This article will focus on how social media can impact on relationships. Being in a relationship can be a positive and fulfilling experience, especially if there is open communication between the couple. On the other hand, a relationship can also be a source of stress and frustration, especially if there is a lack of communication and common goals, or if one person is abusive to the other.
There is no doubt that social media’s rising has introduced new relationship dynamics and expectations. Some are positive, such as being able to share and remember special moments, and some are negative, like the knowledge that certain traumatic events, like breakups, are going to be public. Changing a Facebook status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ sends a notification to your friends, and so does when you change your status back to single.
Posting pictures of your latest holiday with your significant other can be an excellent way to let people know you are together, until you post pictures of you on holiday without your partner, and your contacts ask you where they are.
There are a large number of couples that choose to be on each other’s social media platform, but there are some others who prefer to be more private about it.
But to what extent being present on someone’s social media is a reflection of a healthy relationship?
Although there is no ultimate answer to this question, and every couple has a unique relationship, there are some considerations that we need to make:
Why does my partner never post about me?
This scenario is not surprising if the person does not use social media often. Certain people are on social media not to feel left out, even if there is not an interest in sharing their lives and interests. If you are not an active person online, it’s not surprising if you do not post about your partner.
It might be a different case for a person who has a regular, if the not constant, presence of social media and they rarely share posts with their significant other. This could have several meanings. Maybe they have not discussed with their partner if they feel comfortable being exposed online, or perhaps they are afraid their friends and family are going to disapprove their partner for some reasons (different religion, social class, political beliefs). Or it’s simply because they are not sure of their relationship with that person yet. If this is the case, ask them about it and listen to what they say.
Take into consideration how they have been behaving with you so far. Do his/her friends and family know about you? Or is your partner very secretive about your relationship? Do you feel happy and fulfilled in this relationship, or you find yourself to be anxious and worried about your partner? Try to consider how they treat you in real life, because social media might be just a symptom, not the problem.
Why does my partner continuously post pictures of us?
Constant posts of your love story might try to hide a sense of insecurity about their self or your relationship. Maybe things are not going well, and you seek validation from an external audience. The worst scenario is that these posts might be a sign of co-dependency or jealousy; in fact, it can be a way to claim someone publicly. Try to have open and honest communication with your partner and try to understand why they are behaving this way, and maybe if you can find a compromise. As I said before, take into consideration your everyday relationship. Are you and your partner distant, physically, or emotionally? Are they jealous of you?
Why does my partner post about me/us now and then?
Balanced posts about hobbies, work, friends, and significant others on your social media platform portray a feeling of general satisfaction and equilibrium because there is no need to feel validation for your relationship. You and your partner are probably are also communicative and feel comfortable in your relationship and outside of it.
Written by B. Bove and Reviewed by Dr Martina Paglia
The International Psychology Clinic: Private Psychologists in London
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