There is no question that being in a relationship changes things about you. From your appearance to the activities you do, everyone adjusts to a degree after that “taken” label is attached.
What once was the norm of weeknights spent on Bumble and weekends scouting the bars for potential mates has shifted into cozy evenings on the couch and date nights with a sex guarantee.
Spending hours prepping for dates has turned into questioning the last time you shaved your legs, and throwing on the button down you maybe probably wore the last time the two of you deigned to leave the apartment for a nice dinner.
It’s really an inevitability and I see nothing wrong with calming down the high profile façade that was showcased during the first few months of dating. (Just don’t completely slack off and become constantly sweatpants wearing bums living on a diet of takeout and Netflix. A little effort goes a long way, people.)
But what I do have an issue with is a different kind of appearance. One that has nothing to do with the amount of days in a row you’ve used dry shampoo versus actually washing your hair, or the last time you used that gym membership that you still pay for every month.
I’m talking about your social media presence and the way you display your no longer single status to the world. Because that, my friends, will change too. And not for the better.
Now, maybe you’re the over sharing, mushy-gushy type who word vomits about every good, bad or awful thing that happens in your life. This isn’t directed at you. We all hate you, and have hated you since day one.
No, this is a warning to all the normal people out there. The ones who cringe at the thought of becoming Facebook Official, who mock the Instagram posts with love song lyrics as the captions, and who roll their eyes at any mention of clichéd romantic phrases describing partners/relationships.
I don’t know what it is exactly that triggers things or how it happens, but I can guarantee that despite all of your best efforts, having a significant other will at some point or another make you gross online.
Case in point; one of the funniest guys I know has been in a serious relationship for the last two years, and things started out completely fine. They weren’t online official and you only saw the occasional pictures of their activities. Nothing overly romantic that screamed that they were dating, just a nice touch here and there.
Then things took a turn.
He bought a house. They adopted a dog. They had their one-year anniversary. And somewhere along the road his quality posting turned from hilariously dry, satirical takes to Relationship Sap City. (Not blaming the dog here. She’s adorable, the posts are adorable and I welcome all dog posts, and would honestly prefer more of them.)
He’s just the last person I ever would have expected to behave like this on social media, and yet here we are. Disgusting.
The same thing happened to one of the guys from my old trivia night crew. He started dating this girl and shortly after informing me that it wasn’t serious and that he wasn’t sure where it was going, the online “Look at me in my happy loving relationship!” postings began and have yet to cease. Yuck.
The list could go on and on of poor fools who have fallen victim to this horrifying phenomenon, but I’ll throw in my own life example as one final cautionary tale.
A couple of weeks ago the boyfriend and I had a date day that resulted in a very cute picture of us, if I do say so myself. I told him I was debating posting it, along with the caption I had in mind, but that maybe I shouldn’t because it “isn’t on brand for me.” After his excessive eye-rolling and what I’m sure was an internal debate if he should break up with me then and there stopped, I gave in to my initial sharing urge and bit the bullet.
I know. I’m as awful as those who came before me. And what’s worse is that I recognized that it was happening and chose to ignore my instinctive reaction of slight repulsion because I’m a garbage person.
You may be reading this and thinking to yourself that this will never happen to you. That you are too smart and self-aware to contribute your own romantic bullshit to the constantly updating timelines, posts, and newsfeeds you see every day. But I’m here to tell you that it happens to the best of us whether you intended it to or not.
So why do we let this happen? (Queue up those clichéd phrases I mentioned earlier.)
Love, that’s why.
They say love makes us do crazy things. And one of those crazy things just happens to be the undeniable urge to tell everyone you know that you’re happy and that you finally found someone to put up with your weirdness. And social media happens to be the easiest, fastest way to spread the news.
Granted, I’m not condoning constant sappy updates because eww, but every now and then you’re going to want to share something cute or sweet or sentimental related to your significant other and how great things are going.
And that’s okay!
Because in the end, we all want to find someone who makes us feel those cheesy song lyric feelings that make you not care about coming across as a gross, sappy, happily taken individual online.
And dammit that picture is adorable.
Welcome to the club. .