Facebook: It’s Ruining Your Relationship

You’re having a great day. You’ve checked off almost all of your to-dos and as your happy-go-lucky self is feeling better than ever, you decide to take a quick break to check your Facebook newsfeed. And that’s when you see it; it being a comment your partner made to an ex (or that friend you don’t like). It’s likely nothing threatening. It’s likely nothing worth looking into. Yet you get upset by reading it then start to wonder why he/she did whatever it is they did/said.

At least you can take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

An infographic recently released on Mashable shows many of the ways Facebook negatively affects our relationships. And though we deem Facebook and other social media tools — such as Twitter and Blackberry Messenger — as “not real,” the truth is they are (and so are the fights that erupt because of something we read on our partner’s wall).

We use these social media tools to connect with others and to create an image of ourselves for the world (with many of us using these forms of communication multiple times a day). The fact is, social media is now a big part of your relationship.

Some people who are in a serious relationship choose to either a) never visit their significant other’s page or b) delete their accounts altogether in order to prevent fights that could be taken out of context.

But there are other less severe ways to handle Facebook relationship quandaries.

It Says More About Them Then You: If a partner’s ex is constantly liking or commenting on your love’s wall posts, don’t panic. This is probably an indication that said ex is still striving to attract the attention of your partner — even though he/she may not be so willing to give it. Yes it’s annoying to see a partner’s ex’s thoughts in your newsfeed, but it’s not something worth arguing about with your lover. Your partner is with you — not the ex — for a reason.

A Whole Lotta “Liking:” By “liking” someones status, image or fan page on Facebook, you’re making a statement about who you are. It puts your name out there and shows that you support or are in agreement with whatever it is you’re liking. If your partner likes everyone else’s stuff — and not yours — ask yourself whether they support and motivate you in your relationship. We want to feel supported by those closest to us and if your partner is so easily giving of their “likes” to others talk to them about why they don’t support you in the same way.

Disabled Features: Many people think those who block their walls, images or other features on their page have something to hide. The fact is our partner’s page is their own and what they choose to share and how they choose to share it is a personal decision. Many people block aspects of their page because they prefer to lead a private online lifestyle. You cannot get someone to change their personal preferences — or online comfort level — for you.

In the end, if you have concerns with your partner’s actions on Facebook, talk to them about it in a non-threatening way. This will help you reach a compromise about what info gets shared/posted where.

Meet Jen Kirsch: A pint-sized, blonde, bronzed, twentysomething from Toronto. She’s a relationship columnist, blogger and freelance writer who focuses on the ups and downs of dating, relationships and sex. Often being referred to as the Canadian Carrie Bradshaw, Jen has become the go-to source for both women and men who are curious on how to deal with relationship woes. You can find her work at blondebronzedtwentysomething.com.

A Quick Review by Editor:

While I agree with you that Facebook is what has brought this type of behavior [that can ruin people’s relationships] to light, I don’t think that Facebook is to blame. If people didn’t treat other people differently based on who is watching, this wouldn’t be such an issue. The main culprit still is human behavior and the propensity to treat some with favoritism or at least implied favoritism.

There’s nothing wrong with favoritism but it shouldn’t ever be hidden from other people – that’s what causes jealousy in said other people… but all of what I’ve written isn’t to take away from the fact that what you’ve offered as a solution is still the best way to do anything about anything: communicate in a respectful way with your partner or the person concerned and everything will most likely work out :)