Think about the last time you posted a couple photo online. You probably spent 10 minutes crafting the cutest caption, feeling kilig the whole time. And it's not just you: Your partner probably had butterflies in their stomach, too.
We've actually asked some guys why they're into sharing their sweet moments on social, and as expected, they had different reasons. If your relationship is a big part of your life, posting couple photos online is an easy way of keeping friends and family updated. Your feed can also act as a virtual scrapbook, a timeline of your relationship milestones.
Well, new research published by Kori Krueger and Amanda Forest found another reason why people post couple photos, and that's to protect their relationship.
They conducted a survey with 236 Facebook users who are in committed relationships and looked at how they're posting activity. To determine how they protect their relationship, the researchers also asked the participants how much they agreed with statements like "I want to discourage any romantic or sexual interest from others" and "I want to avoid someone else potentially stealing my romantic partner from me."
Considering how easy it is to ~connect~ with someone online—even with people who aren't in your network—it's entirely possible to find other romantic partners (yes, this is a more professional way of saying "sliding into your DM"). But having super cute couple photos is a way of signaling to potential threats that you're taken. The same goes for whoever you're dating. 'Pag nakita ng iba yung pictures niyo, it's also a way of letting them know that your partner is already in a relationship.
Krueger and Forest did another experiment, this time to test if potential rivals get the hint when couples display their relationships on social. The researchers presented 224 participants with profiles: half of the profiles indicated they were taken (relationship status, couple pics, status update mentioning their boo), and the other half didn't. Apparently, the participants thought that those with relationship displays seemed content and not open to advances.
According to Psychology Today, there is one factor the researchers didn't cover, though: Who's more likely to find these relationship displays necessary? Are they the people who are worried about or feeling insecure in their relationships? Or those who want other people to back off because they want their partners to feel secure?
What do you think?
Source: Psychology Today
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.