As dating continues to evolve (apps! Instagram DMs!), it's easy to feel like there are so many more rules than there were before social media. Do people still make their relationships "Facebook official"? After how long? And as much as technology has made dating convenient, one could argue it's also made it a lot more complicated. In addition to handling social media with your partner, you might also find yourself dealing with their family members online. Do you "friend" their mom right away? If things are going well, when should you follow your partner’s siblings on Instagram? I spoke with relationship experts to find out how to deal, and learned it might actually be better to hold off on hitting "Follow."
However, it's important to recognize that following your partner's younger brother or twin sister on Instagram is totally normal, and nothing to stress too hard over. "If everything is going fine, then following your partner’s siblings and other family members on social media, can be a very natural thing to do," relationship and etiquette expert April Masini tells Elite Daily. "For instance, if you’ve been introduced to them, and you’ve had meaningful conversations with them, or if you don’t go deep, but still, you’ve had at least half a dozen small talk conversations with them, then following your partner’s siblings and family members on social media is appropriate."
Again, don't stress too much over this, but if you're uncertain about how to go about following your partner's siblings on Instagram, Masini has some great tips.
If you don't want to make your partner's siblings uncomfortable with a follow, or you just aren't sure what to do, Masini suggests waiting for them to make the first move. "One cue that it’s time to follow your partner’s siblings on Instagram is if they start following you first," she says. "That’s an easy way to make this relationship comfortable. If you’re unsure about following your partner’s siblings, wait until you get this cue."
Of course, if you value your relationship with your significant other, and enjoy being in their life, it might also be important for you to have a solid relationship with their siblings. Connecting on social media is a great way to get to know each other and bond! If your partner's sibling hasn't yet followed you on Instagram, but you want to follow them, Masini says you might want to bring it up with them in person before following online. "Another way to know it’s appropriate to follow your partner’s siblings on Instagram is if you find yourself in a conversation about Instagram or social media in real life, and you talk to them about following each other," she explains. "Once you’ve had that conversation, it’s appropriate for you to start following them."
There is no right or wrong answer in this situation, but according to Masini, it might be better to wait until you've at least talked to your partner's sibling[s] before following them on Instagram.
Finally, there is one instance in which Masini explains it's probably not a good idea to follow your partner's sibling on Instagram. "What’s inappropriate is when you look up your partner’s family members on social media, and start following the ones who you have never met or had any email, text or phone connection with," she says, saying it might feel creepy and a little stalker-y. Ultimately, it might be better to play it safe and wait until they follow you first, or you talk about it with them IRL. It's important for you to have a solid relationship with your partner's siblings, but before taking things to social media, remember not to rush it. Good things take time!