Social media has it’s pros and cons, but when it comes to relationships – it can be the source of so many problems. Why? Because it tests the strength of them, it puts temptation right in front of you on a regular basis, it feeds your insecurities and can get you seriously over-thinking… Like, Detective Mode ACTIVATED! So what are the biggest problems when it comes to relationships and social media? And what do you do when social media is causing relationship issues?
Let’s dig a little deeper, looking into the big problems, the small problems and some recommendations to work through them…
The Low Level Tension Builders
We’ll start off gently here, with how social media is causing relationship issues, but on a low level. These are the ones that are just kind of bubbling under the surface. Creating tension, causing a strain. It doesn’t push you to breaking point, but it’s good to address regardless. So, let’s jump straight in…
1. Social Media Creates Disconnect
It’s funny right? Social media is supposed to bring more people together, and in many ways it does. However, it can also create a distance between you and your loved ones, when you end up spending more time staring at a screen, than you do engaging with the person who is right next to you. Don’t let the online world distract you from what really matters. (It’s also an absolute time killer too, and will eat away at your life if you let it!)
WHAT TO DO:
Become more aware. This doesn’t have to be something that tears your relationship apart. It can just cause frustrations or feelings of neglect. Have your down-time when you’re chilling out on socials and chatting to your friends, but get a healthy balance. Know when to put it down. Make a conscious effort to give your partner a bit of love. Try these fun date night ideas, keep conversation fresh & exciting (with this for example) and don’t let something like social media cause relationship issues.
If you find this problem is more your partners than yours, talk to them about it. Tell them how you feel. You’re not making a big deal or having a go, you have a perfectly valid point and sometimes a simple conversation can solve a lot.
2. It Can Feel Like Everything’s For Show
Whenever you do something, you HAVE to get some pictures and post about it, to show the world exactly what you’re up to and just how strong and fabulous you are as a couple! It’s like, if you don’t share it, it didn’t happen.. Pfft yeah right! The thing is, it creates tension in the relationship because it reaches the point where everythings for show.
Things aren’t as genuine or appreciated anymore. It’s like, you can’t even have a chilled Sunday without a selfie needed to be taken to ‘mark’ it. And that’s not just ONE selfie, it’s countless until you get the perfect one. “Oh just nuzzle into me a little more please!” It takes away from the relationship and is bound to become a little frustrating.
Then, once the stuff is posted, your boyfriend sure as hell’ better ‘like’ the post, because of how it would look if he didn’t. You also crave those ‘likes’ from friends showing their acceptance of the relationship. And what if your boyfriend doesn’t post as much as you? It starts you overthinking. But hold up right there…
WHAT TO DO:
For starters, everyone’s different. Just because your partner doesn’t post about the relationship as much as you, doesn’t mean he loves you any less. It could be more to do with his ego, not wanting to look ‘soppy’ in front of his friends, or maybe he simply doesn’t think about it! You could read into everything if you wanted to, or you can choose to take a step back, relax and keep building the relationship in real life. Also bear in mind, that he may find you’re oversharing. So have the conversation with him to find the right balance for the both of you.
Either way, you don’t want to reach the point where you feel the pressure to share everything then find yourself obsessing over your channels. If you’re at this stage, you’ve got to try to take a step back. Because it’s not good for you or the relationship.
Have a little social media detox if you need, see it as a little personal victory when you DON’T post something on social media and find the value in it being more special when it’s just between the two of you. To begin with, you just need to shift your habits. You don’t have to stop using it completely, forever. But you do want to break the pattern so that you can get back to just enjoying the life that you have and living in the moment instead of feeling the pressure and need to capture it all.
3. You Can Find Yourself Comparing
You see the picture-perfect couples all happy and in love on social media, and start to think maybe there’s something missing in your relationship. But remember – not everything you see on social media is an accurate reflection for how things are in real life. Also, who gives a damn what anyone else is doing? This is YOUR story, YOUR relationship. No-one else matters.
WHAT TO DO:
Take the things that you see with a pinch of salt! Appreciate what you DO have, instead of looking at what you DON’T. You don’t need to compare your relationship to anyone else’s and you certainly shouldn’t try to make it into something it’s not. Your relationship is unique to the two of you, because you are both special in your own ways. So quit comparing and carry on enjoying!
4. It Can Make You Overthink
Has your ex still got photos on his social media channels with his ex? Does he always spend time chatting online and you wonder who he’s speaking to? Does he seem more interested in his phone than you? Social media can bring up all kinds of damaging emotions. It can make you paranoid, jealous, insecure. This may be a reflection not just on the relationship, but also on you as a person.
WHAT TO DO:
If social media doesn’t help you mentally, first up, you need to figure out why. Is this to do with him, or you? Talk to your partner about it. See what’s going on here. And if you find it’s because of your own insecurities, attachment style, fears or issues – then work on them. That’s something for you to do. Your partner should be supportive, but you can’t turn controlling or unreasonable. It’s not fair. Social media isn’t going anywhere unfortunately, so learn to live with it in a way where it doesn’t negatively impact your relationship.
When a relationship becomes toxic, social media can also be used against the other person. For instance, sharing photos when out with friends, with other guys in the picture, just to try to make your partner jealous. If that sounds familiar, have a read of this post series. Don’t lower yourself to that! And don’t accept it from your partner either. It’s childish.
The Things You’ll Probably Be More Worried About
Moving on now, these are the things that are creating the biggest challenges or dilemmas…
1. Social Media Stalking
Checking in on another man or woman. Looking at their page. Keeping tabs. It’s kind of like an obsession, but it is so far from healthy. Is it unfaithful? After all, you’ve committed to your partner – should you really be so interested in someone else? Well it depends on the reasons WHY you’re doing it. Or why your partner is. So let’s look at it from both sides for this one…
IF IT’S YOU:
Let’s say you keep checking the social media channels of an ex. In this situation, I want you to first ask yourself honestly – why are you doing it? Is it because you’re not over him / her? Do you still have feelings for them? Are you seeing if there’s a way you can get back into their life? How you feel and what your intentions are makes a big difference.
And yes, you may not be doing anything wrong right now, but it’s unfair to stay with your partner if you’re not going to give them your all. So, if you’re in a dead end relationship – end it, walk away, don’t stay for security and don’t lead them on. If you do love the person you’re with, block the person who you keep looking at online. Avoid all temptation. Who cares if they figure it out? Your priority is your partner and you should do the things you’d want them to do if it were the other way around.
If you keep checking out a randomer or a ‘crush’, well okay, we’re all human. It may just be that this person kind of interests you – it doesn’t have to mean anymore than that. As long as there’s not really any feelings there and you’re not trying to act on it, fair enough.
IF IT’S YOUR PARTNER:
Well the chances are you won’t actually know it’s happening, unless you went snooping on his/ her phone… Which by the way, is not a good sign and I want you to read this post if you’re doing it.
What I said to you, I would say the same to them too however. Whether it’s right or wrong depends on their intentions. It only really causes relationship issues if it’s acted on so try not to read too much into it at this stage if you do somehow find out your partner is snooping on someone else!
2. Liking Other People’s Photos
Ah, this old chestnut! We all know the guy that has a following list that is 90% female and he’s always ‘liking’ girls’ photos. The thing is, when you get into a relationship, this should change.
From the male perspective, he may not have bad intentions. The girl looks pretty, so what? It doesn’t mean he wants to be with her, just if he ‘likes’ a goddamn picture. What’s the big deal? He’s only looking, and appreciating. But… hold up a second! Um, WHY? From the girls side, she doesn’t want this sh*t. She wants someone who has eyes for her and her only. She doesn’t want to feel insecure, or worried.
Social media is causing relationship issues BIG TIME in this area. But actually, it’s quite simple. All you’ve got to do to fix this is have a conversation about it. But, you’ve got to go about it in the right way so that your partner doesn’t get defensive.
Just calmly approach them about the topic. Start off by recognising the fact they probably don’t mean any harm by it, but tell them how it makes you feel when they keep liking other people’s pictures. If it’s a regular occurance, especially. Or, if it just seems to be a one off but has still bothered you because of who it is – tell them you noticed they’d liked the picture and ask why. It doesn’t have to be a big deal or escalate into an argument. It’s just a conversation.
Remember, you guys are supposed to be a team. You’re also supposed to be able to speak to each other about anything. So this really doesn’t have to cause huge problems.
3. Speaking To Other People
Okay so now we’re starting to get into touchy territory. I’m not going to talk about what to do if it’s you, because I think it’s pretty clear what’s right or wrong and you should be acting by that. Instead we’re going to focus on what you should do if you find out your partner is speaking to other people on social media behind your back.
Now just to clarify, when we say they’re speaking to other people: I mean they’re flirting, speaking to an ex-partner / ex-lover or sending inappropriate messages. After all, this is what we really have a problem with. They’re allowed to talk to friends (even of the opposite sex) and if this is something you’re not comfortable with, you may want to review your relationship attachment style and work through my tips to get into a healthier place.
DID YOU KNOW: More people are having emotional affairs than those who are not. Uh huh, it’s a huge issue in today’s society and a huge reason that it’s now so easy, is because of social media. I’m not sharing this to scare you or make you paranoid. It’s just important to be aware of, because prevention comes from honesty, openness and nurturing a relationship. We’ll cover this in more detail on another post.
Anyway… what do you do? Well, first off you should ask your partner about it. Or, if you found out accidently or through someone else, ask them if they’re speaking to anyone else as a general question. (Don’t give them any reason to turn this around on you at this point – just see if they’re able to be honest with you.) Now the chances are they will lie. That’s the kind of person they are.
So if they still continue to, and you want answers – ask them directly. Tell them you know (with no shame on your side) and ask them why they’re speaking to someone else in that way. Remember, you are not in the wrong here. If you found out because you were snooping – yes that’s an invasion of privacy, but you clearly have trust issues (something we need to work through separately) and things like this don’t make them any better. For now it’s not about any of that though. It’s about finding out why your partner thinks this is okay and standing up for yourself.
Don’t get angry. Don’t raise your voice. This is about having a mature conversation to try to get it resolved. How your partner responds back to you at this stage, is actually going to tell you a lot. They need to recognise they are in the wrong if you want to be able to get past this.
Yes they might be annoyed at you (or themselves), but they can’t get angry, they need to remain calm and admit that they are in the wrong. This is so important. This doesn’t have to break you. Everyone makes mistakes. And people do different things for different reasons. (Maybe they’re self-sabotaging or falling into bad habits.) But if someone isn’t treating you with respect, you have to speak up about it. Otherwise you’re condoning that behaviour and accepting less than you deserve. And that’s NOT okay!
Based on how the conversation goes, you then have a decision to make. That decision will also be influenced by the severity of the messages too.
At the end of it all, you decide the best thing to do. Just remember your worth, try to see this from an outsiders point of view so that you can think more rationally, and know that if you have to walk away – you are strong enough to.
That’s All For Now…
So there we have it – what to do when social media is causing relationship issues. I hope this has helped to point you in the right direction, and find solutions to the things you’re struggling with.
If you found this helpful, be sure to use the subscribe button below to be notified of future relationship posts. We’ll be looking at how to improve communication, keep romance alive, and have the happiest, most fulfilling relationship – whether that’s with your partner or -if the relationship isn’t right- with someone else. Take care!