If an event took place and there isn’t a picture of it posted somewhere on social media, then did it even really happen?! This is deep stuff, guys. Some people feel like this principle also applies to dating. You see it with celebrity couples all the time. People don’t accept them as a real thing, until they make an official appearance on each other’s social media. Now, we might not all be celebs (the whole world probably won’t be as invested in your relationship as they are with Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’, maybe that’s a good thing?) but social media can play a huge role in knowing what dating stage you’re at. After all, with situationships and casual dating, it can be hard to figure out where you stand. So, without further ado, here are the 10 stages of dating, as told by social media.
Stalking them online before your date
Gone are the days of mystery before a date. Want to know what they’re all about? Google them, my friend! Look, it’s 2018. People be crazy, sometimes. You have to check beforehand that they are at least a real person and not secretly living with their partner.
It is true that some people take it just that little bit too far (you don’t need to know the name of their aunt on their dad’s side or that their sister graduated from King’s in 2005.) However, the first stage is filling in the gaps you feel they missed when you were messaging on the dating app. It’s completely natural guys #noshame
Posting thirst trap pics
After the first date, you want to make sure that out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. You can’t message them too much (god forbid you come across as needy! * GASP*) So, here comes The Strategy aka. le thirst trap for the gram.
For those of you not in the know, the thirst trap is a sexy photo that one posts on social media to attract attention. Just a ‘gentle’ way of saying “NOTICE ME!” Now all there is to do is hope that one of the likes or comments that roll in are from your potential beau. If they comment, score! If not, you step your game up 😉
Posting pics and adding captions to your pictures that reflect how things are going
So, by now, you’ve gotten to the stage where your thirst traps have worked. You’ve reeled them in. Things are progressing and while you may not have told all your followers that you’re seeing someone, they’ll soon be able to tell by your Instagram captions. That’s right, this is where you turn into a poet/amateur wordsmith.
If you’re feeling the love, cue a dreamy caption that’s all hearts and flowers. When you’re having an argument about them turning into a commitment-phobe overnight, cue the passive aggressive captions. Let’s not forget the Facebook status that are meant to seem vague, but are actually aimed at them. Yup, you’re now THAT person…
When they make a partial guest appearance in you Insta/Snapchat story
Ah, is there anything more fulfilling then seeing how many people have watched your Instagram/Snapchat story?! Anyone can like your Instagram post anytime they like, but watching your story? That requires an immediate interest. It’s all about the now, so when the person you’re seeing makes a guest appearance, you better believe someone will notice.
It might be a partial strong looking arm or a side profile with a lot of curly hair, but it’s for sure features that your regular watchers will notice. What’s more? You’ll want them to notice. It’s your way of testing out the waters because Instagram aesthetic is everything 😉
When they show up fully, and regularly, in your stories
It’s official! They passed! They’ve made into regular Instagram/Snapchat stories, PLUS they’re fully tagged. After all, you’re together so much now, there’s no point trying to hide them from the world. You’re ready for your DM’s to be filled with people asking “Who IS that?! He/she is so cute! Are you official?”
Of course, you’ll have introduced them to your nearest and dearest already, but the social media story intro is like you saying to the world; “It’s getting real, get used to it!” Not just anyone makes it into the stories, it’s an honour.
When DM’ing extends to tweeting at each other and having convos in Instagram comments
Is there a truer love than sending memes and the like in the DMs? The answer is no, people! Basically, it means that someone saw something funny, thought of you and had to share it with you immediately. The next step? Taking that humorous exchange public in the comments section.
I’m talking a cross between Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds trolling mixed with Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson extreme PDA. This is leaving flame emojis on their pics, boasting about how lucky you are to have them and joking about how you didn’t receive photo credit. But please, if you do indulge in this, save the really X-rated stuff for DMs and in person with them. Thanks!
Posting couple pics on your own social media aka. Insta-official!
Naturally, by now, everyone is waiting for the first couple picture to be posted. They’ve seen glimpses of your new squeeze (going old school here) in your Instagram/Snapchat stories. You’re all over each other’s comments sections. It’s finally time. You’ve gotten the perfect picture lined up and enough time has passed for you to feel like things are solid. All you need is the Drake song lyric to match the image and voilà! You’re Instagram official!
This leads to being tagged in photos together that other people have taken and not untagging yourself (big step!) Then there’s a siege of more couple pics. You guys on holiday, just them with the light hitting them just right, pictures of them laughing. You’re really in it now when your phone is filled with pics of them and you can’t decide which one to post. Let’s be honest, you’re loving all those #couplegoals comments. Just own it, but don’t oversaturate your friend’s feed now!
Setting your profile pic as a couple picture
Now, not everyone does this. Honestly, what’s the point? Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you are no longer your own person. You’re still allowed to have your own social media, but hey. Some people want even strangers who search for them online to know immediately from their profile picture that they’re taken.
If making it into the Instagram/Snapchat story is an honour, then being in the profile picture must be like being knighted (apparently the female equivalent is called a damehood. You really DO learn something new every day!) They’re basically saying that being your partner is a huge part of their identity now. Hardcore!
Changing your Facebook status
This might be kinda old school now (do people still do this?!) Even back in my day, it was 50/50. If you go Facebook official and change your status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship with [insert name here]’, what if you break up and want to keep it private? Everyone will know straight away!
Some people go for the vague ‘in a relationship’, no name added. Some people only change it when they’re engaged or actually married. However, whenever (or if ever) you decide to make the change, best believe it will show up on everyone’s feed immediately. Make sure you’re ready. Side note. If someone decides they’re not into a Facebook status change, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not serious about you!
Last, but not least. Anniversary posts. You may mark the first six months, then it becomes a yearly occurrence. You mark your first holiday, when you first move in together, when they propose and wedding throwbacks until you die.
You’re happy and you want to share that publicly. Sometimes with super long captions that you probably should’ve written to them in a private note. The best anniversary post? One with a short quirky caption just marking the occasion and time passed. No one goes on Instagram to read your essays, they go to look at pretty pictures and experience FOMO. Save your essays for another time, kids!
So, there you have it! The 10 stages of dating, as told by social media. Going to take this time to add that if someone isn’t into social media, that doesn’t make your relationship any less real. In fact, it’s commonly said that couples that indulge in a LOT of completely over the top PDA may be compensating for a lack of actual affection.
Similar to social media, if you’re constantly posting about your partner, when are you enjoying your time together? A few posts every now and then is sweet. Constant posts and over the top tweets are super extra. Just chill. The less you’re constantly posting, the more time you actually have to spend together having a good time instead of posting to PROVE you’re having a good time. So enjoy 😉
By Jordan Enaboifo