Relationship selfies, or ‘relfies’ as they have become known, are a modern phenomenon that we are all too familiar with.
The ‘relfie’ is a way for couples to publicly showcase their ‘perfect’ relationships to friends and followers, often posting several each day with possessive captions like ‘my man’ and ‘my bae’.
Valentine’s Day is naturally the point of relationship selfie climax and with February 14th in sight, we all need to prepare to be confronted by ‘relfies’ from every direction.
Expect loved up couple photos on romantic getaways, shots of extravagant gifts from friends’ boyfriends and snaps of engagement rings, captioned ‘I said yes’.
There’s a thin line between an innocent ‘relfie’ and relationship bragging, and according to new research the latter is actually a sign of trouble in paradise.
That’s right. It turns out that those very couples who document their happy relationships on Facebook the most might actually be the first to break up.
Sexologist Nikki Goldstein recently spoke about the relationship selfie trend in an interview with Daily Mail, explaining how they have become a way for people to hide their relationship problems and pretend that everything is perfect, adding to the theory that this generation considers it more important to appear in love than to actually be in love.
‘In my job, I get to see what people post, but I also get to hear what goes on behind the scenes in those same relationships,’ explained Nikki. ‘But as I look through my Facebook feed, everybody seems to tell me they’re so ecstatically happy.’
She continued: ‘Often it’s the people who post the most who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media. The likes and comments can be so validating that when someone is really struggling, that’s where they get their up from – not the person making the gesture, but what other people will say about it.’
‘You see people who will focus so much on taking a “relfie” – a relationship selfie – and getting the right filter and hashtags that they’re missing the moment. I think, “why don’t you take a photo because it’s a nice memory and a moment you want to look back to?” Couples are taking these photos, straight away putting them online and then watching the likes and comments instead of being with their partners.’
Are you a regular ‘relfie’ taker? And, if so, what does your social media activity say about your relationship?
Nikki encourages you to ask yourself these questions: ‘Are we the same in the real world, away from our screens, and are we more concerned about how the relationship actually is, or are we more interested in how it looks online?’