Many people sit on their soap box encouraging others to not “define themselves by their relationship status,” but we do it anyway. Millennials celebrate weddings more than promotions and hashtag the hell out of #relationshipgoals any chance they get.
Even though “updating your relationship status” on Facebook has become kind of lame, people are still tagging their significant others in their social media bios. One has to wonder if the phenomenon comes from an insecure need to define yourself by your marital status, or if it’s just a nice way to show your person some online PDA.
The Atlantic spoke to people about why they tag their partner’s handle as a part of their social media profiles.
“I added my husband’s handle to my bio right around the time we got engaged three years ago. It kind of came along with that haze of OMG I’m engaged and so in love and everyone needs to know it! feeling,” Natalie O’Grady of Portland, Oregon told the site.
“Now I feel like spouse is definitely part of my personal identity. I’m a lucky lady and while wife isn’t my entire world, I think I ended up with a pretty awesome partner, and I’m proud to be his partner, too.”
One man explained that he adds his wife to his profile because she’s a big part of his life.
“If I’m going to say what my old jobs were, why not who my partner is? Who I married tells you more about me than anything,” Jason Stanford of Austin told the publication.
Another interviewee, Jake Underwood of Indianapolis, reflected this sentiment saying “I think the fundamental point of a bio is that it’s about me, and [my partner is] obviously a big part of my life.”
Other reasons couples added their partner’s social media handle to theirs to ward off people from sliding in their DMs and helping their partner get more visibility on the platform. While some partnered folk are using the practice as a way to show their person some computer love, other social media users are scoffing at relationship tagging as an act of unhealthy co-dependency.
Bea Arthur, licensed therapist, told The Atlantic that they wouldn’t recommend tagging your partner on social media due to privacy reasons, but there is also no reason to hate on others who participate in the trend.
“Part of our emotional psyche is self-preservation, and when things feel uncomfortable, we externalize the things that cause us pain,” Arthur said.
“Rather than being like, Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been in a relationship, or I regret my last relationship and things that remind me of it, we resent somebody showing off what we don’t have on social media.”