In the early days of social media, perhaps the only issue with social media in relationships was when one person wanted to make their relationship “Facebook Official” while the other cringed at the idea and flat-out refused. Something as trivial as that was enough to warrant a fight.
Nowadays, we’ve created social media habits that make modern dating and relationships harder than ever before. We obsess over who someone’s best friends on Snapchat are, we get upset when our significant other likes a swimsuit picture of their friend vacationing in Hawaii on Instagram. It’s even gone so far as analyzing the emojis (or lack of) that your S/O uses when talking to you. The list goes on and on.
Here are just a few ways social media has made it harder on today’s dating and relationships.
For one thing, I think social media makes us feel vulnerable. You almost can’t help but compare yourself to others. This causes insecurity and jealousy, two things you shouldn’t harbor over yourself and your relationship. If you feel like you aren’t getting as much love and attention from your partner compared to one of their friends, you start to question how much your S/O cares about you. If they start talking to someone more than they talk to you, you may even start to suspect something going on between the two of them.
When you see your friend posting pictures of their girlfriend and writing cheesy captions about how much he loves her, you might start to get upset and question why your boyfriend doesn’t do that for you. It’s just so easy to compare on social media.
You have to realize that everyone is different. Some people like to make their relationship very public and broadcast their undying love for their S/O. Others are private and prefer to keep it to themselves. If your partner is the latter, don’t take it personally. It’s not that they don’t care about you, they love you all the same.
A Text from the Ex
It’s easy to trip up and get upset when you see your S/O’s ex comment on their Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram/whatever. Social media makes it easy for us to stay in touch with such a huge network of people – even people who we wouldn’t necessarily be talking to if social media didn’t exist. On the flip side, social media also makes it extremely easy for others to meet and connect with new people. All these things can cause us to feel overly-paranoid and suspect cheating, however unless they are doing anything shady that warrants that suspicion, you probably shouldn’t get so worked up about it. It’s not healthy for you or for relationship. It’ll only drive you crazy.
What we see on social media can be so artificial, yet we believe everything we see. If a couple posts lots of cute photos together, you’re convinced that they’re so happy together. This isn’t always the case. You never see what happens behind the scenes – the fights, the uncertainties, the hurt. Just remember that what you see on social media are only the highlights of the relationship. People don’t share the bad times. Keep that in consideration the next time you think someone’s relationship is so “perfect”.
Bad Dating Practices
Social media has no doubt made dating harder. There’s so many dumb things we do to each other, like suddenly ghosting on someone that you don’t see any potential with, and leaving them wondering what happened, when you could have simply done the mature thing and told them upfront it wouldn’t work out.
We play games to feign indifference. “If he texts me one sentence two hours later, then I have to respond with three words four hours later.” WHY CAN’T YOU JUST REPLY THE WAY YOU NORMALLY WOULD?! These games just seem so silly to me. If you like the person, just be genuine.
Social media can also take the fun out of getting to know each other. We social media stalk our dates until we’ve somehow ended up on their mother’s cousin’s Facebook or something like that. We know so much about that person before going in to the date that it takes away from the experience.
I’m by no means perfect. Sometimes I do get jealous and insecure. But when that happens, I just give myself a little reminder to check myself. Is this a real issue, or an issue I’m just making up and creating for myself? Is there any real reason to get upset over it? Chances are, there isn’t any. Trust me when I say many of today’s social media arguments can be quite trivial, not even an actual problem, and you’ll be better off if you don’t sweat the small stuff.