It's certainly fun to take photos, post updates, and share parts of your relationship on social media. These things can serve as a timeline and photo reel for you and your partner. And it's a great way to keep your friends and family in the loop, so they know what you've been up to.
But if life starts to revolve around sharing your relationship online — and the rush that can provide — it may be time to take a step back. And this is especially true if, for some reason, social media has invited drama into your life. Or if you find yourself staring at your phone, instead of being in the moment with your partner.
That said, if you do want to share, remember that whatever you post is permanent in nature, Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. Whether you're sharing something negative or positive, she says, it can all leave a lasting impression.
You may also want to think more about why you're sharing, before you do. As Manly says, "Strive to share kindly and authentically so that others can feel and see who you are in a genuine way."
While it's OK to share your life online, if you enjoy doing so, here are a few more benefits of keeping your relationship off social media, according to experts.
1. It Helps You Stay In The Moment
Documenting your relationship has a way of taking you out of the moment. "The time spent posting on social media is time taken away from face-to-face contact with [your] partner," Manly says. "And, all too often, it’s genuine face-to-face contact that is lacking in a romantic partnership." Without it, you may start to feel disconnected.
There's a big difference between sitting across from each other and talking, versus sitting across from each other while staring into your phones. So by making a promise to yourselves that you won't get too absorbed, you'll enjoy your time so much more.
2. It Increases A Sense Of Authenticity
When you're in the moment, instead of coming up with a clever caption for your post, it can help increase the sense of "authenticity" in your relationship as well, Manly says.
"If you’re creating a special picnic outing with your partner, the energy changes from 'enjoying us' to 'documenting our fun' when social media enters the picture," she says.
By taking social media out of the equation, especially during important moments, your relationship will feel much more real.
3. There Will Be Way Less Pressure
By focusing less on social media, and more on being present, you'll also be relieving a huge amount of pressure — including tension you probably didn't even realize was there.
"For many people, social media becomes less about sharing memories and more about [...] keeping up with others," Jonathan Bennett, a relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle.
It's stressful, and yet it doesn't have to loom over your head. "By keeping your relationship off of social media," Bennett says, "you’re removing this pressure to 'keep up appearances.'''
4. You & Your Partner Will Feel Closer
Being in a relationship means sharing your time with someone else. And yet, Nothing can ruin a special moment quite like whipping out of a phone and making it all about social media.
"When we dial back self-oriented behavior and move more toward couple-oriented behavior," Manley says, "we are hardwiring in neurobiological patterns that increase empathy, compassion, and tender loving care of one’s partner."
5. You'll Have More Privacy
While you can certainly post online in a way that doesn't ruin your private life, keeping your relationship off social media means it's yours, and ensures it doesn't get muddled by potentially negative or toxic outside opinions, Bennett says.
That said, by thinking twice before you post, and keeping your partner a priority, you can certainly share in a positive way.
6. You'll Have More Fun
Speaking of privacy, it's also really nice to spend time alone with your partner, knowing that it doesn't matter what you're doing or what either of you looks like. Because when you know the evening is safe from cameras and updates, who really cares?
"Keeping your relationship off of social media allows you to live in the moment and not be focused on making sure everything you do is perfect enough to share with others," Bennett says. And while it may take some getting used to, it will ultimately be way more fun.
7. It Removes Comparison
The biggest benefit of keeping your relationship off social media? Getting rid of that nagging sense of comparison. "Although largely unconscious, a constant comparison works against our own mental health and the health of our relationships," Manly says.
Without realizing it, you may see what other couples are doing and wish that your relationship was the same. But it's important to remember that what people post on social media is almost always curated, so the only thing that truly matters is what you and your partner are doing, and the connection you share in real life.
Without the constant presence of social media, you'll have so many more opportunities to connect and enjoy each other's company, which will do wonders for your relationship.
Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist
Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating