I met my boyfriend Steven four years ago when we worked at a part-time retail job together. He was nice and sweet, always walking people to their cars at night or making sure they got home safe after having one too many drinks.
I developed a crush quickly, but there was just one little thing giving me pause: He had (and still has) zero social media presence. I’m talking no Instagram, no Twitter, no Snapchat, and no TikTok. Nada.
As someone who lives and breathes celebrity drama and viral TikTok sounds, this was new to me. Was he hiding a secret wife? Kids? Felonies? I wasn’t sure. But despite all my friends saying this was a major red flag, I decided to get to know Steven without the help of social media. And honestly, it was really refreshing.
I never posted a selfie in hopes he’d respond with a fire emoji, I wasn’t religiously checking his Snap score to see when it went up, and I couldn’t see when he was “last active” on Facebook. I just got to know him organically, literally one date after another. And after all the time we spent together, I didn’t need to stalk him on my social feeds to know he was my person.
Now I know it sounds like a gamble, but having a no-social-media boyfriend for more than three years now has been the best? thing? ever? And I literally wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s why it’s actually the move:
1. The “this is him” picture I showed my friends when we began dating was a photo I actually took—not a terribly-filtered photo from his Facebook uploaded in 2013. “Nope, sorry! He doesn’t have an Instagram for you to stalk, please accept this perfectly lit photo I took of him instead.”
2. He’s blissfully ignorant about who Trisha Paytas and Caroline Calloway are, and that is actually quite the blessing. Sweet, sweet boy. If I could go back and unlearn the extensive knowledge I have on these two, I would.
3. I’ve never had to compete with the likes of Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid. I’m his only double-tap (innuendo fully intended).
4. I don’t have to explain or rationalize why I rarely post him on my social media. I’ve spent too many years carefully curating my brand! I’m the main character of my IG page and there’s nothing better than knowing that will never cause a fight because he literally does not care—like, at all.
5. He’s completely unaware that most of the restaurants we go to are because of my favorite IG account. Deuxmoi’s Sunday spotted celeb recap is a game changer and makes me look like a total Yelp expert—without having to do any of the work. Because if Zendaya goes to this restaurant, you know the food must be *chef’s kiss*.
6. Explaining to people that I keep my relationship private helps fuel my main character complex. Over the last year, people began to soft-launch their relationship by posting untagged Snaps of their partner’s hands or their back toward the camera, obviously making this mystery person way more alluring. Yet I have been doing this for years. Am I...better than everyone?
7. It’s honestly so fun to explain to my boyfriend the meme behind my silly little words. Please enjoy the visual of me replaying the video of Elmo saying “balsamic vinegar” over and over again.
8. I can pretend like I came up with Emily Mariko’s iconic salmon rice bowl recipe all by myself. As Kourtney Kardashian would say, I’m, like, a self-taught genius.
9. We’re able to avoid so many fights that could only stem from social media. No, I don’t get mad that he doesn’t post me online because, hi, he doesn’t post anything online.
10. There’s no jealousy over actually innocuous guys’ night out pics. In previous relationships, I’d spiral if I caught even the slightest glimpse of a woman hanging around my dude—even if literally meant nothing. But now? Zero pics or videos to obsess over. Out of sight, out of mind.
11. His confidence has rubbed off on me. Social media can be fucking toxic. It’s so easy to find myself scrolling on some influencer’s feed wishing I had their clothes or even their life. I’m grateful I have someone who can snap me out of it and remind me that Instagram is a highlight reel, not real life.
12. I have someone to remind me that my food is getting cold when I’m 20 photos deep in food-blogger mode. My friends and I have foolishly spent longer than I wish to admit trying to snap a cute pic of our meal or drinks, only for the meal to not taste as good by the time we’re done.
13. He and I don’t see bits and pieces of each other’s day online, which makes our nights even more special. While we might have a quick call or text here and there, nothing beats being able to come home and actually describe what my day was like instead of having him seeing it online first.