By Thomas Whitfield
My boyfriend has become obsessed with Instagram,, and it’s driving me crazy. When we started dating he was very proud to tell me that he wasn’t on any social media. I remember him actually going on and on about how he thinks it’s stupid and just a waste of time. Since we’ve been together, that has changed significantly. He’s now on IG all the time. It’s to the point that we can’t even go to dinner without him checking for “likes” multiple times. It’s really starting to hurt our relationship because he’s always on it and not paying attention to me or us. -Male, Gay, 27
I think you need to be clear with your boyfriend about how his behavior is affecting you and the relationship. Then, collaborate on making boundaries that work for both of you and allow your needs to be met. For example, it’s very understandable that you wouldn’t want him to be on the phone while you’re eating together. Take some time and list exactly what it is that you want in bullet points (be specific), and rank them in order of most important. You likely won’t get everything you want, this is a compromise. If you’re actually concerned that he may have an issue with social media, have a heartfelt conversation about it without judging him.
I’ve been seriously dating someone for almost a year, and last week he told me that he wants us to become a “gay power couple.” When I asked him what he meant, he told me that he wants us to starting taking daily shirtless photos posed together and get a “brand” going that’s all about us. I was very confused and asked him what he meant, like what would we be selling or branding. He just said, “Us, we’ll make people want to be us.” When he said this, I felt sick to my stomach. It just seems too vapid and not who I thought he was. Over the weekend I spent some time exploring the concept online, and I don’t think I’m a fan. He thinks it’s weird that I’m not jumping for joy and keeps trying to pressure me. Should I just go along with it? -Male, Gay, 24
It’s obvious this is not something you want to do, so don’t do it. If he really wants to start a lifestyle brand, he can do it on his own. Don’t let him fool you, social media is a lot of work, and if you’re not into it, the time you spend doing it is going to make you miserable. The fact that you got sick to your stomach also tells you something: Do you want to be with someone who intends to engage in social media this way? It isn’t about it being right or wrong as much as it sounds like it’s something you have no interest in and look down upon.