What Venmo Taught Me About Relationships

Want to perform a fun social investigation of sorts? Open the app Venmo. Scroll through your feed. As you scroll, you'll discover something fascinating: Venmo reveals a lot about your friends' relationships. For example, I learned that my pals eat excessive amounts of sushi with their partners, and that a lot of partners pay each other for random things on Venmo with sweet and sometimes mysterious captions ("bikini emoji"; "dress emoji"; "winky face").

My friends won't find my Venmo payments on their newsfeeds, because I prefer to change the privacy settings to only be viewed by those involved. Yeah, yeah, it's no big deal if I pay my friend for a cab or throw in my portion of the check on the app, but I just prefer to keep a low social media profile. But it seems as though most people I know don't mind if their contacts know they paid someone for something, and I find those transactions especially interesting within romantic relationships.

We don't usually get to see how money is divvied up among our partners, but Venmo offers a quick view behind the curtain, as it were. Here are six things I learned about relationships from Venmo.

1. Your Friends Use Venmo To Charge Their Partners

A lot of couples split meals. Though I'm sure there's also plenty of "you pay tonight, I'll get you next time" conversations out there, there are also a lot of Venmo exchanges. Perhaps this tends to happen more after a particularly expensive meal? Who can say: Venmo (thankfully) leaves out the exact dollar amount of each split.

2. There Is A Price To Pay For Snuggles

And pizza parties. And Frito pies. And bake-a-thons. And something known as "massage resonance." Now you know.

3. Sometimes The Emojis Associated With A Transaction Are So Cryptic, You'll Have No Idea What Went Down

Plenty are straightforward: pizza emoji, chicken leg emoji, the ever-popular taxi emoji. But space invader emoji? Crystal ball emoji? Bath emoji? Yeah, who can say? But it's still fun to peep transactions being flung from one side of a partnership to the other in real time.

4. People In Relationships Eat A Ton Of Sushi

At least on my Venmo feed. By far the most common payment, partner to partner, that I spied was designated with a sushi (or fish) emoji.

5. People Are Pretty Straight-Up About Their Transactions

Sometimes a slightly more discreet beer stein, wineglass, or cocktail emoji will appear, but there are also instances in my newsfeed where one partner will pay the other with a note along the lines of "tequila." Well, good to know, guys. Sounds like a fun night!

6. Venmo Is More Invasive Than Facebook Or Instagram

In some ways. Of course, other than the tiny, optional profile pic, there are no personal effects showcased on the app. But unless you opt to make a debit or credit private, the app automatically posts your every move for all (friends) to see in your newsfeed. Relationships have definitely adapted to technology, and in many cases that is not such a bad thing. But that I can even see that a pal paid her partner for a concert ticket or dinner or whatever on Venmo is kind of weird, and also fascinating.

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