How to Be in Love on Social Media

It's complicated.

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Maybe your Instagram is a highly curated iPhone photo exhibition of dogs wearing sunglasses, and your Snapchat is reserved solely for bee lens renditions of Beyoncé songs. In that case, don't let love derail your feed. But if your social media accounts are a pretty accurate reflection of what's happening in your life, and you're really excited about this new person, then go ahead and make it Snapchat and Instagram official.

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Once you make your social media debut as a couple, expect everyone from your mom to your fifth-grade summer camp bunkmate to have questions.

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Just talk it over with your partner first! If your girlfriend is selfie-shy, she might not appreciate you posting that close-up of you two smooching on the beach ("Can't believe it's been a week already! Luv u bb 😍"), and if your boyfriend's boss follows him on Instagram, chances are he's going to untag that photo where he's perched on the side of your bed in boxers and a tee ("good morning 😉").

Oh, and once you do make your social media debut as a couple, expect a deluge of comments, texts, and DMs; if you've kept your relationship pretty low-key until now, everyone from your mom to your fifth grade summer camp bunkmate will have questions.

Here's What *Not* to Do

'Dinner with someone special. 🙊'
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Social media moves so quickly that people tend to lose patience with slow reveals. We all have that one friend who teases new relationships with frustratingly vague photos—a shot of a bouquet captioned "flowers from a boy," a Snap of a candlelit table for two with "date night" scrawled underneath—and who will only respond with "😜" when you DM them for details.

Don't be that friend! It's fine to ease into a relationship with a few ambiguous posts—navigating social media as a new couple is weird!—but don't drag it out for too long.

What If You Make It Social Media Official and Your Partner Doesn't

Don't panic! People have all kinds of reasons for wanting to keep their personal lives off of social media; maybe your partner's accounts are closely tied to his or her job, or they're more comfortable expressing their feelings directly to you than to the world, or they just...aren't that active on Instagram and Snapchat.

If you've already posted two "look, we're a couple!" pics and your partner hasn't reciprocated, it doesn't mean they don't take your relationship seriously. That being said, if likes and comments from your boyfriend or girlfriend are important to you, and they've been radio silent on your feed, talk it out.

How Much Social Media PDA Is *Too* Much?

A quick survey of the Sweet office says: when it comes to social media PDA, less is more. One editor has an "if there are more than three photos of you and your S.O. kissing in your feed right now, dial it back" rule, while another is fine with the occasional sappy pic but rolls her eyes at couples who leave gushy comments on each other's posts ("babe that sandwich looks amazinggg ilysm <3"). Do what feels right. Some people will find it adorable, others will be annoyed.

There's a term for posting tons of cute couple pics: Relationship-Contingent Self-Esteem.

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And, if you happen to be in the "ew, gross" camp when it comes to social media PDA, take it easy on your friends who aren't. According to a recent Albright College study, there's a term for posting tons of cute couple pics: Relationship-Contingent Self-Esteem. Some people find it easier to express their feelings from a distance, which may be linked to social anxiety. In other words, those PDA photos can act as a kind of therapy, affirming that the person posting is in a happy relationship.

What About Those Instagram Yoga Couples?

We get it. You're flexible and in love.
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There is no excuse for them.

Should You Post Your Breakup?

You don't owe anyone an explanation. If you want to keep your breakup off your feed, that's completely valid. On the other hand, if social media plays an important role in your support system, and you'd feel weird not mentioning it to your Instagram and Snapchat friends, then go ahead. Just refrain from bashing your ex (or their new partner) in a public post.

And, if a friend's first post-breakup selfie pops up while you're scrolling, you are required to reply with no fewer than three flame emojis. Those are just the rules.

Erasing Photos of Your Ex: Yes or No?

Is tearing up a *film* photo of an ex more satisfying than deleting an Instagram pic of them?

Wait until the breakup isn't so fresh, and see how you feel. After some time has gone by, you might not even mind seeing your ex when you do a deep scroll; you had fun together, but you've moved on. If, after you've given yourself a little distance, seeing your ex's face still makes you want to cry or scream or both, then delete those photos! Whatever you decide, make sure that choice comes from you (and not, say, a new partner who isn't comfortable with those photos of you and a past boyfriend on vacation, six months back in your Instagram feed).

Unfollowing Your Ex: Yes or No?

Depending on the situation, it can be hard to see your ex move on after a breakup. If their updates cause you pain, then it's best to unfollow. If you're both giving this friendship thing a try, and really, really don't want to get back together, keep them in your follow list.

What's Up With Those People Who Like Instagram Models' Photos at 3AM?

They don't know that the Following tab on the Activity page exists! Also, don't date them.

Can You Recover From a "Deep Like"?

'Hello, 911? I just liked someone's photo from 73 weeks back.'

Ugh, deep likes are the bane of our social media existence. But, as cringeworthy as they are, just remember that everyone has either experienced or performed the dreaded deep like. All you have to do is breathe and step away from the profile you're, um, stalking. If you want to take the high road, stand by your actions and don't hit unlike—but, it's cool if you decide to anyway.

Flirting on Social Media: How?

Don't overthink it! Pop into your crush's Instagram and like a few photos. Then wait and see if they like any in return. If you're feeling extra-aggressive, like something from a few weeks back.

Once you've got some mutual likes going, mix things up with likes and comments.

If they respond with a heart-eyed emoji, a wink, or the monkey covering its face, you're in. A smiley face is neutral. Anything else, and you're dealing with a creative soul. Once you've got some mutual likes going, mix things up with likes and comments. Another tip: respond to an Instagram story. It's not as intimate as a DM, but it's not just a comment for all to see.

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