Brace yourselves: With February 14 right around the corner, those Valentine's Day posts on social media are coming. Kissing photos, gushing captions, way too much information—people will share anything on social media this time of year. While it can be totally normal to want to share in the Valentine's Day spirit and post something about your partner on social media, it can be difficult to do without being cringe-worthy. (In fact, it can be a very fine line to walk.)
Some people are happy to share every single detail of their lives on social media, and it’s easy to let the “pics or it didn’t happen” mind-set spread into your relationship. But remember, your relationship is, by its nature, between the two of you—so even if you want to share parts of it, it’s important to hold something back, too. If you’re planning a shout-out to your partner on social media, here’s what you should consider. Trust us, your followers will be thankful.
Less Is More
First, remember that a Valentine's Day shout-out doesn't have to actually shout. Sometimes, less is more. Just by posting on (or even around) February 14, you've achieved a Valentine’s Day post, especially if it’s anything even remotely romantic. So you don’t need to have heart stickers and a kissing photo and a totally gushing caption with every detail of your relationship from your first date up until now—in fact, you don’t need to have any of those things. If you want to keep the cringe factor low, embrace some minimalism in your post.
Remember How Long You’ve Been Together
All of us have seen those totally over-the-top posts when someone is going on and on about having met the one or how their life is totally changed—and they’ve been with this person a grand total of three weeks. When it inevitably goes wrong, it’s an awkward situation all around. So though you may be totally consumed in the throes of early romance, you may want to keep the length of the relationship in mind. If you want to keep the eye rolls at bay, it helps to make sure you’ve been together for a considerable length of time before you start posting about how you two are definitely #relationshipgoals.
Pay Attention to Your Partner
When doing a social media shout-on on Valentine’s Day, remember that you shouldn’t just be concerned about the other people scrolling—you should keep your partner in mind. In relationships where one person is more social media–averse than the other, resentment can build if one partner feels like intimate details of their lives are being shared without their consent—or because they can feel like big gestures and intimate moments are just for show, rather than genuine displays of affection. Make sure you’re pitching the post at a level that your partner would be comfortable with. If this is really a post about you as a couple and how much you love, then you should be giving them a lot of consideration. If it's just about likes and shares, you may want to rethink it.
Keep Private Details Private
Some people like to chronicle their entire relationship every time they do a post, which can be tricky. Sure, if you want to write a little bit about the two of you as a couple or how much you like them, that’s totally up to you—but try to keep private things private. If you love it when your partner nibbles your ear, you probably don’t need to tell everyone about it. If you think it's so cute that they nuzzle into you when they sleep and sound like a baby bird, then fine—but do you really want to put that out there to the world? Private details, inside jokes—part of what makes these so special is that the intimacy bonds the two of you together. If those moments are no longer private or intimate, they lose their unique quality that makes you and your partner feel close.
If You Think It’s Too Much, It Probably Is
If you have a post all ready to go and you’re not sure whether or not it’s too much, it probably is. Remember you’re in the relationship and, naturally, have a totally skewed view about how adorable the two of you are and how much everyone you know wants to take part in that adorableness. So if you’re on the line about it, it’s probably too much—err on the side of caution. Imagine it’s one of your friends’ relationships and think about how you would feel if they posted it. If it makes you cringe or roll your eyes, skip it. Remember, the goal is genuine romance.
Not everyone does a social media shoutout for Valentine’s Day and that’s okay. It’s also okay if you do want to make a post about your and your partner. Just try to keep your audience (and your partner) in mind. No matter what you decide to share, make sure that you keep some things just between the two of you—and remember, less is more.