it makes sense to share your relationship in the online space because of the personal brand you’re building, and because your target follower will resonate with you sharing your relationship, then 100 percent, it makes sense to tag your partner in the bio,” she explains. This will give your followers a clear idea of the type of content you create on the platform.
If your partner is also trying to build up a personal brand, tagging them will help them out, too. “This makes even more sense if both of you are building up personal brands and if you want to leverage each other’s following by tagging each other in your bios,” Darma says. You’ll be able to build off each other to make both of your Instagram profiles even stronger.
Before you take this step, though, it’s crucial that you chat with your partner about it. “You both have to make sure you’re on the same page so your partner is also cool with the fact that you’re going to be sharing more personal details in a public way,” Darma notes. And your relationship should be in a steady and secure enough place to be able to handle the attention. If things feel rocky, or you’re not sure that you’ll be seeing each other much longer, it’s probably not wise to publicize the relationship.
If you do decide that putting your partner’s name in your bio is a step you want to take, you shouldn’t always expect your partner to reciprocate. While some people might be building up a brand, others aren’t as concerned about this. “I wouldn’t expect a partner to necessarily want to return the favor,” Darma says. “It’s such a personal thing; not everyone likes sharing their personal life online.” Talk to him or her about it to decide if you’re both comfortable with that level of social media visibility, and don’t expect that he or she will feel the same way about it as you do.
Regardless of how much you choose to share, it’s useful to create clearly defined boundaries with your partner about what goes online and what remains private between the two of you. “You and your partner can discuss how much of the relationship you’re going to share,” Darma suggests. “Are you just going to share a few selfies, or are you going to share details about fights and how you resolve fights?” The two of you need to be clear about what level of Instagram publicity you are comfortable with. While you may want your followers to feel like you’re being authentic and vulnerable, remember that your relationship is comprised of two people — both of whom should be able to have a say in what is shared.
Overall, just remember that anything you decide to do online can leave a permanent impact. “As with all things on the internet, once you share it, expect that it will live forever,” Darma advises. “Even if you delete it, expect that someone has screenshotted it and shared it, so be 100 percent sure before you share anything online that you are OK with this content living forever.” If you want the world to see that you’re partnered up, and you consider this to be important to your personal brand on social, tag bae in your bio loud and proud! But don't just do it for the 'gram ... make sure you're both comfortable and ready for this #instaworthy step.