Anyone with a boyfriend in the last few years knows what it is like when their boyfriend likes other girls’ pictures on Instagram. What to do?
Whether you catch him in the act or are scrolling through your activities page, we have all had at least one experience where a boyfriend likes other girls’ pictures on Instagram. This can feel like a slap in the face. In some cases, it can even feel like micro-cheating, but is it?
It all depends on your relationship, your man, and even who the other girl is.
Why your boyfriend likes other girls’ pictures on Instagram
Most relationships begin without ever talking about rules or regulations, especially when it comes to social media. We know what cheating is, but can you cheat through social media? Even with something as small as a like?
Well, that is up to you. You need to decide if the tap of a heart means more than what it is. But, first, talk to your boyfriend. [Read: What is micro-cheating and signs someone’s doing it already]
Does he like everyone’s pictures? Maybe he just throws out likes like Oprah throws out cars. Maybe it means nothing more than being polite. Maybe he thinks he’ll get more likes if he likes everyone’s pictures.
Before jumping to conclusions, let him make his case. Sure, he could be lying, but you need to give him a chance when it comes to social media. It is a strange world that no one gets just right.
Who is the other girl?
We are not blaming her. It is your boyfriend that liked her picture so there is no need to bully her, attack her, or even vent about her. She didn’t do anything wrong.
But, there is power in the knowledge of who she is. Is the girl whose picture he liked his sister? Is it his lifelong friend who grew up down the street? Is it his cousin? Is it his best friend’s girlfriend?
If it is his ex-girlfriend, there may be more meaning than one of those other options. So, from there, more discussion needs to be had. [Read: 13 secret signs your boyfriend isn’t over his ex yet]
The celebrity clause
Now, if it is a celebrity, you can relax. If it is someone he has zero chance of meeting or talking to, it really isn’t a big deal. Selena Gomez and Rihanna are not threats to you or your relationship and asking him not to like their photos is a little controlling and quite frankly pointless. [Read: Controlling or caring? The thin line that people love to cross]
Plus, I am sure you like Chris Pratt’s Instagram photos or Chris Evans’ or any of the others Chris’s. And, before going nuts on your boyfriend for liking other girls’ pictures on Instagram, look at your own behavior.
You cannot ask him to unfollow other girls or stop liking their pictures if you are doing the same thing. Do you like your ex’s photos? Do you still follow him? Do you follow hot random guys who post shirtless pics not the regular?
If you are not willing to do the same thing you ask of him, you may need to leave Instagram out of your relationship.
And to be fully realistic, just because he isn’t liking someone’s pictures publicly, it doesn’t mean he isn’t doing it privately. And just because he doesn’t follow someone doesn’t mean he doesn’t see their photos.
Think about how important your boyfriends’ Instagram behavior really is. In my book, likes are just likes, but comments with heart eyes, nicknames, and private messages are where I draw the line. [Read: Instagram flirting and how it’s secretly ruining your relationship]
What to do when your boyfriend likes other girls’ pictures on Instagram
Before starting a conversation with your boyfriend about his unsavory Instagram behavior, decide what you want out of this. Think about what you want from him. What is the ideal outcome of this talk?
Do you want him to understand how you feel about what he’s doing and for him to make his own choice? Or do you want to ask him to stop? Do you want to know who a specific girl is? Do you think he is actually cheating? Is there a reason to believe it?
Go into this conversation calm and cool. You are not accusing him of cheating. You are simply sharing how his likes make you feel. You can let him know that him liking random girls’ pictures makes you feel icky or uncomfortable.
You can let him know if it makes you nervous or jealous. Now, this can become a larger conversation about trust as a whole too, but if he has nothing to hide, he should have no problem hearing you out and offering a compromise. [Read: How to fix the lack of communication in your relationship]
Consider all of his behavior
Guys can get very defensive about their Instagram behavior. But once again, if they aren’t doing anything shady and are really just hitting like on a hot girl’s photo, there is no harm and they know they aren’t doing anything wrong.
When they go above that to commenting or messaging or actually taking that like to somewhere off the internet, that is when they get nervous and angry about your worries or concerns.
I do not want to tell you he is cheating, but he could be micro-cheating or considering cheating. And that is up to you to figure out. Are you willing to forgive and move forward or is that not enough honesty for you? [Read: Social media rules all happy couples follow without realizing it]
As cynical as I may be, you should always go into this type of situation giving him the benefit of the doubt. A like is just a like in about 90% of scenarios. Let him explain it and it could all come down to a simple misunderstanding.
From there, hopefully, your mind will be at ease or he will only like photos of celebs and his cousins. If you have a valid reason for being anxious about this behavior due to past trust issues in other relationships or this one, he should understand and meet you half way in a place that you are both comfortable in.
Is Instagram bad for your boyfriend?
Couples have only had to deal with social media in their relationships for about a decade or so. Before that, there was one less pressure, one less hurdle, and one less thing in your relationship.
But with the rise of social media, especially Instagram, there is more access and more pressure. In the olden days, your man would have to leave the house to cheat or lock the bathroom door with some Playboy.
Now they have real women to connect with at their fingertips and that is frightening. But with that, it should not be tempting to anyone that is loyal to you and your relationship. [Read: Cross these 13 types of guys off your list because they’ll just break your heart]
Have you ever thought about messaging another guy on Instagram? If yes, your relationship may need some reevaluation, if no, then you may need to reevaluate your boyfriend.
Instagram is something new and complicated that gets in between you and your boyfriend, but it shouldn’t destroy your trust and won’t unless one of you lets it.
If you notice your boyfriend likes other girls’ picture on Instagram, you need to talk about it. Stalking his activity and resenting him for it will not help.