'I don't post my boyfriend on social media, and it's affecting our relationship'

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • Everyone has their own opinion on how much of your personal life you should reveal on social media.
  • Some find it necessary to continually update their Instagram and Twitter followers on monumental moments in their lives or the mundane realities of life.
  • For others, an unwillingness to post their partners comes from self-preservation or fear of public embarrassment upon breaking up, as is the case for Zanele*.
  • However, her unwillingness to post her boyfriend on social media has affected her relationship. Here is her story as told to Wandi Jama.

According to research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, an active unwillingness to post pictures of your partner may be a sign that you have an avoidant attachment style, meaning that you typically withdraw and disengage from your partner regularly, as opposed to giving them the attention that they might want. 

I can relate to this research because I've always been a very private person. I don't post much on Instagram and WhatsApp; if I do, it's probably reposting a tag from a friend on Instagram stories or taking Instagram stories when I'm with friends or at an event. Even with that, it's just one post at a time.

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My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years, and I have posted our couple pictures on my stories but not on my feed. I also posted when he bought me flowers or after a cute date.

When we take photos on his phone, he sends them to me and asks if I would post them. He is not as private as me, so he posts quite a bit on social media and even posted my picture within our dating first month. I didn't have a problem with that, but I didn't see the need to do the same.

READ MORE | 'My boyfriend lost his job because of lockdown and refuses to do odd jobs. Should I leave him?'

I realised that he would make remarks regarding my posts on Instagram. He would say things like, "I see you snapped a boomerang with your friends. I've never seen you even post a boomerang of us."

I didn't think it was something worth arguing about or even entertaining. One time, during an argument unrelated to social media, he mentioned that he hates feeling like I'm hiding him from social media. It makes him feel like he is not good enough for me and it affects the way he views me.

He said it had been the root of the many arguments we were having and it affected his mood.  Despite this, I don't see the need to post him on my social media, and if I start doing so, it won't be sincere, and I would be doing it because I feel obliged to.

We haven't reached a middle point yet, but it's affecting our relationship, and I can tell how insecure he has become. I wouldn't be surprised if he snoops around on my phone to check if I'm unfaithful to him. 

READ MORE | Is it possible to find genuine comfort and validation on social media?

I would understand his concern if I was active on social media and posted everything but him. However, I'm not that person, and I never have. I didn't just change, I've always been like that, and he knew that when we started dating.

I can only hope that we sort it out and it stops affecting our relationship because it's not worth it. Everyone has their own opinion on how much of your personal life you should reveal on social media. And I like to keep my private life sacred.

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