Is Facebook Ruining Your Relationship?
Facebook is awesome in many ways, but given that so much of our lives are on display, the tendency to turn into a stalker can be tempting. Your crush posted pictures of his snowboarding trip? Just try to stop yourself from looking at them…But even when we’re in a seemingly healthy relationship, Facebook and other social networking sites can create doubt and distrust where there wouldn’t have been otherwise. It might not bother you if spot your bf chatting with the girl whose locker is next to his. However, catch her posting on his wall or commenting on a video clip and suddenly you’re upset—and totally convinced that he’s cheating on you.
If you’re “friends” with your bf or gf on Facebook—and seriously, why wouldn’t you be?—it’s hard to avoid looking at their page, since they undoubtedly appear in your news feed every time they post. But when you’re refreshing your screen every few seconds, monitoring their every interaction, and then blowing up their phone when you don’t like what you see, you may be crossing the line into crazyland. Here, a few tips to keep Facebook from screwing up your relationship.
- Don’t freak every time they friend someone of the opposite sex. Take a look at your own friend list. Chances are more than half the people on it are people you wouldn’t consider a friend offline. And by this I mean you don’t talk to or hang out with them on a regular basis. Now apply that same logic to your significant other. Just because she accepted John’s friend request doesn’t mean she’s going to hook up with him behind your back. Now if John goes to your school and you find her suddenly hanging out with him a lot more—without you—then perhaps you should worry. Otherwise don’t sweat it.
- Don’t friend their friends, unless you actually know them in some way. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to have all of the same friends. There are going to be people your bf or gf knows casually whom you may have never met. Don’t suddenly become friends with these people on FB or start commenting every time your boyfriend or girlfriend does. It makes you look like a creepy stalker.
- Don’t fight on Facebook. If you’re upset with your bf/gf, Facebook is not the place to share this. Do you really want all of your mutual friends chiming in on whether he really was a jerk for forgetting to call you after soccer practice? Take your disagreements offline and deal with them face to face.
Have you ever gotten upset with your bf/gf over something that happened on Facebook? Do his/her interactions with other people make you jealous? How did you handle it?
Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant Number: 90-FE-0024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
Michelle Hainer is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in numerous national publications including InStyle, The Washington Post, People, and Teen People. A former teen magazine editor, Michelle’s covered everything from pregnancy to peer pressure and is now covering all things relationship for Stay Teen. Have a question for Michelle? Send us an email!