“I don’t hide the fact that I am married (if someone asks then I will say “yes”) I do have a firm boundary between my personal life and my twitch life,” Endless Skye said. “I feel like it’s a slippery slope mixing the two together so I just prefer to keep it separate from business.”
While some casters may begin on Twitch without disclosing their status, experiences on the platform sometimes change their minds. One self-care Twitch streamer I spoke to, Jessica Richey, told me that she initially hid her relationship because seasoned casters advised her to do so, and because early fan interactions scared her.
“I had one viewer, after my fiance (at the time) came home and rubbed my shoulders, ask if that was my partner,” she recounted. “When a few regular, loyal viewers affirmed the question, the first viewer got upset and said I was leading people on by not being upfront about my relationship status (it just didn’t come up when that viewer was in the live chat.) I hid it out of fear afterwards of pushing potential viewers away after that encounter.”
Nowadays, Richey is more upfront about her marriage, and simply bans jerks who go too far in her Twitch chat. “I felt like I was hiding a huge part of my life that I love, and it felt disingenuous to my viewers, and disrespectful of my husband.”
Sometimes, being in a relationship presents a content opportunity for couples who don’t mind performing parts of their relationship for the camera
Many streamers described different levels of comfort regarding what they share on stream. But others fear that being too open could betray the trust of people they care about. Even so, most streamers can’t forego personal details altogether – and some don’t want to.
I knew this would be the case when I first started, that I would likely get less support, but I think in some ways, I’m more supported by people who value and respect solid relationships
“Romantic relationships are a huge part of life and I’ve always wanted to introduce boyfriends to my community the same way I’d introduce a new partner to a group of friends,” says Twitch partner Meghan Kaylee. Regardless, she said, “it’s very important to ensure that you have private, intimate moments that exist only between you and your significant other, to keep those elements of the relationship special.”
Still, Kaylee found that after she broke up with a particular boyfriend, she felt she had to put out a statement to her community explaining some of what had happened. That way, she reasoned, she wouldn’t have to explain her ex’s sudden disappearance from the stream. A vocal minority wanted her to share more than she was willing to, which was uncomfortable, but some good still came out of it.
“I had a viewer who went through a hard breakup shortly after I did, and I felt that I was able to give them good advice that they perceived as genuine because they knew I had recently gone through something similar,” Kaylee said. “Sharing the ups and downs of your life shows your audience that you are real and genuine, just as they are. It makes it easier to connect with them on a personal level.”
“New male viewers will join the stream, see my info section where it states, ‘Relationship Status: Happily Married”, and leave after making a comment like, ‘Oh, she’s married. Abort’, or ‘She’s married, I’m leaving!’, As if the fact that I’m married changes my content at all,” she said. “It’s very unlikely even a single streamer is going to have a relationship with a viewer anyway, but it’s almost like they need that possibility to be open for them to enjoy the stream more. For them, it’s no fun to watch a stream of a happily married woman. ”