Social media has permeated every aspect of our daily lives, and its role in romantic relations cannot be ignored. Social media posts have become a significant component of romantic relationships. When a couple initially hooks up, they must decide how public they want their relationship to be. The partners must also find out what is appropriate to share when it concerns their significant others.
Social media and instant gratification
A partner will post something on social media to express their excitement, relieve their anger or anxiety. It is only later that they realize how their partners and social media friends interpreted the impulsive post in a variety of ways. And so begins the potential for misunderstanding and arguments in the relationship. Posting on social media always comes with the potential for regret, especially when it comes from a place of temporary emotional intensity.
Social media and communication
Experts now say that even with so much time being spent on social media, social media has moved to the category of miscommunication. Some couples find venting online easier than sitting down with a partner to solve a disagreement.
Conversations that couples find difficult to have in person because they feel awkward or uncomfortable are shared on social media regularly. Even though social media provides a welcome opportunity to address such difficult subjects, couples who continue with this trend without translating their conversations to real life will not have a relationship to speak of for long.
When you post your compliments, love, and praise for your partner on social media rather than sharing it with him, you risk strengthening the world’s awareness of your relationship while weakening the impact you would have had on your partner, to whom it was truly meant for. Many people confuse digital intimacy with true intimacy.
Many couples’ energies go into maintaining social media, and it takes away from one on one time that they share. Couples forget that they need time and attention in order to enhance empathy, trust, and closeness. Many couples have alienated each other with their constant social media use.
So, how are social media parts affecting your relationship?
Social media induced jealousy.
Romantic jealousy is one of the most prevalent, but also the most potentially destructive emotion in romantic relationships. Social media posts spur jealousy in a variety of ways:
You might become jealous when you see that your spouse has received a message from someone of the opposite sex.
You might feel insecure when you see that your partner has posted a photo with a member of the opposite sex or he has liked a few photos of a member from the opposite sex.
Some partners feel insecure when their significant others do not post about them. They equate their ‘insufficient presence’ on a partner’s page to insufficient love for them.
Also, many relationships are interpreted in comparison to others on social media. Couples see more and more details about other couples’ lives, thanks to social media. When you see your friends going to impressive dates and vacations, it is challenging not to think about how your relationship compares.
Many couples forget that relationships are different and different couples have different ways of communicating, spending quality time together and expressing emotions. Also, it is unfortunate that we forget that what you see on social media never tells the whole story.
Social media has created jealous behavior over illusions. Sadly some are envious of relationships that don’t even exist – Anonymous
Posts become a source of conflict
Not every couple is on the same wavelength concerning how much of their relationship they want to make public. While you may want to scream your love on a rooftop, your partner may prefer for it to remain private.
Posting on social media when you are in a relationship calls for greater maturity. It is essential that you understand when to invite other people into the private moments of your relationship and when to leave them out. Not every picture needs to be uploaded, and not every information needs to be shared. And remember, an intimate moment is no longer intimate the moment you share it with the world. Before you post something about your relationship, ask yourself how your partner will likely feel about it.
The fear of finding out
Many partners have deep seated fears about their significant other’s fidelity than they care to admit. They fear that their partners are flirting or cheating and spying on social media is always on high gear. Many partners will find themselves checking up on their partner’s virtual life more than they should. They will read more into every post, photo, like and comment. Unfortunately, experts say that if you keep searching for content to feed your fears, you will eventually find it, regardless of whether the trust has been betrayed or not.
Social media posts make it easy for partners to notice inconsistencies in their relationship. Research by fox (2014) revealed that the inconsistencies would still be there, but they are more likely to be downplayed in real life because they are not as public as on social media.
Social media posts and the lingering Ex.
Thanks to social media, the past is no longer the past in the way it was previously, with ex-partners remaining an active part of the present lives. One of the potential downfalls of social media is that it facilitates a sustained connection between ex-partners. This has held many people back from moving on and investing their energies on current relationships or finding new potential partners. There are remnants of feelings long after a relationship has been dissolved. When an Ex likes your post, comments on your photo and tells you how beautiful you look, it is possible to get stuck and stop growing.
Also, when you discover that your partner is talking to their ex, no matter how harmless it might be, you lose clarity with them, become insecure and probably paranoid.
To safeguard your love life from social media, have guidelines around social media usage with your partner. Use real-world guidelines as your digital guide.
- If you would not say or do it in person, do not do it on social media.
- Set limits for social media usage in order to increase quality time spent on yourself or with your significant other. Always make your partner feel more important to you than your phone.
- Put your phone away for date nights. Taking selfies, checking to see what your friends are up to and spending the evening talking about social media posts robs you of quality time together.
- Do not compare: keep in mind that what you see on social media is not necessarily accurate. Relationships are too complex to be judged by just a few posts or photos on social media.
- Do not snoop: As tempting as it is, snooping is a bad idea. Remember, if you feel the need to snoop on your partners’ virtual life, then there is a bigger conversation that you need to have with him about insecurity and lack of trust.
- Always ask your partner before sharing anything related to your relationship. A simple question like, ‘Are you ok with my posting this picture of us at the picnic?’ goes a long way heading off arguments. Also, avoid airing dirty laundry or having ‘digital spats’.