Dear Di

Dear Di is the Fulcrum foremost expert in sexual relations
Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum
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Liking photos can mean a lot of things, Di Daniels helps navigate the repercussions of liking photos on social media 

Dear Di, 

My partner and I have been together for a while, but they’ve started to get mad at me for liking other people’s photos on Instagram. Literally moments after having liked someone’s selfie, my partner will message me and ask why I liked it. This has even led to arguments where they will accuse me of being more interested in the people in these photos — which is incredibly untrue. Is my partner just being crazy? Or am I doing something wrong?

-Double Tapper 

Dear DT, 

Liking photos on Instagram can mean anything. Depending on the situation, a like on a post may just be a habit, and sometimes, it might be an invitation to slide into direct messages. What it sounds like to me is that your partner may be insecure about the motive behind your likes, and seeing you acknowledge other people’s posts may cause them to think the worst. 

First of all, if you like posts on Instagram with no harmful intention towards your partner, then there’s obviously nothing wrong with that. You should not have to feel like a villain for liking someone’s photos on social media, especially if it’s a friend or an actual good post that you enjoyed seeing on your feed. However, relationships mean compromise, and this is something that you and your partner might need to talk about and settle unless you want to keep having to subject yourself to petty arguments. 

Perhaps you can limit your likes to posts that you genuinely need to give a like to, that way, your partner can’t just accuse you constantly. In this case, you should have a good enough reason to have liked a post, and your partner should get off your back. 

Or, you should have a real conversation with your partner and find out what their issue is with the likes. Perhaps there was a situation with an ex being suspicious on social media in the past, or maybe they feel insecure about the people in the posts. Hopefully they have a reasonable cause that you’re able to sort through. 

No matter what the case, you’re probably going to have to explain yourself, and it’s possible that your partner won’t accept you saying “I just like every picture on my feed.” 

If your partner doesn’t change their mind about your post liking, you’re going to have to make a choice. Quit liking photos, or quit dealing with your partner’s issues with liking photos. 

Love, Di