Can Taking Selfies Hurt Your Relationship?

We all strive to be confident in ourselves and project that to the world, but can the same confidence of body and self actually threaten your romantic relationships?

taking selfies

Researchers at Florida State University have discovered that might be the case. When it comes to posting selfies to Instagram—something the researchers have found correlates to confidence—, the more we post, the more we threaten our romantic partners, leading to conflict and breakups.

FSU faculty members Russell Clayton and Jessica Ridgway looked at 420 Instagram users ages 18 to 62 and found that the ones who posted the most selfies to their accounts were the ones who were most satisfied with their bodies.

And the more selfies these confident people posted, the more “Instagram-related conflict” arose in their relationships. This conflict was defined as jealousy and arguments about either or both partners’ Instagram selfies and was associated with increased infidelity, breakup and divorce in those relationships.

Although we cannot directly assume cause and effect… the results here show that body image satisfaction can be detrimental to Instagram users’ romantic relationships, especially when users’ body image satisfaction is promoted in the form of Instagram selfie posts,” Clayton said in an interview with the university.

taking selfies

Does that mean that body confidence is unattractive in a partner? Other research suggests otherwise. A 2010 study of 53 newly married couples by the University of Tennessee’s Andrea L. Meltzer and James K. McNulty showed that high self-esteem and body confidence in the female subjects were linked to better relationship satisfaction for both them and their husbands. On the other hand, low self-esteem was linked to increased relationship insecurities.

Katie Moritz

Katie Moritz is Rewire’s senior editor and a Pisces who enjoys thrift stores, rock concerts and pho. She covered politics for a newspaper in Juneau, Alaska, before driving down to balmy Minnesota to help produce long-standing public affairs show “Almanac” at Twin Cities PBS. Now she works on this here website. Reach her via email at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz.