Five years, two months, and eight days (…and counting) – that’s how long my partner and I have been together. Yet in those years, you’ll only find a handful of proof of our relationship on Facebook.
It bothered me at first.
Every time I scrolled through my news feed, I’d be inundated with posts of couple OOTDs, screenshots of mushy conversations, an album of a couple’s 117th monthsary celebration – you name it.
I browsed my partner’s profile and there’s nothing in it. No photo of us together on our last date, no stolen picture of me with a #WCW hashtag and some overused lyric or quote underneath it, no grand proclamations of love. Practically no sign that I am a big part of his life.
He loves me, he told me a million times. But why the silence on Facebook? Isn’t he proud of our relationship? Why can’t he be like other guys who constantly gush and ogle over their partners online for the world to see?
Over-thinking about the health and quality of our relationship, I aired my thoughts to him. He laughed at me – because that’s what guys do. After teasing me about my childish, irrational Facebook-envy, he laid my concerns to rest by explaining his reasons.
Number one, he’s not as Facebook-savvy as I would like him to be.
He knows what news feed, likes and comments are for, but other than that he’s clueless. My dad can maybe navigate Facebook better than him. This might be a lame excuse for a person like him who owns two smartphones, but it’s true. And I like him better that way (so, you know, he doesn’t add random girls on Facebook and do what other guys ehem do).
And number two, because he doesn’t have to.
He says he doesn’t have to tell all his Facebook friends that he loves me, he just does.
He doesn’t always comment on my photos, tells me I’m gorgeous, or says he’s proud I’m his bae (I really hate this term). Instead, he shows me.
Like how he forces his eyes open to look after our kid who suddenly gets energized at 2am when I’m already dead tired. Or how he offers me another cup of rice without a judging look when I’m terribly hungry. Or how he tells me I’m beautiful despite my stretchmarks and extra pounds. Or how he tries to pick me up from work every day despite his erratic schedule.
It took me a while to understand that social media isn’t real life. That my absence on his Facebook page doesn’t mean he lacks interest in me in real life.
Virtual likes and hearts certainly don’t validate (or invalidate) his feelings for me.
But before serial posters stone me to death, let me be clear: if you like to post about your partner broadcasting time and time again how much you love them, go ahead! Make your day! I am not here to call you out for over sharing about your relationship (although sometimes it does get annoying). My point is to dispel the idea that those who are not as loud about their relationship online aren’t as in love with their partners.
Some of us just aren’t comfortable with everybody knowing our business, but that doesn’t mean we care for our partners any less.
It’s just that unlike most couples, we connect better when we disconnect.