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Why people make 'couple photos' their profile pictures, according to psychologists



Why people make 'couple photos' their profile pictures, according to psychologists
Who does this? What we social psychologists call "dyadic displays" are relatively common. In a recent study that we conducted, 29% of romantically involved Facebook users had a "couple" photo as their current profile picture. Seventy percent had a dyadic relationship status posted - such as "In a...


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"Dyadic displays"

It's a social psychology concept and it refers to the phenomenon of "I'm part of a couple!" displays on social media: how romantically involved users present their relationships online (e.g, cou...



Romantic status displays

Certain people are more likely to use romantic status displays than others:

  • People who are very satisfied with or committed to their romantic relationship.
  • In-love and with je...



Why we post couple photos

  • Self-perception: when we're in close relationships, we tend to include our partners in our identity ( we may see them as part of ourselves).
  • Self-esteem boost: displayi...



Outside perceptions

Posting couple photos and other related social media displays influences other people to see the profile owner as more likable and as more likely to be in a satisfying and committed relationship.




A toxic relationship

Is any relationship between people who don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there is competition and there is disrespect.


What makes a relationship toxic

People who consistently undermine or cause harm to a partner (whether intentionally or not) often have a reason for their behavior, even if it’s subconscious. 

Maybe they were in a toxic relationship, either romantically or as a child. Maybe they didn’t have the most supportive, loving upbringing. They could have been bullied in school. They could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health disorder.

Warning signs

The most serious warning signs include any form of violence, abuse or harassment, which should be dealt with immediately. But in many cases, the indicators of a toxic relationship are much more subtle: Persistent unhappiness, negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem, feeling like you can’t talk with or voice concerns to your significant other.

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Online dating apps

Lots of dating apps and websites claim to be able to use data to sort through profiles for better matches. But scientists and journalists can't investigate their claims, as the algorithms are the i...

Predicting romantic desire

The things that are needed to be able to predict romantic desire.

  • Actor desire. How choosy people are.
  • Partner desire or average attractiveness.
  • Compatibility: Researchers measured compatibility by subtracting choosiness and attractiveness from dater's scores of romantic interest.

Compatibility prediction

To account for research failure, it is believed that when two people actually meet, they form a shared dynamic that is more than the sum of its parts. Their individual preferences do not make up the substance of what they would find attractive.

Rekindling Of An Old Flame

Rekindling Of An Old Flame

Breakups and subsequent renewals are quite common across all types of romantic relationships and even marriages.

Falling apart and then seeking to mend the old relationship seems to be dee...

The Protest Phase

When people experience breakups they go through the ‘protest’ phase initially, and the rejected lover becomes obsessed with winning back the person who has quit the relationship.

Rejection, paradoxically, makes the rejected person love the partner even more. This is called a ‘Frustration Attraction’, and can be categorized as an addiction.

Chemical Reactions

The rejected lover experiences high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, and are visibly stressed out. These chemical reactions trigger many to do crazy things to win their ex back. Such feelings are erased quickly if the lover starts dating a new partner.

Some people also feel increasingly passionate and loving after the breakup and are more likely to forgive their ex.