Monday, April 28, 2014

Facebook and Relationships

If you have a Facebook account you inevitably know that one of the things that changes often on your friends profiles is "relationship status". Someone who was listed as "single" is suddenly "in a relationship", only to read "it's complicated" in a few months, and before you know it they're back to "single". Maybe it's not that way with every individual, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Even though it's fun announce to everyone on Facebook that you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, Facebook and relationships don't always go hand in hand. In fact, Facebook can destroy relationships.
What is it about this most popular social media network that drives a wedge between two people in love? There are several things, actually. The secrecy it affords, the fact that people are clueless about how to handle new relationships, and the Facebook games are a just a few. Let's start with the secrecy. I know by this point you may be thinking that there has to be trust in a relationship and that includes trusting people to do the right thing on Facebook. It's true, but I'm not talking about cheating as much as I'm talking about the little things you can get away with. Facebook affords you the ability to have private conversations with anyone. The temptation to say things you wouldn't say if your loved one was standing behind you can be overwhelming. It's so easy to have exchanges that seem innocent to you but would need a lot of explanation if read by your partner. In other words... sit down you're rocking the boat.
Another thing that people don't understand is erasing the past. When you start a new relationship with someone, the past is suppose to be put behind you. If you still have photos of yourself and an old love on Facebook, your new love is going to see it and they're going to have questions. Why is that still there? Why did you feel the need to hang onto that? Is there some connection to that person that you still have that you couldn't let go of? Not only photos need to be deleted, messages do as well. Messages that were written at a time when you were single should never be left hanging around to be possibly read by the one you are with now. Whether you were flirting or something more serious... that stuff is in the past. If you want to keep it in the past, erase it. Otherwise it is going to become your present very soon. Move on, delete the past, and start your future. In your head and heart you may be thinking your ready to let go of the past and move on, but your Facebook account needs to reflect that as well.
Facebook games can be dangerous territory when you are in a loving committed relationship. Those interactive games allow you to chat with others. Some girl or guy may notice your photo and start flirting with you. If you are single that's not a problem. If you are taken, it can be. A lot of people like the idea that people want what they have because it feels good to know that they have it and no one else can. Most of the time it doesn't work that way, or it does yet there's a line that shouldn't be crossed. There's a difference to me in seeing a girl look at my boyfriend and knowing she wants him but can't have him and having her actually flirt with him trying to get him to respond. People tend to feel threatened when someone actually comes after what they have, and Facebook games afford that ability. It's also on another forum, so there's no record of what was said. This is of course where trust comes in. You have to trust the person you are with to handle it well, but nevertheless there is a part of you that would rather avoid it all.
If you are in a serious relationship, consider your options about Facebook. You could both agree to get off and stay off of Facebook, or you could come up with boundaries that you set together about using Facebook. Whatever you do, know that there are issues that should be addressed, and don't ignore them.
Laura is a work from home mom blogger who enjoys writing about relationships. To read more about facebook and relationships, visit

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