6 Signs It's Time to Hard Launch Your Relationship

When it's time to let the world know about your partner

<p>Tim Robberts / Getty Images</p>

Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Hard launching a relationship is the act of sharing about it explicitly, usually on social media. Unlike soft launching, which is a teaser about your new relationship without disclosing any personal details about your partner, hard launching is more straightforward.

Beth Gulotta, Psychotherapist

A hard launch is an explicit announcement that you are in a relationship.

Beth Gulotta,  founder of NYC Therapeutic Wellness, podcast host of Quiet The Clock, & psychotherapist, says that "a hard launch is an explicit announcement that you are in a relationship." She says the crux of a hard launch is that there is "no question, no mystery [that you have a partner], it is clear for the social media world to see."

Is hard launching the right step for you to take in your relationship? We'll examine how you can tell if you're ready, how to go about doing it if so, and what factors you should take into account before moving forward with a hard launch.

Related: How to Know When You Love Someone

When Did Hard Launching a Relationship Become Popular?

Hard launching a relationship became popular as a social media term after being commonly used in marketing. A product's hard launch is the whole shebang, versus a soft launch that just tests a new product out with a small audience.

A hard launch takes your relationship to the next level by making it clear to everyone you know that you're with someone, and this is usually done by giving the name and photo of that person.

Related: What Is Romantic Love?

How to Know You’re Ready to Hard Launch Your Relationship

You may be wondering whether or not you're ready to hard launch your relationship. Here are some signs that it's the right move to make.

You're Confident in The Relationship

Though it's normal for women and men to have different levels of confidence in a relationship, feeling sure about the person you've chosen to be with is the biggest sign that your relationship is ready for a hard launch; that's regardless of the gender of you and/or your partner.

Beth Gulotta, Psychotherapist

A decision to hard launch might suggest confidence and security in the relationship.

You likely feel confident in your relationship if it's one that is supportive and makes you also feel good about yourself.

Because this can take time to discern, it makes sense that your confidence will grow as your move further into the stability of your relationship. "A decision to hard launch might suggest confidence and security in the relationship," notes Gulotta.

Sharing Information Publicly Feels OK for You

In order for a social media hard launch to be comfortable, both you and your partner should be people who are used to sharing personal information publicly. This isn't always the case, and you may have differing opinions from your partner on this topic.

Gulotta says there's no right answer, noting that "if someone wants to share their relationship status then go for it! If someone wants to keep it private or only share with those closest to them, I think that is great too!"

You'll know it's the right time to hard launch if both you and your partner feel OK about sharing some details about one another publicly.

You've Been Looking Forward to It

It might seem excessively simple, but a hard launch should feel exciting and fun. One way to know that the time is right is if both you and your partner have been looking forward to sharing about your relationship publicly.

Additionally, you should want to do it just because you have happy news to share, not because it will be a validation of your relationship. Gulotta notes that it's important that you "do not see social media as [a] stamp of validation [for your relationship]." Gulotta says that the goal should be about acknowledging your partnership and the value it's added to your life.

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Some People Already Know

If it's no longer a secret that you're in a relationship because your friends and family have already met your partner, chances are a hard launch is a reasonable next step.

If you go out regularly together, if you bring your partner to outings with your friends, and if you have taken them home to meet your family or have plans to, then a hard launch likely won't be a very big deal. It will mostly just be a way to save time from having to tell those in your life who don't know on an individual basis.

It's Been Long Enough Since Your Last Relationship

Understandably, it's considered cringe-worthy to hard launch a new relationship immediately following a breakup—especially a public one.

Be respectful of your ex, and wait an appropriate amount of time before sharing about your new partner with the world. If you feel that amount of time has passed, chances are you're good for a hard launch.

You Won't Be Embarrassed if You Break Up

There is always a risk factor involved in disclosing any information publicly, but if you feel like you're so secure in this relationship that you won't feel awkward or weird for having hard launched should you break up, then that likely means it's time to go ahead with it.

Gulotta notes that a hard launch is something like a "recognizable picture, tagged and clearly stating it’s officially a relationship."

If that sounds great to you, and you don't have concerns that it will have been too soon should your relationship not work out for any reason, that's a sign that you're good to go.

Do I Have to Soft Launch My Relationship Before Hard Launching It?

No, you don't have to first soft launch your relationship before you hard launch it. Not everyone enjoys teasers or being vague, and that's perfectly OK. It's normal to soft launch first, and it's normal not to.

Soft Launching

Soft launching is when you allude to a new relationship without clearly giving any information about whom you're with. Like hard launching, it's usually done on social media.

A soft launch may be a photo of you holding hands with a mystery person, two drinks or meals photographed together, or a mention of someone romantic in your life.

Can I Hard Launch My Relationship Without Social Media?

Even though the term hard launching generally refers to social media, you can absolutely hard launch your relationship without it. After all, we lived without social media for millions of years, and we had relationships all throughout that time!

How to Hard Launch Your Relationship Without Social Media

Here are a few ways you can share about your relationship without using an app:

  • Send a group text to your friends or family members. This can include the name and a photo of your partner.

  • Call your friends and family individually to discuss your relationship.

  • Bring your partner out with you to meet your friends.

  • Take your partner home to meet your family.

  • Plan a gathering at which you'll introduce your new partner to your social circle

What to Consider Before Hard Launching Your Relationship

The biggest factor to consider before hard launching is how you'll feel if the relationship were to not work out. Provided you are confident in the relationship and you won't be embarrassed if you break up with your partner in the future, then it's the right move.

It's also important to hard launch because you have good news you want to share, not because you're seeking social media validation.

It's also important to hard launch because you have good news you want to share, not because you're seeking social media validation. Gulotta tells us that "making sure each partner is comfortable with that and respecting each other’s comfort level is important."

There is no set amount of time to wait before hard launching, but it's normal to wait weeks or even months before taking that step.

How I Hard Launched My Relationship

I hard launched my relationship by way of an Instagram slideshow post, and my girlfriend did the same a day or two later. The photos were of us together in a couple of different public locations, and I made a boomerang of myself kissing her on the cheek, which I then turned into a video. I included a long caption about how we'd almost-met virtually years ago and had become girlfriends in recent months, while she posted the same picture/video series with a short caption that consisted mostly of cute emojis.

We discussed the act prior to taking photos together, and we both agreed that it felt like the right move. That's because we'd already told all of our close friends and family members, so it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knew us well.

We were both very happy to take this step together, and one of the comments she received on her post even stated, "Hard launch!"

With all of that said, if you're ready to hard launch your relationship—go for it!

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