dating

Ask Sean: "My boyfriend won’t stop liking photos of random girls in bikinis.”

When it comes to figuring out men, it sometimes pays to skip the girl talk and head straight to the source. This column is my advice on your most burning questions about guys. And since I’m gay, I’m kind of halfway inside your head already. Let’s dive in!

This week, you asked:

“My boyfriend won’t stop liking photos of other women on Instagram. We’re in a stable, monogamous relationship, but he’s always liking photos of random girls in bikinis. It makes me feel embarrassed because I know other people might see it, and think there’s something wrong with our relationship. He says it doesn’t mean anything, but I don’t understand why he can’t just… stop.”

You say you’re in a “stable” relationship, but it sounds like you’re a bit insecure about it.

And you know what? That’s fine. In fact, it’s pretty damn normal. Having concerns about your partner’s flirtatiousness is one of the most common issues couples face.

But let’s get real. You say this is about how “other people might see it”. Is it really? Or is that some bullsh** you invented so you wouldn’t look paranoid?

Don’t worry. I do it, too. But what is jealousy actually doing for you?

How do you actually know if you’re in love with the person you’re dating? We have some thoughts. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC
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Jealously is a strategy we complicated humans sometimes deploy to figure out what’s going wrong in a flawed relationship. In most cases, it’s the start of the end.

If your relationship is going to work, you need to stop. Stop comparing yourself to the other girls. Stop looking at his phone. And start focusing on communicating honestly with your man.

If your boyfriend has given you no reason not to trust him, then a few ‘likes’ is more of a sign of the times, than a sign he’s a terrible monster. Tell him exactly how it makes you feel (jealous and insecure) and request he work on limiting the activity. Then promise that you’ll work on your own insecurities, or sign up for therapy.

If he has given you a reason not to trust him, then we’re having a very different conversation. You know it’s time to give him an ultimatum. He’ll throw the obligatory “you’re being irrational” in your face, but you can throw “you’re being selfish” right back in his. Make whatever demands you think will genuinely put your concerns to rest and then be open to working on your stuff too.

Social media has completely changed the game. We can see into our partner’s past (hello, high school sweetheart) and their potential future (hello, terribly attractive work colleague) in ways our parents’ generation simply couldn’t. This, in some cases, turns the most trusting and carefree girlfriends into paranoid Instastalkers.

Don’t be that person. Drop the subject. And go live your life.

Sean Szeps is a freelancer, and Mamamia’s resident Agony Uncle. To ask him a question, you can email [email protected] You can also follow Sean on Instagram, or listen to him on Mamamia’s parenting podcast, The Baby Bubble

Has this happened to you? How did you deal with the situation? Tell us in a comment below.

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