There was a time when Instagram power couples were the ultimate social media goal, but now there’s a new movement of partner preference: the offline boyfriend.
For most avid social media users, shameless stalking is the first step to any blossoming relationship. Yes, this may sound creepy to those disconnected from the online world, but Instagram is the modern-day research tool. You can get a snapshot of the type of person they are – all from a quick flick through the app.
After all, we are human.
Initially, a man with no – or little – social media presence may raise a few suspicions and frustrations, especially with the domination of the online world: What is he hiding? Who is he hiding? Why doesn’t he have social media? Is his occupation legitimate?
But, the pros of dating an ‘offline man’ arguably outweigh the cons. Not only can their inactivity prompt an organic connection and lead to more thought-evoking and insightful conversations, but you’re not faced with ick-worthy gym toilet selfies, nor are you sold the social media version of them.
The concept has even turned into a viral TikTok post:
Why is everyone obsessed with having an ‘offline’ boyfriend right now? @lauraepitcher investigates. #normcore #bellahadid #loggingoff
There’s something nice about a man who doesn’t care about social media and values his privacy – their mystery makes them that little bit more attractive and alluring. This prompts us to create our own fantasy that they use their time much more productively, rather than aimlessly scrolling through social media for hours on end like the rest of us.
Not to mention, the level of privacy is unmatched and it takes away the pressure of living up to the social media standard of relationships. Clarissa Silva, Behavioral Scientist, Relationship Coach and Creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method said, “We are an immediate gratification culture, but our needs aren’t being completely met when we scan, swipe, compare, and dismiss.
“This cycle of frustration is leading to the ‘offline boyfriend’ trend and a greater focus on evaluating partners for more long-term compatibility and co-creation vs ‘living for likes’ or ‘doing it for the gram.’”
“What you will mostly see are curated and filtered posts that only highlight unrealistic images of what a relationship is,” sex and behavioural therapist Chamin Ajjan, M.S., LCSW, A-CBT adds.
“You may begin to feel jealous of how much someone posts about their partner and feel resentment toward your partner for not doing the same,” Ajjan says. “The lifestyles you are scrolling through may change how satisfied you are in your relationship because they seem to be better than what you have.”
It may seem a creepy ‘turn on’, but it looks as though we’re entering the era of the unplugged man. We’re not alone in the search for the man with mystique. Ironically, a scroll through Twitter will tell you just that with the hundreds of tweets.