Dear Amy: My boyfriend “Brad” and I have been dating for almost a year. Brad and I have very different views about social media. For me, Instagram is my “scrapbook” of memories — it’s my way of documenting my life. By the six-month mark, Brad had become the most important thing in my life, and I wanted to share that with everyone!
However, Brad sees social media as superficial. He doesn’t want to share our relationship with followers. He also thinks I just want attention from people who don’t matter — he says we should just send photos of ourselves to friends, or I should document our relationship in a private folder.
I understand his point of view. I know that he does not want to “hide” our relationship. I know he won’t post pictures of us, even though it hurts to see my best friends and their significant others’ happy pictures of their adventures. But, at this point, it’s also stopping me from posting my own photos because he is such a huge part of my life that posting photos without him seems artificial. It seems unfair to me.
After we reached an impasse, I decided that I should be able to post photos of us, even if he decides not to post any.
When I told him I wanted to post photos of us marking our anniversary, it opened up the argument all over again.
I get it. It is his face, and I would be annoyed if a friend posted a picture of me without my permission. But, at the same time, he has chosen to be a part of my life and my Instagram was my scrapbook long before we started dating.
And I want to document (and yes, even show off sometimes — I’m human!) my life.
Is there a compromise here? — Anonymous
Dear Anonymous: The compromise I suggest involves you respecting your boyfriend’s wishes not to have his photo posted on your public Instagram account. If your guy doesn’t want to be Kanye to your Kim, then ... more power to him.
Traditionally, a “scrapbook” was an actual book maintained by an individual, viewed only by the person who had made it, and by others only with permission. Instagram is a wonderful photo flow of pictures, which can tell a curated story about a person’s life — available to anyone who wants to view it. My own public Instagram account features many pictures of the rolling hills and flocks of sheep pasturing on my family’s farm, and no photos of family members. Why? Because I respect their privacy.
You could very easily set up a second Instagram account where you could post photos documenting your relationship. You could keep this second account private and only accept followers both you and your boyfriend know and approve of.
Dear Amy: I’m a 19-year-old woman. I met a guy over the summer.
At the start, he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship, but that he wanted to keep seeing me.
I wanted more than that but instead of leaving, I stuck around.
I am from California, now studying abroad in Russia.
Before I left for Russia, he said he was having real feelings for me. We’ve been together now for three months.
He’s spending $1,000 to come visit me for a week, but I still feel like he isn’t as emotionally invested as I am, and he said he doesn’t know what he wants.
What should I do? — Wondering Woman
Dear Wondering: Your guy is showing you how invested he is in seeing you. Spending $1,000 for a short visit is nothing to sneeze at.
At this point in your relatively short relationship, you should focus on your own feelings. Enjoy this relationship as it is, one day at a time.
You may believe that your boyfriend is delivering mixed messages, but the way I read this, his feelings for you are growing. He sounds as if he has been honest with you. Encourage his honesty and respond in kind.
Dear Amy: You are running lots of questions from people regarding new family relationships being uncovered as a result of DNA testing.
I am in one of those families! My siblings and I were approached by a person claiming to be a half-sibling.
Sure enough — we have a brother. Yes, this has been challenging, but overall everyone has handled this well. — New Family
Dear New Family: Every family has their share of secrets. I give you all so much credit for accepting and embracing reality.