Here's the Social Media Conversation You Need to Have
When you’re in a new relationship there are some necessary conversations when it comes to social media. In this day and age, there are just so many chances for miscommunication, over sharing, or crossing boundaries when it comes to online activity. So that you don’t thwart a new romance by doing something on social media that offends or confuses your partner, here are some conversations you should always have about social media behavior.
When to Change Statuses
If you change your relationship status from “Single” to “In a Relationship” on Facebook after the third date, your new partner will probably freak out. On the other hand, if you’re together for several months and one of you changes your status while the other still says “Single,” it can get awkward for different reasons. Have an honest conversation after a month or so (whenever you feel like you’re headed into monogamy) about when you’ll change your statuses. By discussing it beforehand, no one will be surprised by a relationship status update in their news feed.
How Much to Share
You also need to decide as a couple what the boundaries will be for sharing. Will you post private photos and share stories about your date nights? What about really personal topics like sex? How much sharing is too much is something that every couple has to decide for themselves. One person may be very open, but if the other is more private you will need to make compromises about what to share on social media sites. Having the conversation sooner than later and sticking to your boundaries can help you avoid fights. Social media in relationships should bring you together, not divide you because one person is over sharing.
Not all conversations on social media are public. Twitter has the DM feature and Facebook has private messaging, for instance. These conversations are hidden away from everyone, and can be somewhat risky. Set boundaries together for who you will talk to in private conversation and what you will share. Platonic friends are usually OK to converse with, but if an ex sends you a private message, should you respond? Will you tell your partner about it? These are the types of questions that you and your partner should think about and discuss together.
Social media has brought about a lot of issues when it comes to privacy and boundaries that didn’t used to exist. Working together to decide what is appropriate for you as a couple is an important step. If you need help establishing boundaries or one partner has major trust issues with social media, consider talking to a professional counselor about how to juggle social media pages within your relationship.
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About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653