Is social media killing your relationship?
I’m going to be straightforward on this one, fam. In most cases it is NOT social media that is killing your relationship. Social media is a tool that people use to amplify who they really are (READ: or wish they were). So in most cases it’s insecurity, mistrust, dishonesty, and a lack of communication that hurts people. These traits will kill your relationship whether you have social media accounts or not. So how do you overcome these problems?
HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS AT THE BEGINNING
So here are some starter questions to talk about with your partner:
Do you think it’s a good idea to post about our relationship?
If so, what things are ok? What should be kept private?
Will it make you uncomfortable if you see me talking with someone I used to date/smash/be in love with?
If an ex sends you a message, will you tell me about it? Would you want to know?
Once we’re in a relationship, is there anything that I could post on social media that would make you feel uncomfortable? (like shady remarks after we have an argument)
Need more help with setting expectations? Check out Do You Ask for What You Want in Relationships on Alex Howlett's Blog
When my husband and I first started dating, I asked him if he thought we should post pictures of us together? He told me that he didn’t want everybody in his business and that he wasn’t ready to do that. Now my younger self would’ve been like “flag on the play, he hiding something”! But here’s the thing: The fact that we were dating was NOT a secret. All of our close friends and family members KNEW we were dating. So it really didn't matter if “friends” on facebook knew. Our relationship was not a secret to the people who mattered. When WE were ready we started posting about our relationship. We currently share some of our family moments, but we also know that everything we do ain’t for the gram. We also usually check in with each other before we post about each other just to be on the safe side. It’s so important to keep the lines of communication open.
So what happens when someone from your partner’s past or a new “friend” keeps sending them private messages (DMs, Facebook Messenger, etc)? Most women know that even if private messages start off friendly, they usually go left after a while. So here’s my take on that... If you’re going to send a friendly message to someone else’s partner why not put it on their wall for everyone to see? You don’t need to send a private message to say hi!!! And if it’s too personal then you should call or text them. Oh, you don't have their number? Welp, you’re probably not really friends and shouldn’t be talking anyway.
TIP: If you’re worried about this, start a conversation like, “hey bae, if your ex sent you a message would you tell me about it? I just want to make sure we’re not keeping secrets and I would definitely want you to know if someone sent me a message that didn't need to be private.”
LIKING ALL THE WRONG THINGS
Have you ever seen a guy, who’s in a committed relationship, but always on instagram and facebook liking all the wrong things (Ex's, naked girls, porn). I see it and i’m just like “baby, what is you doing”? Look, I’m not judging if you like that kind of stuff. I too am a fan of twerking and porn, but everybody and their mama don’t need to know all the specifics! Furthermore, liking and sharing those types of things could be offensive to your partner.
TIP: If this is a problem for you, try explaining how you feel. “I feel (blank) when I see you liking (photos of naked women) on social media. I’d prefer if you didn't do that. “ Now please remember, your partner has eyes, so they are still going to see it. But if you feel that it's disrespectful, share your thoughts and hopefully they will oblige. If it continues, it shows that he/she really doesn't care about your feelings and you have to decide if this is a dealbreaker or something that you can live with. A person can look, but in this case it’s not necessary to stop, look, AND like the photo or video so that that the whole world can know that you enjoyed what you were looking at.
ONLINE VS REALITY
I don’t know how to sugarcoat this one. If your partner is being sneaky online then more than likely they have some sneaky tendencies in real life. If you catch your partner talking to other girls about hooking up in his private messages, here are some things to consider.
Have yall had a conversation about being in a committed relationship?
Have yall specifically talked about what it means to you both to be in a committed relationship (i.e only dating each other) Cause keep in mind that people have different definitions.
Have you talked about what’s cool and what’s not on social media?
If you are answering no to some of these questions and you still want to salvage what you have, then it’s important to get clear on what you will and will not accept in the future. Remember that only you can decide what you are willing to put up with. However, if you answered yes to all of these questions, then your partner is proving that they can’t be trusted. If he’ll do it on the internet, he will do it in these streets. Run, girl!
Decided to move on? Read My Advice for Moving on After a Broken Heart at Dildo or Dildont
So the moral of the story is that social media can’t break a relationship. Most times your relationship was already broken or wasn’t real before you started liking profiles and talking to people out of plain sight. When in doubt talk it out. That doesn't mean give ultimatums, but express how you feel and see how your partner reacts (empathetic or indifferent). Then base your decision on that reaction.
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