'I love you but please don't follow me on Twitter' – Women share their dating social media rules

Illustration. Image by vitapix
Illustration. Image by vitapix

The conversation about social media and relationships can be quite thorny, one wrong click or comment and you’re on your way to crucifixion.

You may have a lot in common with your partner but social media might just be the one thing that divides your opinion. We all have boundaries and needless to say, it is vital you communicate those.

However, what happens when those boundaries are ignored? A Reddit user took to the platform to ask if she’s being unreasonable with her partner who has a questionable use of social networks.

READ MORE: 'My boyfriend lost his job when lockdown started and is demotivated. Should I leave him?'

The user has been with her partner for less than a year and he is a religious social media user who is on Facebook, Instagram to Snapchat. “I am finding myself getting increasingly jealous about the women my partner follows or likes on Instagram and receives Snapchats from. Now, I have absolutely no problem with a partner looking at women or porn, but to me following or liking someone on Instagram is different. We discussed this recently as it's affecting me a lot or making me look over his shoulder and over analyse every like and snap. He didn't really get it and it came across like I was being controlling.”

READ MORE: The fine line between healthy and unhealthy attachment in a relationship

Registered counsellor, Catherine insists on having a conversation with your partner about the use of the social media and when it comes to boundaries. “Make sure that you to do not tolerate that which will not be so comfortable later on in the relationship,” she says.

When it comes to the eyebrow-raising comment section and DMs, Catherine suggests objectivity, "DMs are like a person calling you out in the street, all you have to do is say no and not give opportunity for the person to make further attempts.”

READ MORE: Top tips to get your romantic life back on track post-lockdown, according to a dating coach

The important lesson here is that we all have different opinions when it comes to social media use when in a relationship. Both partners should have a conversation on how to handle it. Remember, social media is not a determining factor of love.

We asked women to share their unwritten rules on the subject and here’s what they had to say:

I need to be willing to post my partner and not because my partner is doing it. Sometimes it's tricky because with queer relationships, discretion plays a huge role in respecting someone's privacy. I would need to get a go-ahead from my partner depending on if he is still in the closet and is ready to be posted on social media. The other point is quite funny and personal to me, but our pictures need to be of a high quality, iPhone or P30/40 pro vibes, or any professional camera.
Hloni Phakoe
Firstly, do not follow me on social media and secondly, do not ask to go through my social media or ask for my log in details because you will find what you are looking for.
Exclusivity (don’t address everyone the way you address me). Don’t DM girls beyond thanking them for a compliment. Politely respond and cut it short to respect the relationship. Don’t continuously stalk the same girl - that may send messages and embarrass me. I am highly conscious of my brand and how who I’m affiliated with affects it, so I think I mostly care about protecting that more than anything and that’s why I’m quite stuffy about how my partner interacts online.
When you enter a new relationship, along with understanding your partner, you should also understand their social media love language and ask yourself if it matches yours? So, that's rule number one for me. If I post about us or a pic of you, I expect a heart emoji and a comment. Not everything needs to be posted, we can post but still have privacy.
Definitely post me too if I post you lol. Let’s keep our private life private. Never to reveal too much about us because social media is not our friend.
I don't believe in posting my partner on social media, I'm all for us being crazy about each other and us possibly spending the rest of our lives together but I feel like my social media should be the one thing I should have for myself. However, I still do believe that I have to be respectful towards my partner on the app. If you decide to post me, that’s fine, but can my Instagram or Twitter not turn into a ‘couple’s page’ haha.

You have to be my number one supporter on social media, leave a comment and like my posts. Don’t block me from seeing your posts. Don’t DM other people while we’re together.
You can’t post your female friends, no matter how close you are. If you post me, I don’t have to post you. No flirting or commenting on other women's posts with heart emojis or calling them ‘babe’. The only person you do that for is me.

What are your unwritten social media rules in a relationship? Tell us here

Follow us on social media here: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 922 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 368 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 2008 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 56 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 718 votes