The Pros and Cons of “Hard Launching” Your Relationship

5 min read
Afif Ramdhasuma / Unsplash

Source: Afif Ramdhasuma / Unsplash

Sharing your photos, updates and statuses about your relationship online can be a great way to make a relationship official. Research shows that posting your relationship on social media can enhance a sense of connectedness between you and your partner.

If you’re keen on making your relationship public on social media, you have two options: “soft launching” and “hard launching.” These refer to the act of showing your relationship with your partner off on social media, but they differ in terms of explicitness.

Soft launching entails posting your relationship while keeping the details of it private—usually faceless photos of you and your partner with no tag or mention of them. While this can be a great way to make a budding relationship known without over-displaying it, soft launching can also make your partner feel insecure about the steadiness of your relationship.

On the other hand, hard launching entails full disclosure of who your partner is and the extent of your relationship with them. This would be, for instance, posting selfies together, having them in your profile picture or including their name in your bio or relationship status.

If you’re working towards a hard launch of your relationship on social media, here are two pros and cons to consider before clicking “post.”

Cons: Pressure and Jealousy

The book The Psychology of Social Networking explains how differences in perceptions of privacy and appropriateness—as well as “techno-incompatibility,” which refers to a mismatch in how you and your partner use social media—can become a source of conflict between partners in terms of posting a relationship online.

Techno-incompatibility may arise if, for instance, your partner uses social media much less than you do, or if they favor different platforms. Because of this, they may feel pressured to change their posting habits to please you or match your energy. For a person who uses social media rarely, this change in routine can feel inconvenient or even burdensome.

Additionally, if your partner holds different values regarding what should be kept private within a relationship, a hard launch could potentially make them uncomfortable. For some, public displays of affection, like hard launches, could make them feel exposed, awkward or self-conscious.

If your partner has different feelings regarding privacy in your relationship, it might be best to have a conversation with them before committing to a hard launch. Asking them early on about what they’d prefer to keep private can save you from an argument down the road, and respecting this boundary of theirs can show them your commitment and compassion.

In terms of techno-incompatibility, research shows that jealousy may arise when one partner posts their relationship and the other doesn’t. If you and your partner feel differently about posting frequently about your relationship on social media, this may call for some open communication about what would make you both feel confident and secure.

Compromise would be key in such a situation. If your partner has less avid posting habits, assure them that they do not need to change their routine to the extent that it adds stress to their day. However, if you are worried about your incongruent posting habits as a couple, be sure to let your partner know what would make you feel more secure.

Pros: Relationship Happiness and Satisfaction

The upsides to a hard launch are numerous. Research shows that couples are more likely to experience happiness than jealousy or insecurity when making a relationship public on social media. The study found that posting a relationship on social media was related to increases in overall relationship satisfaction and happiness.

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As minor as uploading a selfie or a small appreciation post may seem, this kind of hard launching can act as a signal of commitment to your relationship, and it can show your partner that you’re not afraid to show the world your affection for them.

However, the study does provide an important caveat: By oversharing on social media, you may intensify relationship insecurities. Public displays of potentially jealousy-inducing events can be particularly detrimental for those with low self-esteem and a high need for popularity, leading to heightened feelings of jealousy or inadequacy. When it comes to hard launching, be sensitive to how your partner may take it, and proceed only if they seem like the type to appreciate such gestures.

A study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science also found that couples who shared profile pictures felt more secure and closer to each other. The authors suggested that sharing the same profile picture (like a selfie together) acts as an important marker of interconnectedness in a relationship.

Though seemingly straightforward, a simple selfie that both you and your partner use as a profile picture can show the public—and your partner—that you’re unashamed about your relationship with one another.

On top of this, research also shows that going official on social media is considered a landmark in a relationship, with one respondent of the study referring to it as a “kind of ring” that you and your partner can wear. The simple act of naming your partner in your Facebook relationship status or including their handle in your Instagram bio can act as a declaration of commitment to them.


As much as it may seem like a casual act, sharing your relationship on social media is a modern-day declaration of love, both online and offline. A hard launch is like putting a tangible “commitment ring” on your relationship, making it real in the digital and physical worlds. While it might bring some initial challenges, these are easily overcome by open communication, respecting boundaries and a calibration of relationship expectations. If it’s right for you and your partner, hard launches often lead to more happiness and satisfaction, making it clear to both your partner and the world how committed you are.

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