Do you ever feel like dating in 2019 is more of a team sport than a two-person game? For anyone even moderately engaged in the world of social media, it can sometimes feel like keeping anything private is next to impossible, especially if you actually enjoy posting an occasional photo on Facebook or quick video on Instagram. I love a good IG story as much as the next guy and share quite a bit of my life, but my nearly seven year relationship would not exist if my boyfriend and I shared EVERYTHING with our 80,000 followers.
We live and work in Hollywood, which adds all sorts of pressure to post engaging content frequently, but he’s a southern boy at heart and at the end of the day, I’m really just a small town boy who happens to be chasing his dreams in La La Land. We’re very aware that our lives are not the norm for most, but our relationship does require the same sort of love, attention, and privacy as any other. With that in mind, I’d like to share a few tips that have helped us make it this far as a couple.
This one might seem obvious, but with a premium on showing real or authentic versions of ourselves, it’s easy to overlook the importance of keeping some things away from the curious eyes of others. In my relationship, we agreed early on to establishing boundaries on what personal content we would post and we also agreed to check in with each other from time to time, making sure we’re both okay with what’s being shared. We’ve found that the more often we connect about little things like this, the less frequently our relationship insecurities flare up. It’s really just courteous. Plus, having private little relationship secrets that only the two you share is a great way to keep the love flame burning.
Don’t go digging.
Years ago, a friend gave me some of the greatest relationship advice I could ever ask for and it’s served me well ever since. He told me to never go digging for dirt on your partner, because you’ll always find something you don’t like. Part of being in a loving, committed relationship is trust and if you have so little that you feel the need to grab a shovel, it might be time to walk away. We’ve all had playful conversations that, taken out of context, could make a significant other feel uncomfortable, but reading conversations not meant for your eyes can lead to problems that really aren’t problems at all, but simply examples of humans being human. Have faith in your partner and give them reasons to have faith in you.
Every now and then it’s important to put the phones away and spend some serious one on one time with your significant other. For example, when I go on vacation with my boyfriend, we know we’re going to want to take some great photos to post on social media, but we hate the idea of living our lives simply to entertain our followers. So, we schedule social media time into our trips by setting aside a specific block of time to snap all sorts of fun photos, that we then save and post at our leisure. This simple trick helps us to remain present and in the moment, but also allows us to document the parts of our lives that we’ve chosen to share. The mushy romantic stuff we keep to ourselves though. (Social media isn’t ready for all that HEAT!)
In a world where it seems like everyone is sharing everything, there can be such pressure to post bigger, better, flashier content, but if that desire starts to negatively impact your relationship, it’s time to pump the breaks. Social media can be a great tool for many things, but there is and never will be a substitute for some good, old-fashioned time alone with your partner.
Don’t be afraid to disconnect from social media every now and then, so you can connect more deeply with the person your heart truly yearns for. Take it from me, the online vultures are real, but if you protect what truly matters, not even 80 million followers could come between you and your special someone.
AJ Gibson is a Los Angeles based TV Host, Speaker, Perspective Coach and Author of Flipping the Script: Bouncing Back From Life’s Rock Bottom Moments. You may recognize him from shows like Hollywood Today Live, Access Live, and The Wendy Williams Show or from some of Hollywood’s biggest red carpets, such as The Golden Globes or the Billboard Music Awards. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!