I Dated an Instagram Influencer and Here’s What I Learned
Shocker: this isn’t clickbait. I actually did have a casual relationship with an Instagram influencer for a few months. Another shocker: It was kind of fantastic. But I will tell you this much—it was nothing like what I thought it’d be.
To preface this, I’d like to be completely transparent and say right now that for confidentiality and privacy, I won’t be disclosing this influencer’s name or Instagram handle. I have enough respect for him (and myself) to leave something to the imagination for my readers. From here on out, I will be referring to him as “Mr. Instagram” to make things easier to follow.
With the rise of social media influencers (which, everyone is one or by the grace of the Instagram Gods, can become one), I’ve decided that it is, in fact, my holistic duty to report on my accidental journey of dating an influencer. There were far more ups than downs, but I’d love for all the non-internet-famous folk to fully understand the situation they’re getting themselves into. So why not get into it?
Even though I can’t give you all the details, I will obviously give some info. I’m not heartless. He’s an artist, a Scorpio, and loves wearing hats. Every day. I think one time I saw him wear a hat to bed. He also has 1.4 million followers on Instagram.
This past fall, I met Mr. Instagram at his own launch party without knowing who he was. I introduced myself to him, we hit it off pretty quickly, and later in the night he gave me his phone number. Obviously, I texted him thinking, why the hell not, and asked him for his IG handle. Then I found out that (at the time) he was 750,000 followers deep and had the almighty Blue Check. Consider my interest extremely piqued. Naturally, I had him meet me downtown in the East Village the next day to go out for a drink.
The beginning phases of this “situationship”, if you will, were not so unique to any other. We went out for drinks, dinner, dates. I would meet his friends, he’d meet mine. Very normal. Somewhere along the way, I started to notice things that were definitely singular to an influencer lifestyle.
INSTAGRAMMERS DON’T SLEEP.
I’m not kidding, dude never let himself rest. I think it might be part of the whole “my-life-is-my-job” thing, but it was a wild phenomenon to witness. He would stay up into the wee hours of the morning, like 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., wake up between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and be, like, a functional human being for 15+ hours. I don’t mean functional as in he made himself breakfast, ran some errands, and made it home in time for dinner. I mean that he would brew some coffee, go to the gym, skateboard to a meeting, waltz on over to a photoshoot, skate to another meeting, go to dinner, go out with friends, go out for diner food after drinking—then rinse and repeat. All while posting consistently on Instagram. It was, in the most confusing way, breathtaking. And frustrating.
INSTAGRAMMERS DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOU.
The fact that my situationship with this guy lasted longer than three seconds is astonishing. Refer back to my first point: Mr. Instagram over here had very little time. At first, I felt extremely special to be fitting into his schedule on a regular basis. He was making genuine time for me. Later on, though, even when the time was made for me, it was shared. Shared with his friends, with his phone, with his work, whatever it was. It was never just about me. Maybe that’s selfish to say, but a girl has needs. It’s called undivided attention.
INSTAGRAMMERS LOVE THEMSELVES.
And they definitely should. They deserve to. As a firsthand witness to the amount of time and effort I saw this man put into building his brand, he deserves to love himself—as do all the Blue Check boys and girls sprinkled out across the globe. I will warn, though. I did have to kind of push him to ask me questions about, well, me. This isn’t one-sided, brother. Fascinating as you are, I’m pretty damn interesting, too. You really do get to hone your listening skills up, though. That’s a marketable tool to have.
INSTAGRAMMERS AND YOUR FRIENDS MIGHT BE A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.
Time to speak on behalf of most of the population: We’re obsessed with fame. If not obsessed, extremely intrigued by it. The Kardashians would be nothing if this were false, so no one try to tell me that this is a baseless claim. Some of my friends were really interested by this guy being in my life, too. I actually ended up meeting more of his friends than him meeting mine, because there was one experience I had that made me particularly iffy to introduce him to more of my friends. To summarize, a friend of mine convinced me into talking Mr. Instagram into a partnership with him, and it put me in a really uncomfortable spot. Cue the B-roll of me politely introducing the two of them for God knows what. Needless to say, I didn’t bring Mr. Instagram out with me a lot after that.
INSTAGRAMMERS ARE… HOT?
I won’t lie to you. I want to, but I refuse to. This man was handsome. I knew it. He knew it. That’s the thing though—he knew it. There was more than one occasion where I would see Tinder notifications pop up on his phone. We were never exclusive, but boy. Turn that the hell off and have some respect. Searching for the lesson here? I quickly learned how to be largely apathetic towards a man’s inherent need for multiple sources of attention at all times. Undeniably an invaluable skill.
At the end of the day, I really learned that Instagrammers are people, too. That might sound like a bit of a joke, but we do put these people on a pedestal for just excelling at what they do, only publicly. After everything that is said and done, I do still have a lot of respect for Mr. Instagram. He was always kind and respectful, forgoing the Tinder snafu, which is more than I can say for most guys I’ve dated. If there’s anything to take away from this, it’s that being an Instagrammer full-time is hard as hell, and if you’re going to date one, be ready to take the backseat to their infamy and ego. Those boys go in the front.