I don’t know about your relationship status, but I have a boyfriend.
I think when you first read that you would have felt a follow-up sentence of, “Single people get jealous.” coming, but it won’t. I didn’t mention my relationship status because I’m bragging, but because its essential to this post. Adam (not his real name) and I have known each other on and off for some years, but have been together for 9 months or so. In this time we’ve had ups and downs that can be common in any relationship. For the sake of this page on the internet, we will focus on the specific problem that affects our relationship which is my line of work. It’s not prostitution, money laundering, or senior citizen kidnapping its social media. As a restaurant reviewer with a social media presence part of my job is to be open and authentic as I showcase the places I visit and parts of my life that surround it. Since food is a big part of my life, most of it is recorded. Adam on the other hand is extremely private and has a great rancor for social media. He has joined me on a few of my restaurant visits, held food for photos, and has been patient as I take notes in my phone. Regardless of the experience or how passionate I am about it, over time he has come to feel that the social media aspect of it is ostentatious. To make it worse, should I hope to include him in it, he feels that it invades on his privacy. What a Donald Downer, right?
Let’s dig into this.
Looking at a relationship where one person is private and the other is an open book, what do you do? You may think, “Sure you love what you’re doing Danielle, but maybe you should compromise for him.” Trust me, I hear you. The problem with that is it becomes difficult to make compromises on the dreams you’ve worked tirelessly on in order to appease someone who doesn’t value it. So if you’re at the point in your relationship where you love the person yet your blog and social media is bothering them, then there are two things you need to do. First, figure out why what you do upsets them and secondly try to fix it. To do that, I’ve listed three reasons why they may dislike your social media life and a few ways to rectify it.
 You’re Always “On”
If you’re a blogger or social media influencer, you see opportunities everywhere. You find the bright colors of the vegetable aisle so pretty you want your boyfriend to photograph you there. (Click, click) Thanks, babe. Or you may be at a event and you see someone you’ve wanted to meet. You politely explain to your girlfriend, “Give me five minutes please?” Asking them to take photos when they don’t want to or being left alone at an event is not fun. Even worse, it diminishes the quality time you’re supposed to be having. When you’re on as the blogger, you’re probably off as the partner and that will have an impact on your relationship. Sure you may be working, but for them they’re being pushed aside for your job. For someone who isn’t as in love with your work as you are, that’s the role of an assistant and not a significant other.
 You Include Them When They Don’t Want to Be Involved
Your YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories are great place for you to interact with your followers. On any day when you’re out with your friends or fellow bloggers, your social media can include anyone who is eager to get in front of your lens. However, on the occasion when you’re out with your partner who doesn’t like being recorded on your phone, like Adam or anyone like him, they’re not so eager. The annoying part for the one you care about is they’re not interested in being a part of you engaging with your following. Key words in that last sentence are: ‘you’ and ‘your’. You talking about what you’re eating is fine, but the moment you reverse the camera to their face and ask them a barrage of questions is when they’re irritated.
 You Put Them to Work
Quality time loses its significance the minute you pull out your camera. Romance decreases when you tell them to be in your Instagram Story. And date night isn’t date night when they’re taking direction from you. To the shy person in a relationship with a blogger or social media influencer, I get it. You’ve probably had a long day and the idea of taking instruction from another person when at a restaurant or on your day off may not be something you’re interested in doing. But coming from the blogger perspective, it’s so helpful! Pulling noodles upright and holding them still or adjusting the angle of a light reflector is a big deal to the person who already has both hands full. As much of a help as you are when it comes to us getting the right shot, I can admit that it’s an interruption from the time we’re having together.
 Explain to Them What You’re Doing and Why You Need Their Help
Occasionally when your partner doesn’t like what you’re doing it can be because he doesn’t understand why you’re doing it. Initially, Adam hated my social media because he didn’t get why I was doing it. It was then that I had to explain to him that I record short videos to my Instagram Story to engage with my followers and to show them great places to dine in another way aside from my blog posts. I then had to tell him why I need his help with it. Having someone hold a dish or record me talking as I eat is extremely helpful and made the process much more efficient than if I attempted it on my own. The goal in doing this is to express that they’re needed in more areas than romantically and that you appreciate all they’re doing for you. For Adam, he gets that but doesn’t care because he wants to be “normal” and to maintain his privacy. It was worth a try.
 Include Your Significant Other in Your Schedule
Sometimes the problem with what you’re doing is that you’re working so hard on building your blog that you’re spending so much time devoted to that alone. You schedule restaurant visits in all your free time and you expect your partner to join you.
You reason, “Who doesn’t like free food, am I right?”
Well, they could love free food but want to do something else. Those last two words may seem like a foreign language, but it might help your relationship if you factor your partner into your schedule. Instead of booking every evening with dinner reservations where you’ll be taking photos and chatting with the chef in the kitchen (ultimately leaving your partner alone at the table) do an activity other than that. It’s important that while you’re growing your blog and social media presence that you factor in things they’re interested in too. Doing something that’s not directly related to your work may also decrease your inclination to post while you’re out with them and as a result, it could help your partner hate your social media a lot less.
 Keep Them Separated
If explaining to your partner what and why you’re doing doesn’t help, then open up your schedule. If doing that and then allocating more dedicated time to them doesn’t help then you may have to keep your blog and your relationship separated. I would consider this to be a last resort as it is the most unfortunate and difficult to do. Depending on how serious the hate your partner has for your work you may have to do one or all of the following with varying levels of severity:
a) Don’t talk to your partner about things relating to your blog,
b) Don’t ask them to be a part of or help you with what you’re working on, and
c) Don’t invite them to tastings or events.
Typing that out I can say that it sounds absolutely horrible. It’s like you’re being forced to live a double life where your partner has no involvement with what you’re doing. But if they’ve verbalized that they do not want to be included in what you’re doing, don’t include them. Go on about your business and then be with your partner outside of it. If they express interest in your work and you want to tell them, feel free to do it but let them make the request so they don’t feel as if it’s being put upon them. Maybe with time they’ll want to be a part of what you’re doing, or maybe they won’t. Either way, you’re still getting your job done and not annoying your partner.
Now I probably know what you’re thinking and if you let me, I’d like to take guess.
After all that has been said about my relationship, my blog, and the ways to fix the two when they’re like oil and water you wonder what I would do in the worst case scenario. If my back was pushed against a wall and I had to make a decision, would I give up Follow My Gut in order to keep my relationship with someone I love? To be honest, I’m very close to being in that exact situation since Adam still doesn’t like what I do even though I keep him separate from my work. I don’t take photos of plates when we go out to eat, I don’t record videos on my Instagram when we’re together, and I don’t invite him to restaurants that I’m asked to review. It’s disappointing that the two can live in unison and I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that it makes me very sad at times. But this is the best solution I can make after the previous efforts I’ve attempted haven’t worked with him. However, should the moment arise where I have to come to such an undesirable conclusion and an answer must be made, I’ll let you know.