Social Media and Marriage: 5 rules to keep your relationship safePosted by Amber Lewter on Nov 27, 2012 in healthy relationships | 9 comments
In modern society social media has become an inescapable part of life. From keeping up with high school and college classmates, to networking professional most adults have a Facebook or Twitter account. In October of 2012, Facebook had over 1 billion active accounts users. With the development of social media comes complexity in romantic relationships; should couples share an account? Should partners have each other’s passwords and unlimited access to each other’s accounts? Is it okay to “friend” ex-lovers? At what point in a relationship do you change your status from “single” to “in a relationship” ?
In order to avoid drama, confusion and hurt it’s essential to have a few ground rules. Rules that you and your partner are informed of and agree upon:
1.) Sharing a Facebook account with your partner- typically this is not the best idea, as it portrays the couple as fused and overly involved. When couples share a FB account it can look like there is a lack of trust between them, that one partner (or both) must absolutely know every detail of the other partner’s communication. Everyone needs a little personal space- it’s healthy and normal, having individual FB accounts shouldn’t be too much space. There are exceptions to this- like when one partner is active duty in the military and the spouse is keeping family/friends posted on things. But these exceptions are few and far between.
2.) Passwords- exist for a reason. They are to protect privacy. If you feel that you need to invade your partner’s privacy to find out who they are talking to or what they are doing when you’re not there, chances are you don’t trust him/her. In that case the healthy thing to do is discuss these feelings with your partner, not spy on them. If you just can’t get rid of the feeling, as him/her to open his account and go through it with you. If there is nothing to hide, then it should not be a problem, and by having him/her present and consenting it’s not a violation of privacy.
3.) Friending Ex’s- it’s not forbidden to friend an ex on FB, however it’s a delicate situation that takes some consideration. Much of whether it’s appropriate or not depends on how the past relationship ended. Was it friendly or bitter? Are there residual feelings there or not? Is maintaining contact with this person important? If the relationship ended in a difficult way with either of you both still having feelings- don’t do it. A good rule of thumb is- if you wouldn’t pick up the phone once a year to see how he/she’s doing or if you wouldn’t send a Christmas card- don’t do it. If contact with the ex is going to jeopardize the security of your relationship- it’s definitely a don’t.
4.) Relationship Status- in the modern day of casual relationships, hooking up and sexual friendships, when do you officially change your FB status? After you’ve had a direct conversation about being committed with the other person. Nobody wants to get online and see that the person they been dating is suddenly “in a relationship,” without consenting to it first. Before you make it official on FB, make it official in person.
5.) No secrets. This one can’t be stressed enough. When we reconnect with long lost friends or ex’s through FB it can be natural to feel a certain sense of familiarity and comfortability. It’s not a good idea to confide in your ex- that your current boyfriend is disappointing or never says the sweet things your ex used to say. This only complicates matters, and keeps you from addressing the real issues- whatever’s wrong between you and your current partner. If you would not want your boyfriend or girlfriend to read a message between you and your FB friend, don’t send it.
Committed, adult relationships are based on trust and being genuine. With modern technology there is a lot of room for cheating; either physically or emotionally. In order to protect your relationship use the rules above to guide your Social medial persona, you’ll be glad you did.