Many believe in the concept of the ‘evil eye’. This superstition suggests that individuals can inflict harm on others through a malevolent gaze fuelled by envy or negativity. This belief is particularly prevalent in relationships, where the jealousy or ill intentions of others are thought to bring about misfortune, which consequently jeopardises the couple’s happiness. While not everyone may fully embrace this idea, there is often a subtle undercurrent of concern among individuals who fear that openly celebrating their relationship could attract negative energy or invite bad luck. People often speak of having your relationship cursed when you go public with it and as a result, some keep their relationship away from social media. Whether perceived as a mere excuse or not, is there merit in exploring the correlation between privacy and the success of relationships?

I began my first proper relationship when I was 16, brimming with youthful enthusiasm and a desire to showcase every aspect of our connection on various social media platforms. This inclination materialised in a multitude of Instagram posts and stories capturing the essence of our relationship, ranging from adorable lunch dates to summer picnics. My ex, particularly fond of documenting our experiences, would bring her digital camera to our dates, creating a visual chronicle of our time together. Consequently, my Instagram feed became an overflowing repository of our shared experiences, to the extent that one might assume she was my sole companion – and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. 

My social media presence served as an unambiguous testament to my glorious relationship status and so I took pride in the visibility of our connection. Convinced that we were destined for a lifelong partnership, I continued to flood my Instagram with pictures of us, amassing nearly 50 posts over the course of our year and a half together. Whilst I acknowledge the charm of those photos and cherish the memories they encapsulate, the aftermath of our inevitable breakup presented a challenge. How was I going to delete all those photos? Wouldn’t everybody be aware that I was now single again? Surely this was information that I didn’t exactly want everybody knowing about. 

Admittedly, I am no stranger to the practice of Instagram stalking to discern the relationship status of others. I’ve found myself curiously snooping on acquaintances from school, scrutinising their profiles for any signs of a vanished relationship – much like my own. I recognise now that I may have shared too much online. I became too  preoccupied with the external appearance of our connection rather than addressing the underlying concerns that lay beneath the surface. on. I observed how people became consumed by celebrity relationships and realised the damaging notion that appearance mattered more than genuine connection.

I’ve come to appreciate the distinction between public and private relationships, understanding that privacy is not synonymous with secrecy. People should feel free to celebrate their relationships by sharing enjoyable photos and excitedly recounting their dates and adventures. However, I now recognise the value in keeping certain aspects of the relationship intimate, avoiding the loud announcement of problems or divulging details that are better left in private. Instead, addressing these issues through personal conversations is guaranteed to foster a more genuine connection.

This isn’t to say that intentionally deceiving others about your relationship status or hiding it from view is the best course of action. Influencers, in particular, are known for oversharing details about their relationship for dramatic effect, stirring up controversy and drama in return to views. While I may not have gone to that extreme, I do reflect on the level of publicity I gave my last relationship. Consequently, I’ve decided that if I want to be open about my relationship, I should do so in person. I have come to appreciate the genuineness that comes with not worrying about how I will be perceived, but rather to enjoy my relationship for what it is. 

I still love capturing moments with my boyfriend and documenting our relationship, but I now prefer sharing these photos with friends and family rather than being concerned about whether they’re “Instagram-friendly” or not. This freedom allows me to cherish the authenticity of our connection without the unnecessary pressure of projecting a certain image on social media. Clearly it must be working, since my relationship has lasted nearly double the time of my last relationship. It’s about finding a balance that respects the intimacy of the connection while still celebrating and sharing the joyous moments with those closest to me.