Written by our resident advice columnist
Dear One Love
I’ve recently been seeing a guy I met online. The other day when we were hanging out at a local bar we took a pic together and I posted it to Instagram. I noticed he untagged himself and I’m kinda hurt and a little pissed. It’s pretty obvious he doesn’t want people to know we’re together, but I thought things were going great. Is this a big deal? Do I say something?
I totally understand why you’re confused. Dating someone new can be so exciting and awesome that you want to share your happiness with the world (and your Insta feed), but sometimes that excitement can make us focus only on ourselves and how posting a pic makes us feel instead of checking in to make sure our partner is on the same page.
Did you ask him if you could post a picture of the two of you and tag him? My guess is you didn’t. There are many reasons why he might not want to be tagged in a photo (especially at a bar) that has nothing to do with not wanting to be seen with you.
That photo could create work-related issues and family issues (if he isn’t comfortable discussing his sexual orientation with his family), or problems with someone else he’s dating. The point is you’ll never know unless you speak to him (#healthycommunication) about his boundaries around posting photos on social media. And while you’re at it, this is an excellent opportunity for you to tell him about your personal boundaries and deal breakers. Be honest about how the situation made you feel and encourage him to be honest about what made him uncomfortable. Did the pic make it feel like you two were an item? Maybe posting photos with another guy is a big deal for him–it could signal to other people that he’s off the market. Was the photo unflattering? He didn’t tell you to delete the photo, he just untagged himself–maybe he felt like the photo was unflattering.
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It’s never too early to practice healthy behaviors so why not start a conversation with him before you jump to any conclusions. You can start by saying something like “I noticed you untagged yourself from our amazing pic on Instagram. I’ve been really happy with how things have been going and wanted to share. In the future, would it be better if I check-in with you first? What’s comfortable for you?” This will give him a chance to talk about what will or will not work for him moving forward.
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