"My forever wedding date." "My man-crush EVERY day." "I guess I don't hate him." "She's okay." "So glad I swiped right." "One whole month with my best friend!"
In case you don't already get what I'm doing here, let me spell it out for you: These are the gushy, generic Instagram captions you've likely seen a few of your friends post. It seems that everyone in a relationship is using the same phrases, and they've been called out on Twitter, in March Madness-style brackets, and surprisingly un-ironic advice articles. And the people who scroll past five "Can't wait to marry my best friend" posts a day are finally saying "enough."
But maybe that's unfair to the people writing these captions. After all, being smart and cute on Instagram is hard. And who are we to harp on their Insta-PDA? So, I hit up Refinery29's social media strategy team to find out if we're being too harsh, or if couple's captions really are as annoying as everyone says they are. The verdict? Yes, these captions are annoying, and it's time that couples get more original.
How To Avoid Being Too Cheesy And Annoying
Basically, any of the captions I listed above as well as any others that you've seen 20 other couples post before you have no place on your social media feed. Also, you should avoid things like posting a #mcm (man crush Monday) or #wcw (woman crush Wednesday) every single week. (Btw, where are the hashtags for gender non-conforming folk?) After a while, those posts get annoying, says social media editor Nikki Tucker, because they're overkill. Your friends are well-aware that you're in a relationship, so save your #mcm and #wcw's for special occasions.
Same goes for your anniversary updates. Three of our social media strategists say that they've seen too many posts about one-month, three-month, and six-month anniversaries. While your friends are happy for you, they likely don't need to see you celebrate every month that you and your partner are still a couple. "I don’t mind year anniversaries, but don’t come at my feed with your one month BS," says another of our social media editors, Victoria Tomkinson. Tucker chimed in to say that you're free to celebrate your month-iversaries in private if you want, but if you're going to post an anniversary pic, then wait 'til you make it a year.
And the super coy messages like, "I guess he's okay" and "I don't hate her," are annoying, too, because you're trying too hard to not be mushy, says social editor Wendy Steiner. You're stating the obvious, and it comes off sounding fake. Your friends know that you don't hate your significant other, or at least hopefully you don't. (You are dating, after all.)
How To Write A Caption That Won't Make Your Friends Roll Their Eyes
As Tucker put it: "Either own your shit or shut up." What that means in terms of your Insta captions is that you have to start being honest. Instead of following the couples' captions scripts that everyone else is following, too, caption your couples' photos like you would any other picture.
Your Instagram should reflect who you are. So, if you tend to make jokes, then make a joke about the weird placement of your partner's hand, or how they snore so loudly that you can't sleep, but you love them anyway. And if you're the mushy type, be mushy. But do it in a way that feels genuine to your personality. As Tucker says: "Live your truth, B."