“When is it okay to post a picture of someone you’re seeing* ?”
“Well, there are rules to this.” (who knew…? and where exactly is this rule book because if it really does exist, I feel like we should all be issued with a free version because frankly all these rules and games and guidelines are pretty awful to navigate and why can’t we all just be ourselves?) I suggested that we should all be ourselves to one of my friends today, who swiftly replied, “But when I am just my normal self, I always mess it up. So I am just going to try and not do what myself would do.”
So, according to many discussions with various people, the only times where it is in fact acceptable, to post a picture on social media, of someone who is not yet your boyfriend or girlfriend are the following:
1. If it is a group photo. (you, the person in question, and your pet all in one photograph doesn’t constitute as a group picture by the way, just incase you’re getting any ideas…)
2. If they are causally in the picture, but the picture is not focused around them. For example, if you’ve taken a picture of The Great Wall of China and they are causally amongst the hundreds of other tourists walking along the Great Wall that day. Although, thinking about it, if the two of you are on the Great Wall, and you’re not a local from China, then they’re obviously keen on you – because they’ve taken you across oceans to another continent to see one of the seven wonders of the world. I’m sure they won’t mind if you snap a picture of them. And if they do mind after that, then that’s a just a bit weird…
3. If they have posted one of you, FIRST.
These are the only acceptable conditions in where it is okay for YOU to post a picture of your beau (apparently and according to many).
Alternatively, we need to question why as a generation do we feel like we need to post a picture in the first place. Is it to validate our relationship? I think we need to remind ourselves that it is okay to have secret parts of ourselves that we don’t share with the world, and that just because we aren’t shouting out about it on social media, doesn’t make the feelings any less real.
Dating is a scary thing, and something that everyone is scared to fail at. Everyone has different theories on how long you should take to read a message; how long you should take to reply; how often you should be available to see the person you like; how hot or cold to play things; when it is acceptable to post pictures of the two of you. And even the people who say that they don’t play games, are kind of playing games.
If this kind of psychological game playing is something that intrigues you, then I recomend you read the comedian, Aziz Ansari’s book, ‘Modern Romance’. It’s hilarious. It actually talks about an experiment performed in two cages, each with rats. In cage one, the rats were given treats every single time they pushed a lever; in cage two, when pushed, the lever only delivered treats at random. The rats in cage one got bored very quickly, and stopped responding to the treats, however, the rats in cage two, kept responding to the treats at random, showing higher levels of dopamine (or a similar happiness hormone).
Scientists applied the same theory to humans receiving texts from people that they liked. Simplifying it, they discovered that by responding rapid fire on the keys, and messaging someone constantly, the other person is more likely to lose interest quickly. If you play it cooler, then theoretically, that person is more likely to remain keen.
I can’t vouch for what harm posting a picture might do to your, not-yet-labelled-thing that you’ve got going on, other than it might scare them off. If it does scare them off, then maybe the two of you aren’t on the same wavelength anyway. But my friend Rach, told our other friend over coffee last week to, “Keep that photo on the back burner until you know where you stand. And then let that shit go viral.”
I don’t think ‘Going Viral’ is an option when you don’t have that many instagram followers hahaha, but whatever – apparently, the same rules apply.
*Seeing means, that kind of limbo between significantly more than a couple of dates, but where you’ve not had that awkward, are we exclusive conversation, the one about “Are you my boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other, now?”