10 Things To Know About “Vaunting,” The Latest Damaging Dating Trend

Brace yourselves, there’s another dating trend in town. “Vaunting” is when someone who’s in a committed relationship still feels the need to show themselves off and flaunt what (they think) they’ve got because they’re desperate for validation from people other than their partner. In other words, it sucks.

  1. It gives them an ego boost. Some people love getting attention from other people even when they’re in committed relationships. It’s like the affection and admiration they get from their partners just isn’t enough so they desperately seek it elsewhere.
  2. It’s based in insecurity. If you’re dating someone and you love them, why would you need other people, like your ex or previous crush, to “like” your bikini selfie on Instagram? Clearly something’s going on, right? When you notice your partner smiling as they receive a “like” on their post from someone and it seems to make their day, you might wonder if they’re desperate for attention or they’re keen on keeping their dating options open. Hmmm.
  3. It’s so disrespectful. Everyone has different boundaries that they set in their relationships. For some, social media behaviors from their partner such as “liking” another person’s half-naked posts is disrespectful, especially if it happens all the time. It’s almost like “liking” those posts gives your partner the validation they’re really looking for. This type of behavior can even be seen as micro-cheating. So, there’s “vaunting” by flaunting yourself to people for attention, and there’s “vaunting” by being the one to give others attention (which actually rubs your own ego). Both are hurtful.
  4. It can make you feel like you’re not good enough. Not only will your partner’s sexy selfies on FB make you feel like you’re being disrespected but it can make you feel insecure and really mess with your self-esteem. You might worry that the attention and love you give your partner isn’t enough for them because they have to go out and search for ego boosts online. Eek. It can really cause problems in your relationship.
  5. You end up feeling bad for bringing it up. What’s even worse than dealing with a partner who likes to fish for attention online is that you might feel bad for confronting them about it, especially in the early stages of dating. You might worry that you’ll seem “crazy” or controlling for telling them that their behavior is bugging you.
  6. The alternative is worse. While speaking up about your fears can be awkward, it’s much worse to bite your tongue until it bleeds. You shouldn’t hide all your feelings, as this can build up anger, anxiety, and resentment which will definitely sink your relationship sooner or later.
  7. Perhaps it’s a dating red flag. If you’ve just met someone and you’ve noticed on their social media that they’re always posting selfies, then maybe that’s a red flag that’s worth paying attention to as things progress with them. You might even be put off by their behavior if you really don’t want to date an attention-seeker. Who could blame you?
  8. Don’t get mad, get real. If you really like the person you’re dating and this is the only behavior from them that you dislike, then it’s good to say what you feel. Tell them how you feel when they’re posting half-naked gym selfies and getting lots of “likes” from people online. Tell them that it makes you feel disrespected as their partner, instead of simply telling them that they’re attention seekers or giving them the silent treatment. Now’s the time to get real.
  9. It could be a good time to define the relationship. Sometimes bringing a “vaunting” issue up, even though it’s daunting, can be the perfect opportunity to determine where you’re both at in the relationship. If your partner doesn’t care how their online behavior makes you feel or how their flirting makes you feel, then you have to wonder if they’re actually someone you should be in a relationship with in the first place.
  10. Dating an attention seeker is the worst. After all, dating someone who’s insecure and needs to be validated all the time from everyone they meet can make you feel like you don’t even exist in the relationship. It’s all about them and what they need, and sometimes you might even feel like even if you shower them with all the attention in the world it’s simply not enough and never will be. You know what that means: drama you can do without.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.