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Dear Fifi: Am I unreasonable to be annoyed when my boyfriend likes other women's pics on Instagram?

Got a problem for Dear Fifi? Let her sort your life out.

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Problems? You think you’ve got problems? I’ve got my Masters dissertation due in less than a month and not a baby washed in the house.

But seriously, if you want to share some problems with me, I’m all ears as usual. It’ll distract me from my dissertation. And help you, of course. Anonymous and confidential, always.

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Dear Fifi,

I have a very minor and probably silly question. Am I being ridiculously unfair by getting annoyed about my partner liking photos of other women on Instagram? I obviously don’t get irked by him liking friends stuff (male and female) but it’s photos of people that he’s says he fancies, or even sometimes exes that bother me.

I’ve brought it up with him once or twice before and was met with hostility so I’ve kept schtum on the topic for the past few months. Am I mad to be annoyed by this? I’m trying my best to be a fucking ‘cool girl’ about it but no matter how hard I try to let it not bother me, it still gets under my skin.

There’s a long and a short answer to this.

Look, if this really gets under your skin and he knows that, it’d be sound of him to cut back on the thirsty liking. Part and parcel of being in a relationship is being considerate of other people’s maybe-a-tad-high-maintenance preferences, aware of their personality’s wobbly bits and careful with them because you love them despite it all.

Ideally, you’d be able to talk about this in a way that you acknowledge this isn’t the end of the world, but still for some reason niggles at you – and he’d be able to roll his eyes, accept that and be more aware, even only for an easy life.

But that’s ideal world scenario stuff. I know real life relationships are rarely as simple as advising communication, because if that was so easy, everyone would be at it.

Perhaps you need to meet him halfway and examine why this bothers you. Do you believe that these likes are just a tap of his thumb and nothing more? Or are you suspicious of something else? Is the very idea of him fancying someone else what bothers you, or do you think he’d act on it? (By the way, why do you know who he fancies? For someone prone to bouts of jealousy, this is not information you need access to. Cut out those chats.)

If you really don’t think the likes are any more meaningful than likes, then it might be something to learn to let go. What I’d be more concerned about is the fact that he reacts with “hostility” to you bringing up a problem in the relationship. If he can’t handle a light conversation about boundaries and expectations with exes on social media without getting aggro, is there a deeper problem?

I think asking yourself these questions and figuring out where your head’s at is a good place to start before tackling this conversation again. If you decide it does bother you enough to raise one more time, just ask him to be sound and lay off the likes because your head is wrecked. If he blows his top yet again, you might have a bigger answer than you bargained for.

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Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

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