We’ve all assembled on the group chat to figure out who our frenemy from high school is trying to soft launch on their Instagram. It’s a way of hinting that you’re dating someone without actually putting it out there that you’re an item and who you’re actually coupled up with. If you want to know some suggestions for how to do your own soft launch, read on.
Start with vague captions. First, you have to build up some of the suspense when you’re starting to think about soft launching someone. You have to set the context and start forming the atmosphere. Sow the seeds of speculation in your peers by offering some obscure captions like ‘Feeling the love’ or ‘I love feeling known’. They will raise more questions than answers and that’s the point.
Show a hand in the corner of the screen. We must filter the information and drip-feed it into the hands of your captive audience. Don’t give away the answers all at once; it’ll cause too much of a stir. You know how it is, it’s always more satisfying to do the detective work and figure out who someone is dating yourself rather than hearing through official channels.
Show them holding a glass of wine. The context will be clear and people will be making connections between the previous hand presence and this one. Make it clear that it’s date night or a romantic occasion of some sort. That will get people’s attention, and make them question whether they’ve missed something, or whether you’re about to introduce someone.
Show the treats that he gives you. The key to soft launching a new partner is to show the effects of your relationship and say without specifically saying that you’re shacked up. For example, take a picture of some snacks for a film night. We aren’t talking diamond rings here, but showing evidence of the small, intimate gestures that clearly show someone is looking after you well. Instagram will remember when you hard-launched a guy who ghosted you, so focus on the good here.
Come up with the perfect date night captions. Two incredibly powerful words. I like this caption strategy because you don’t even need to have any people in the shot – the food or activity itself is more than enough. What it does, is start a conversation and get people’s minds wandering. You can make people think that they’ve missed something which gets them clicking through your feed and forming those questions. We all love to be the center of attention, and let’s be real, that’s what’s driving our desire to stay relevant and soft launch our new partner!
Post a BeReal in an apartment that isn’t yours. Scandal, am I right? This is one of those really efficient ways of starting a conversation. Make people comfortable with you getting involved with new people and environments and show them how you’re expanding your horizons.
Insta story your romantic mini-break. Insta story is a very transient mode of communication, and that’s why it’s ideal to start soft launching your partner in more concrete ways. For example, the first time you go on a weekend away with your boyfriend, you can post your location and the caption ‘Welcome mini-break’, or ‘Needed this’, with someone’s back or shadow in the picture. Make them jealous.
Show his face in your friends’ tagged pictures. We all know the difference between a profile picture and a tagged picture, and that’s no different here. What is special though, is that it shows a more organic, spontaneous version of yourself. You’re less curated when you’re seen through a friend’s lens, but it conveys the same information if you’re seen next to the same guy at a party, even if it is on their feed. This shows that you aren’t just friends with benefits when you make it on friends’ feeds.
Don a couple’s outfit. This is a great way of showing that you and your new partner have a fun sense of humor. You can laugh at each other and show that you have shared jokes. Soft launch them by posting pictures of you as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo or Mickey and Minnie, people will get the hint.
Get bold with captions. “I’m the best girlfriend” — this is a classic soft launch move, especially if it’s captioning a hot selfie or a picture of your two hands together or something suggestive. Attached to a picture of you prepping dinner or booking travel and you have painted a picture of your exciting domestic inner life. You’re giving people a snapshot insight into how you have a new lease on life – experiment with that through captions on Instagram.
Do a TikTok and include him in it. It doesn’t have to be all about him, but if he features in your haul video or life hack, it shows that he’s a natural part of your surroundings. It’s a casual way of showing the world that he’s just part of the furniture for you.
Comment on each other’s Instagram accounts. This is often how other people will finally conclude who the hand is that’s been featuring in all your pictures recently. It’s an intimate insight into your sense of humor and personal conversations, in public. It’s equal parts shameless and wholesome. It’s the perfect soft launch move because it’s subtle yet remarkable.
Start to follow each other’s friends on Instagram. This will help the world finally connect the dots and know for sure who you’re shacking up with. Friends don’t follow each other’s friends partners on social media unless it’s serious. That’s a known fact, and it confirms everyone’s suspicions.
Final soft launch on the private Instagram. When you’ve made it on the private Instagram, that’s the last stage of the soft launch. Prepare for the wave of people who will send that picture to their friends to gossip and brace yourself. Sh-t is about to get very real.
Tag their face in a picture. You can’t drag it out any longer at this point. Your loyal audience has made their own conclusions, and it’s time to confirm who you’ve been seeing. There ends the fun game of the soft launch of a new person into your life. Now it’s time for the hard launch!