If you click Send too soon, you might end up causing drama. Here's how thinking before you post can save your relationship.
We all have the basic human need of community support. This used to mean just your neighborhood, school, and people you interact with in person. However, our society has evolved so that we develop new relationships online with just a few clicks of a button. We now have more people cheering us on, giving us positive comments, or promoting our ego online. But, online communication can also complicate your romantic relationships – how much is too much? It’s important to set boundaries and have a full understanding of how to protect your relationship while posting on the web. Social media and relationships can only go hand in hand if you communicate well.
Talk About It
Each couple has a different comfort level for how much they want to share online. Discuss what you both feel comfortable sharing before making any post (either good or bad). Sometimes one person may not want to mention a single thing about the relationship – if that’s you, you might be sending the message that you aren’t proud of the relationship. On the other hand, one partner may overshare about every argument or milestone, making the other person uncomfortable. Make sure to be on the same page before you make a move online. Communication is the key!
Hand Pick Your Support
Not all of the “friends” we have on social media are the people we can really turn to, and we don’t have control what they do or say online. In my view, you wouldn’t get up in front of a large group of people and disclose your relationship struggles, so don’t go online and do it with a two-liner post. How much you share about your relationship and to whom you share it needs to be hand picked both online and in person. If anything is exposed, it should be hand picked and not thrown out to your 500+ friends. When you’re sharing online, send private discussions with only your closest friends that you trust.
The boundaries within each couple will be different regarding how much they disclose with others. It’s important for relationships to have a healthy set of privacy boundary for both the online world and the real world. The relationship should take priority, so the couple needs to discuss the boundaries about depth, topics, and amount. Do you talk about the latest and greatest fight? Is it okay to share about sex and intimate issues? Is it okay to post about the great sex you just had? Do you agree to share your frustrations about one another online? Always stick to the boundaries you set as a couple.
It is natural to seek comfort from others, and when you online you can get support 24 hours a day. However, online communication can be a touchy subject, and often the boundary lines gets blurred. As a relationship therapist, I believe social media and relationship posting can vary for each person and each support line. It can either help or hurt a relationship. Pick wisely. Think before you post. Communicate.
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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