May 21, 2019

The Controversial Art of Relationship Tagging

“An unspoken truth about the internet is that all social-media platforms eventually devolve into dating platforms, and Twitter is no different. This is the platform that invented the concept of sliding into someone’s DMs; lurking and flirting are common among singles. But despite the fact that so many users are looking for love, actually acknowledging that you’ve found it—by tagging your significant other in your Twitter bio—is a divisive move.

Relationship tagging is simply including your partner’s Twitter handle in your bio, often in a cheeky way. “Retail marketer, Eagles fan, and number one sidekick to @KatieGrey,” one might write. Those who hate relationship tagging hate it vehemently. “@-ing your spouse in your bio is thirstier than being single and ready to mingle,” says Alden Hawkins, a 32-year-old shoe designer in New York. “It screams codependency and seeking validation through broadcasting it.”

“I mostly just hate the kind of people who mention their spouse [in person and online],” a co-worker recently messaged me. “It’s like, attempting to make yourself into a power couple and then bragging that you’re in a power couple. Or like, implying that your Twitter followers would want to bang you BUT you’re married.”

Much of the hate boils down to the fact that as modern, empowered men and women, we’re supposed to define ourselves as more than just our marital status. More young people are realizing that marriage itself isn’t an accomplishment, so why treat it that way online by sandwiching it in between professional info? “I hate when people @ their partner because a relationship does not define you and is not an achievement,” said Ryan Houlihan of New York. “If you being a couple is significant to me, it’ll come up on its own.””

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