Is It Necessary For Your Life Partner To Like All Of Your Instagram Pics?

If you are in a relationship and you have Instagram, chances are you have strange and unyielding expectations, rooted in very little, that your partner tosses you a spare like here and there. If that pic of your iced coffee, a Chapstick and Sunday’s New York Times Magazine is languishing in single-digit Instagram-like limbo, a lot of people seem to expect that their partners — their biggest fans, obvs — will happily double-tap that shit, pushing the likes into the double digits and making it seem like you’re not a weirdo.

Apparently this is an issue that is affecting the lives and hearts of various millennials, according to Mic. Being terribly, dreadfully thirsty for “likes” from your partner is most likely a sign of something sour in your relationship. Mic sat down with a variety of young lovers, who had much to say on the politics around liking your partner’s shit on Instagram. Consider this gentleman’s experience:

Those “likes” can be a thrill because they validate our relationship to the world. Scott*, 27, who’s in a committed relationship with his partner, craves his boyfriend’s endorsement of his social media presence. “Usually it is for a super petty reason, probably because I don’t feel like enough people have liked the post,” Scott said. “It’s also kind of a public display of affection in a weird way, where everyone can see that this person is outwardly liking your shit.”

Instagram likes and Twitter retweets and faves are manufactured bits of validation, rushing in to fill a void of their own creation. We expect our friends and our family and hordes of strangers to like our shit on Instagram, so it seems that your significant other should be your number one fan. If this is the kind of relationship you’re cultivating, then great. But expecting the person you’re dating, sleeping with and eating dinner across from on a regular basis to be so deeply invested that they’re sycophantically liking every speck of your output seems petty. If you’re paying close attention to the amount of times your dude is liking the pictures you post on Instagram, perhaps you should turn the conversation inward and address whatever’s going on behind the curtain to make you feel this way.

Display your affections in other ways. Be nice to each other! Talk to each other! Put your phones down and make out while watching “Jeopardy!” Go ahead and like that photo only if you actually like it. Remember, it’s not real life.