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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at New School chapter.

Social media has given me the gift of knowing intimate details about everyone’s relationships. I get to flip through detailed accounts of people eating food with their significant other via Snapchat and read tweets about how someone’s boyfriend left candy and a Victoria Secret shopping bag at their doorstep. I mean are you really dating if you don’t post a screenshot of your text messages on VSCO?

It might be statistically proven that posts with your boyfriend/girlfriend get more buzz. Recently I listened to an episode of “U UP?” a podcast about relationships and modern dating hosted by Jordana Abraham and Jared Freid. In the episode called “If You’re Not On His Instagram It’s Not Official,” Abraham said, “There are no more likes for a girl than the first couples pic. You get a shit ton of likes.” It’s a very known statement. Everyone wants those comments that will follow: “you guys are my relationship goals,” “adopt me,” “mom and dad,” and a million heart eye emojis. This kind of attention could be what fuels the desire to not only want to be in a relationship but want to share that relationship with everyone via social media.

This constant overexposure led me to analyze the “Instagram relationship.” Especially after some friends of mine were in pretty shitty relationships, but still posted Instagrams of them and their significant others. The whole ordeal seemed unhealthy, and I began to wonder why I would hear a friend say they wanted to break up with their S.O. and then in the same night, they’d post a picture of them together. Was it to hide the fact that the relationship was failing? Did they feel they had to maintain the “perfect relationship” that only Instagram saw? Overall, it seemed like they were staying in unhealthy relationships because of social media.

This social media type became more apparent as I scrolled through my Twitter feed and saw retweet after retweet of those “relationship goals” accounts. You know the ones where some boy does the bare minimum and everyone goes wild. There’s usually a photoset with a text message screenshot the girlfriend sent like “I’m having a shitty day” or “I want chocolate” then the boyfriend will text back “open your front door” and voila! A box of chocolates or a gallon of ice cream and usually a Victoria Secret shopping bag will be on the doorsteps. The caption will say something like “goals 😍” or “I need a man like this.” There are like twenty billion different versions, some of which include a boyfriend buying his girlfriend a pair of Yeezys and another buying out an entire Sephora.

This one is my personal favorite:

Get you a man who listens. Really? A man who listens. How low is the bar set? Can we limbo? I admit I’ve never had a boyfriend but isn’t part of having one so you can talk to him and he can, I don’t know, maybe listen to what you are saying? Are these the characteristics we are now looking for in a significant other? Ears? You know what really turns me on? When my boyfriend listens to me- and sometimes he’ll even respond, God he’s so hot.

It’s easy to joke about the absurdities of these posts, but sometimes I catch myself being lured into the desire of this type of relationship. “He’s a good Instagram boyfriend,” my friend jokes as we stare at cute guy across the bar. But in all honesty, sometimes I want an Instagram boyfriend. Think of all the cute picture opportunities, and I know my followers would go crazy if I just dropped a picture with my S.O.- stop it, I tell myself. It’s a trap.

This all goes back to the age-old question- and in very Carrie Bradshaw like fashion- Are we actually in love? Or are we in love with the idea of love? Has social media increased this desire to be in a relationship, and then do we feel bad about our own relationships if they do not measure up to the ones we see on Instagram and Twitter? I kind of feel bad for boyfriends these days who have to deal with this new sense of competition. A boy might think leaving Ben and Jerry’s at their girlfriend’s doorstep at 2 A.M. will definitely land him a blow job, but then he’ll get a text like “Where are my Yeezys? Why don’t you love me?”

Posting pictures with your S.O. isn’t always overcompensating for something, or a result of being like and comment hungry. I know I have talked a lot of shit but I love a cute couples picture when it’s genuine, and not when it’s about how much crap your boyfriend bought you or an obvious revenge photo to prove that you’re definitely fine and you’ve moved on.

At the end of the day, you are going to keep posting what you like, but if you find that social media is a big stressor in your life, or you feel the need to keep up a persona that isn’t who you truly are, maybe it’s time to take a break. There is such an intense pressure to present yourself to the world that you are living your best life with perfect friends, perfect clothes, a perfect job, and a perfect relationship, but the reality is no one has all that- not even the girl with the boyfriend who bought her Yeezys (although she might be closer to it than I am).

Those Instagram likes are not worth staying in unhealthy relationships for, and if you really want a revenge photo, drop a bangin selfie with an ambiguous caption, drink a mimosa, and love yourself. 


Logan Mahan

New School '20

Logan is a senior studying Journalism + Design at The New School. Her interests include (but not limited to) fashion, politics, red wine, the Bee Gees, playing "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston at every function she attends, and of course, writing.