We’re not saying you shouldn’t engage in a little long-distance flirtation with your S.O. If that’s your thing, though, keep it on the texts. Or do like the kids and use Snapchat.
2. What Not to Post: Personal details about your partner.
Why It’s a Mistake: You might think it’s cute that your girlfriend sleeps with a Pound Puppy. She probably doesn’t want her coworkers to get that little glimpse into her intimate life, though. Besides, aren’t those details sweeter when they’re just between the two of you?
AFP / MANJUNATH KIRAN
As a general rule of thumb, ask your partner if you can post a personal detail you’re thinking of sharing. If they say no, honor their objection.
3. What Not to Post: The mushy stuff.
Why It’s a Mistake: We get it. You love your romantic interest (that’s kind of what “romantic interest” means). The world doesn’t necessarily want to know your secret pet names, though, not even if they are “potchke,” “fleutchke,” “notchke, “motchke,” or “little, little squirrel.”
Again, save that stuff for texts or emails. Better yet, send an old-fashioned love letter. You’d be surprised how effective something as simple as a piece of paper can be.
4. What Not to Post: A point, winning or not, in a lover’s spat.
Why It’s a Mistake: When you make your fight public, you’re undermining your ability to make up effectively. Why? Because your friends and family will undoubtedly take your side. They might not be so keen on your terrific partner a week or two after you called them a “selfish and horrible narcissist.” Or whatever.
Keep that stuff private. Once you make up, you’ll be glad you didn’t go public with your beef.
5. What Not to Post: Unapproved pictures of your partner.
Why It’s a Mistake: People are weird about what they consider “unflattering” when it comes to images of themselves. A certain pout might be the most adorable expression in the world to you. Your partner, though, might consider it his Twilight look, and not in a good way.
Remember the social media relationship rule of thumb: Ask before posting. You’ll never go wrong when you get permission first.
6. What Not to Post: Tongue-wrestling selfies.
Why It’s a Mistake: If you’re not an actor in the latest hit rom-com, nobody wants to see you kissing. There are two good reasons to keep your smooches off of social media.
First, kissing selfies seem a bit voyeuristic. How is that going to make your dad feel?
Getty Images News / Mario Tama
Second, you won’t gain any points among the lonely hearts in your friend group. People who are having a hard time finding love just about gag when they see their friends making out on a Facebook feed. We know this goes against everything our culture taught you, but some things just don’t belong on social media.
7. What Not to Post: Mean jokes about your S.O.
Why It’s a Mistake: Social media is famously bad at transmitting tone. And tone is the only difference between a flirtatious jab among lovers and a cruel jibe at your loved one’s expense.
Without the context that you share as a couple, people aren’t going to see the humor in your partner’s uncanny ability to get lost in his own home town. They’ll just see disrespect.
8. What Not to Post: Pictures of pricey presents.
Why It’s a Mistake: That’s great if your partner can afford diamonds and jewels and Apple products. Showing those gifts off on social media is a big mistake, though.
AFP / INDRANIL MUKHERJEE
First of all, class resentment is a real and powerful force in our culture. Even if you don’t make your friends hate you, you might simply make them feel bad that they can’t afford such a fancy present.
Oh, then there’s the whole burglary thing.
9. What Not to Post: Passive-aggressive notes about your partner.
Why It’s a Mistake: We’ve all seen these. “I still can’t believe some people can be so selfish.” The subtext here is, “You know who you are,” and people are pretty good about reading between the lines.
If you have a problem with your partner, talk it out in person. Throwing vague clues to the hounds of social media is just going to make things worse.
10. What Not to Post: Requests for validation.
Why It’s a Mistake: We’re trained to take our friend’s likes and comments as accurate measures of value. That’s a big mistake when it comes to relationships.
Getty Images News / Uriel Sinai
Are you happy with your partner? If so, it doesn’t matter how many shares your kissing selfie gets (also, you need to go back and read No. 6 on this list).
Avoid comments like, “Aren’t we just the cutest couple in the world?”
11. What Not to Post: Your partner’s hot birthday pic.
Why It’s a Mistake: Do we even have to explain this one? When your partner sends a racy Snapchat, that’s meant just for you. Plastering it all over Facebook is a great way to ruin a gift of love.
Remember in Jurassic Park, when Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm warns park director John Hammond that, “Life, uh, finds a way?” That’s what social media posts are like. No privacy setting in the world can prevent your nasty posts from finding the people they’re written against. When that person is your mother-in-law, you’re in for a lifetime of awkward Thanksgivings.
13. What Not to Post: Everything.
Why It’s a Mistake: Note that we didn’t say “anything.” Your partner is a big part of your life, and it’s appropriate to post exciting news or a funny story.
But if your friends know everything that happens in your household from sunup to sundown, it’s probably time to cool it on the social media for a while. Keep a few secrets.
14. What Not to Post: Trash-talking the ex.
Why It’s a Mistake: There’s a reason your partner is with you and not their ex. You’re not going to win any points by throwing shade at the last person your S.O. was involved with. Even worse, it makes your relationship look unstable.
Besides, there aren’t very many ways to pick fights on social media that don’t make you look petty and small. When they go low, you go…ah, skip it, that is so 2016.
15. What Not to Post: Ultrasound pics, or really any image of the inside of your body.
Why It’s a Mistake: Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle and all, but it’s also very personal. Most people don’t want to see a developing proto-human, not even in grainy black and white.
Getty Images News / Stephen Morton
It totally makes sense to announce your joyful event (although note that most doctors recommend you wait until the second trimester, when the risk of miscarriage plummets). But you don’t need an ultrasound to do that. Words will do just fine.
16. What Not to Post: The inside scoop on the breakdown of your relationship.
Why It’s a Mistake: Breaking up can make you crazy. Still, if you can keep at least a thin strand of ego tethered to reality, resist the urge to vent on social media.
Chances are you still share a lot of friends. Coming on too strong about your broken heart can make them feel like they have to pick sides. And if you’re the one who started the trash-talk, you’ve got a disadvantage in that contest.