Remember when updating your relationship status on Facebook was a major milestone in your adolescent relationship? Yeah, well, we're not doing that anymore. The only people on there now are our grandparents and distant relatives who would ask way too many questions about why you and that well-dressed guy with the combover say "It's Complicated." Instead, the new way to make things official is deciding when you should post your first Instagram together.
I'm not one of those people who deletes all the photos of my ex when we break up so, as a general rule, I won't post anything about them until we've crossed the three-month mark. This isn't hard science or anything; it's just the average length of time I've noticed my relationships need in the incubator phase. It's usually just long enough to decide if we'd like to be exclusive and if this is going to be a long-term thing.
Before then, I prefer to keep things between us. I'll still post photos from fun dates we go on together but instead of a shot of the two of us sharing a milkshake, it'll probably just be of the milkshake (I know food Instas are so 2015 but work with me here). This way, we have time to ourselves to figure out just how much of our relationship we're comfortable sharing with other people.
Like with any relationship milestone, there are a few things to consider before you share that #bae post on Instagram.
If You Post Your First Instagram Together Too Soon
I know, secretly, we all want to be that Instagram-famous, hand-holding couple but my biggest concern with this is how potentially messy things can get. Firstly, know that if your friends haven't heard about this person before, they're going to have questions and they'll post these questions in the comments section of your photo.
"OMG, I'm screaming! Who IS this?"
"Ahhhh, so happy for you!!! When can we meet up?"
"What does this even mean?!"
You get the idea. If you're not ready to answer any of these questions publicly, you're not ready to share a couples' pic on Instagram.
Secondly, there's the chance that things might still go wrong if you're only a few weeks in. It takes a long time to get to know someone new and you don't want to find out something after you've shared the photo that makes you regret ever tagging them in the first place.
Lastly, you never want to share something online about your partner that they aren't comfortable with. Posting your debut photo without talking to them about it first might create more problems than it's worth. The longer you wait, the more comfortable you'll feel having this conversation.
If You Wait Too Long To Post Your First Instagram Together
While posting your first Instagram together too early in a new relationship is a major faux pas so is waiting too long. Intentional or not, this sometimes sends the message that you prefer to hide your relationship, which is concerning if one of you has trust issues.
You wouldn't want them pretending to be single online for obvious reasons so you shouldn't do the same to them. If you're active on Instagram — sharing most other aspects of your life on a regular basis — and your partner of more than a year has somehow never been in any of your posts, that's not a great sign. Keeping your relationship private is one thing; keeping it a secret is concerning.
If You're Not Sure When To Post Your First Instagram Together
This is an easy one. If you're not sure you're ready to hit "Share" on that date-night snap, you probably aren't. Trust your instincts.
I mean it — don't do it for the 'gram. You don't need to share photos of your partner with a bunch of strangers on the internet to validate your relationship. In fact, if your relationship is truly fulfilling, you're probably not spending a whole lot of time caring about what other people think about it.
I know that Instagram stopped feeling genuine a long time ago but staging an aesthetically pleasing photo of your iced latte is a lot easier than staging an entire relationship solely for the likes. I'm just saying, you should choose your battles wisely.
Sometimes, it's better to live blissfully in silence, like during the first three months of a relationship. This timeline might look different for you and your partner and that's 100 percent OK, just as long as you both agree on when (if ever) to go public.
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