15 Aug DATING AND RELATIONSHIP ADVICE
Dear Rabbi and Shira,
I am dating an Instagram influencer. She’s sweet, beautiful, and “geschikt.” It might sound amazing but the problem
is my life is not my own anymore. Whenever we go out to eat , she snaps a picture. Any activity that we do, she takes a
million selfies and many times I am included in it . Everyone knows where we are all the time and I feel my privacy is
being violated. When I bring this subject up to her, she says this is her job while she supports herself through college
and I should be happy that she gets paid and gets so many things for free. I understand where she is coming from but I
am not sure how to balance my private life with this new celebrity status. -Famous in Flatbush
Dear Famous in Flatbush,
Thanks for reaching out. Part of modern life, and
usage of cell phones includes the presence of cameras
everywhere. It’s interesting to see how people have
turned these everyday devices into a way to make
We assume you don’t disagree with her assertions
about making money, and having a job, nor the need
to take pictures and keep her various stories and feeds
The point of your disagreement is how you manage the
boundaries of your lives.
One of the parts of an Ashkenazic wedding is when the
Kallah walks around the Chasan. These circles represent
the walls of the house you are building together. Walls
are important in any dwelling because they demarcate
what is outside and what is inside.
As both of your lives draw together, the question which
continues to rear its head is, what portions of your shared
lives are public and which are private. Your girlfriend
has made clear choices about those boundaries, and
probably hasn’t had the opportunity to reflect on how
they impact you.
We’d advise the both of you to have a respectful
conversation about these boundaries.
This should not take place when you are an active
disagreement, rather speak about it when the both of
you are calm. You might want to take along some paper
to help you with this discussion. Each one of you should
consider what events, activities and space in your lives
is public, what is private and what is in between. Then
share the lists with each other. Discuss which areas you
agree on, which areas you disagree with each other.
Looking at the areas which you disagree, discuss what
makes them objectionable. Examine your options
regarding each one. Must she post this picture, is there
a way that it can be done in a less objectionable way?
For example, she could post pictures of last week’s date
night, without any time written on it, or leave you out
of the shot completely. Find opportunities to show how
much you appreciate her job and her creativity, and
even find a comfortable zone where you can have fun
posing with her.
Communication skills, when used properly, can help a
relationship keep both people’s priority in focus!
Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack