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2 Tips Before "Soft-Launching" Your Romance on Social Media

The soft launch shouldn’t be hard on either of you.

Vladimir Fedotov / Unsplash
Vladimir Fedotov / Unsplash

"Soft-launching," a common marketing term that has found its way into the modern dating lexicon, has become a popular trend on social media, wherein young couples are dropping hints to suggest that they might be dating someone new without publicly stating whom.

Best understood as a "teaser" for a new relationship, soft-launching is helping couples celebrate their relationships online, without the pressure of announcing a new relationship themselves or putting their partners through unwarranted scrutiny by one’s friends or family. For couples in long-distance relationships, soft launches might even provide an extra layer of reassurance as an innocent token of respect and acknowledgment of your budding relationship.

But, despite good intentions, this seemingly harmless activity might not be the best idea for certain couples. If you are considering soft-launching your partner, here are two things to consider before you go ahead and click "post."

1. Attachment styles matter.

While the vagueness inherent to being soft-launched can trigger feelings of insecurity for anyone, this jolt might be more pronounced for partners with anxiety or an insecure attachment style.

For instance, anxious-attached individuals crave constant reassurance of love and commitment, according to a review article published in Nature. It is possible that a person with this type of attachment style sees a soft launch as their partner’s unwillingness to go all-in with a "hard launch."

The review paper also underscores an avoidant-attached individual’s distrust and assertion of autonomy. Such a person might find the idea of a soft launch needlessly revelatory or performative.

You must consider the needs of your partner and their tolerance for social media attention, no matter how subtly you reveal the details of your relationship online. This will help you understand their boundaries not just on social media but also within your relationship dynamic.

2. Know your "why."

While pampering your partner with a display of affection or sharing your excitement with others might look like an innocent expression of nascent-stage love, it can be equally tempting to lean into this intention for other, less ideal reasons.

Indirect and mysterious, a soft launch sometimes lacks the resoluteness of a "hard launch" and opens up avenues of speculation about your relationship status or your partner at the click of a button.

One study conducted by the Pew Research Center finds that roughly half of social media users check up on their exes on social media—making soft-launches a potential tool to trigger responses like jealousy from specific people in your network.

Certain types of online displays might even be consciously or unconsciously invoked to overcompensate for a less satisfying relationship, or used as a way to aestheticize your life and show it off to others. Research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships more visible.

The bottom line is: Reasons can be plenty, but if you are feeling unsure about your intentions, it might be a good idea to put the post on hold, ask yourself "why," and then make a mindful decision that resonates with you and safeguards your best interests, while also staying considerate of others being affected by it.


Ultimately, social media is just a sliver of what goes on behind the screens—making it critical for couples to, when in doubt, talk it out. In fact, a 2021 study links increased Instagram activity to a decrease in relationship satisfaction. It also reasserts the widely accepted notion that making daily sacrifices for your relationship partner has a positive impact on relationship satisfaction and decreases the likelihood of conflict and negative outcomes.

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