Facebook: it’s the cultural phenomenon of our era. If you’re a fellow Millennial, you probably can’t go one day without either going on the mobile app, or checking out the site on your laptop. We love it as a communicative tool, a way of spying on people from our past and a way of keeping in touch with present friends and family. However, when it comes to relationships, Facebook can be a bit like marmite. Some days you love it, as you can share your relationship news with your loved ones, photos pop up of your partner that make you smile and you can tag them in memes to let them know you’re thinking of them. However, some days you hate it. Anyone who’s had a relationship in the last decade which – let’s face it – is most of us, knows that Facebook can be the source of some rather colossal arguments. Here’s how Facebook can have a negative effect on your relationship – and how to not let it!
You can see when your partner is online.
It’s great to be able to see when your other half is on Facebook – but not when they haven’t answered your last three text messages. Perhaps you’ve asked if they want to do something later and you need to know before you make other plans, or maybe they’ve been on a night out with their friends and you want to know if they’re safe. Cue the age old question: why are they on social media when they know I’m waiting for a text back? Apparently the ‘Active Now’ feature on Facebook is not entirely accurate, so try not to take this as the law! It refers to when they are on their phone, but not necessarily when they are on Facebook, so try to be patient, give them the benefit of the doubt and wait for them to contact you before you send them another text fuelled by sheer anger.
You can see who they’re friends with.
Being able to see who they’re friends with on Facebook is all well and good, but what if you spot someone you don’t want to find on their friends list? For example: an ex. One of the most popular relationship debates of our day and age is whether you should be friends with your ex on Facebook or not. If your past relationship was a long time ago, and it ended amicably, then it might be acceptable. However, if your past relationship is raw, and you have got into a new relationship relatively soon afterwards – then there’s a good chance you won’t be over that ex. The same rules apply to your partner. If you question them, and they have simply forgotten to delete their ex and proceed to do it with haste, then you can let it slide. However, if they not only have their ex on Facebook but refuse to delete them, or are even in contact with them, then this is a cause for concern. Arguably, the best way to avoid any Facebook drama with ex’s is for both partners to delete them out of respect for the other person. However, if you are good friends with an ex and don’t want to lose that friendship, then communicate this to your partner and try to come to some sort of agreement whereby both of you are happy.
You can see inappropriate photos that they’ve been tagged in.
We’ve all been there. We’ve had a heavy night out on the town with friends, not realised that embarrassing photographic evidence was being taken, and woken up the next morning to find said photos plastered all over Facebook for all our friends list to see – and laugh at. Cue 30 minutes of frantic de-tagging. If you’re in a relationship, there’s a good chance you might spot something going on in those photos of your partner that you don’t want to see! For instance, the classic one is: “um excuse me, but who is that my boyfriend has his arm draped around? She certainly isn’t me! Perhaps that’s why he wasn’t answering his phone all night!” Then, before you know it, you’ve had a screaming match with your partner down the phone – regardless of whether their behaviour was innocent or not. As it turns out, a lot of the time, their behaviour will be innocent – but it won’t seem that way thanks to your Facebook news feed. In this case, it’s best to ask your partner calmly about the photos before you jump to other conclusions. Sure, it looks bad – but there might be a perfectly reasonable explanation – and you can avoid having a big blow-up by simply communicating with your other half.
Some may say that the best way to avoid potential arguments, such as these, is to not have your partner on Facebook – or to not be active on Facebook yourself – but this could be a little extreme! It’s so easy to study and over-analyse your partner’s behaviour through social media, and this often results in overthinking and making incorrect assumptions. The important thing is to trust your partner, let your insecurities go, and everything else will fall into place.