The New Way to Soft-Launch Your Relationship on Instagram

Say a little prayer for every person whose grid has become a graveyard of their past relationships. Oh, the woe and shame of your friend or acquaintance in many iterations of a once happy couple—grinning at a wedding with a redhead in one pic, bowling with a brunette in another, with the now ironic caption “Striking out.” Each square a tombstone memorializing a promising partnership.

This was the hard launch—the social media announcement of a romantic relationship in which people debuted on each other’s pages with full face and body shots, only to one day cease to be posted without explanation. The hard launch evolved out of early social media relationship announcements, in which couples simultaneously updated their Facebook profiles to “in a relationship,” sometimes even tagging the other person with a sly smiley face. This era was like watching two people play catch with a Chihuly glass vase—you didn’t know when the relationship would shatter, you just knew it would, and that it would be visually thrilling.

Twitter content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

The hard launch has fallen out of fashion, for obvious reason. In its place, the relationship soft launch. The Urban Dictionary defines a “soft launch” as “a photo preview of a talking stage before it becomes an official relationship on social media, i.e., taking photos of their dinner plate and their hands, half their face or their shoes as to allude there’s someone special in your life.” Suddenly we are all Taylor Swift promoting our new album, hinting and teasing a new era and new aesthetic through Easter eggs and oblique references.

The problem is that this delicate rollout style has now become a cliché. It is the subject of countless mocking tweets and TikTok takedowns. To post the toned elbow of your lover is to know that you are being dissected mercilessly in the group chats of your enemies.


您的电子邮箱地址不会被公开。 必填项已用 * 标注