I generally don’t care about social media likes or making my life look amazing on Instagram. But once my boyfriend and I started dating, that all changed. I felt the need to make us look like the perfect couple, and I suddenly became the jealous girlfriend I swore I would never be.
I felt obligated to post cute pics of us. I truly felt like if I didn’t publicly document our relationship, it wouldn’t be real. There are so many “perfect couples” on social media that I felt almost threatened by them. Obviously, no one documents their bad moments online, but even that got to my head. Seeing other couples’ pictures made me feel like we were in some type of competition and I would try to one-up them with cuteness. Because everyone totally wants to see constant couple posts on their timeline, right?
I felt threatened when my boyfriend liked another girl’s post. If she wasn’t a friend of mine, I would instantly get jealous if I saw that he liked another girl’s post. This was totally ridiculous and I knew that, but I just couldn’t shake it. I tried to rationalize it. Once, I actually started a fight with him over it. I couldn’t justify my argument so I just sounded insane. Crazy, I know.
I became territorial. Whenever he posted a picture, I had to comment on it. Yes, part of this is fun and playful, but I think subconsciously there was another motive. It made me feel like people would know he was mine. Then, when another girl liked his picture, she would see that he was taken. It made total sense in my head, okay?
I constantly checked who he was following. This was definitely my anxiety coming through, but every so often I would actually check to see who his friends were. I would question how he knew certain people and wonder why someone was following him but not following me. There are plenty of douchey guys who follow tons of hot girl accounts and he wasn’t one of them. But for some reason, I was still concerned.
If he didn’t comment on my pictures, I got upset. At some point, I think he realized how much I cared because he would try to comment on pretty much all of my pictures. But on the off chance that he didn’t (I mean, he’s only human), I felt like he wasn’t living up to his boyfriend duties. Plenty of my friends’ boyfriends comment obnoxiously cute things on their posts and I felt like I was in competition with them. We had to beat all the other couples!
I even got jealous of celebrities. Who doesn’t follow celebrities they think are attractive? Even I’m guilty of that. It’s a totally normal thing to do, but when I saw that my boyfriend was following his celebrity crushes, I got jealous of people that have literally zero threat to me. Yeah, I know.
He didn’t even care about social media. To most of the guys I know, Instagram is pretty much pointless. My boyfriend was no exception. He always documented important dates like anniversaries and birthdays, but other than that, he just didn’t care about the image like I did. This made me feel like I was even more insane for caring so much.
I still get kind of jealous when I see his likes. Obviously, just because he likes a girl’s picture doesn’t mean there’s something going on between them, but something inside of me just won’t let it go. My mind tells me that the girl instantly feels pity for me for having such a horrible boyfriend. I can’t really explain it—I think it’s just something I have to work on.
My boyfriend thought I was crazy. After constantly questioning his likes and followers on Instagram, he got paranoid. Because I was always nitpicking about what he did, he felt like every move he made was wrong. I felt horrible for making him question himself like that, but at the same time, I was justifying it. I thought it was better to allow myself to speak my mind, no matter how insane I sounded.
I don’t think guys will ever really understand how we feel. In our society, image is everything and in general, it really means a lot to most girls. Guys just don’t get that when they like a girl’s bikini pic, even if they’re just friends, it kinda looks bad. It’s not the end of the world and I have to realize that. Guys just think totally different from us girls, and that’s OK.
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