Avoid These 4 Facebook Relationship Fatalities

womancomputerFacebook is awesome, right? Except when it endangers your relationship.

Well, let us be clearer. Facebook is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends and it can be fun for your relationship too. You can use a social networking site like Facebook to be flirty with your partner or potential partner. You can post sweet quotes or pictures on his wall and you can use it to simply say “I am thinking of you and can’t wait to see you again.”

The internet offers couples who are just starting out or who have been together for many years unique and creative ways to connect and keep passion alive. Facebook can definitely be a part of creating a passionate and loving relationship…and it can also be what kills a relationship!

If you use Facebook in particular ways or misinterpret posts, you can cause serious damage to your love relationship or marriage. Repeated misuse might even lead to the end of your relationship.

Remember, it’s not Facebook that’s the “bad guy” or dangerous to your relationship, it’s the habitual way it’s used and understood. Be smart about Facebook and pay close attention to what you regularly post and also what your partner posts. Notice what you think and how you react to what’s on Facebook and make some changes if this has led to tension or conflict in your relationship.

If you know what they are and act soon enough, you can avoid these 4 Facebook fatalities:

1. Commitment contradictions
If the relationship status button on your partner’s (or you) Facebook timeline makes you nervous or sick to your stomach, this could mean trouble on the horizon.

Commitment can be a tricky thing– especially when a relationship is in the early stages. Have you two been together long enough to declare it to the Facebook “world?” Are you worried that your partner isn’t as willing as you are to let everyone know you are a couple? Are you confused because, in private, he seems ultra-committed to you but he hasn’t changed his status yet online?

Questions like these can keep you up at night and cause you to doubt your partner.

When you notice a contradiction between what your partner is telling you and what shows up on his Facebook timeline, back up and really think about this. Think about what your partner has actually said to you about commitment and what you two have agreed to. Think about his actions in real life. Has he given you any reason to believe that he’s not as committed as he says he is?

Get clear about the bigger picture when it comes to assessing how committed he is to you. If he is putting on a different “face” online than when he’s with you, ask him about it. Be upfront about what you expect and see if he wants the same level of commitment.

2. Abusive humor
There’s a lot of joking and teasing that goes on and it’s not always funny. Some couples use Facebook to make fun of each other in unkind ways. Some people post quotes, memes and tips as a not so subtle way to manipulate their partner.

If you are posting things to your partner’s wall or tagging him so that he “gets the message” that you want more intimacy, romance or help cleaning up the house, stop now. This is embarrassing to you both and does nothing to address your gripe or the hole you feel in your relationship. Sarcasm and snide comments disguised as “humor” are passive aggressive and will push your partner away.

Instead, communicate about it. Without blame, make requests for what you want more of in your relationship. Here are some examples: “Will you take a walk with me tonight along the waterfront?” or “I’d like to create an agreement with you so that we’re sharing clean up of the house. Are you open to talking about this with me?”

3. Jealousy inflammation 
Without a doubt, jealousy can kill a relationship and Facebook is a big trigger for those who already struggle with jealousy. You see what could be a perfectly innocent exchange between your partner and someone else and it sets you off. You re-read it again and again to get at the “hidden” meaning. Eventually you confront your partner about it or even go so far as to report your partner’s friend to Facebook as somehow inappropriate.

It’s so very important to recognize jealousy when it first rises up within you and to compare what you think you’re seeing with the reliable information you have. Don’t let your jealous mind play tricks on you!

Do be aware of signs of lying or infidelity in your relationship (both on Facebook and outside it), but make sure you are responding from facts instead of reacting from fears and worries. Many couples find it helpful to come up with some “ground rules” about not just Facebook, but any online interactions with others. Talk with your partner about what each of you thinks flirting is (and isn’t) and also what your agreed upon policy is for messaging or privately chatting with others.

4. Nostalgic temptation
Watch out for online or emotional affairs! It’s great to catch up with an old friend from high school or college, but don’t cross the line and fall into an affair with an ex or past crush. Know that it’s easy to remember only the good times you had with this person or to imagine how perfect he or she is.

Ask yourself if the fun you’re having with this old flame is worth the mistrust and damage to the relationship you’re already in. Contrary to what many think, even if you’re “only” talking online, when you flirt or get emotionally or sexually intimate with someone other than your partner, this is cheating and it can destroy your relationship.

Stop yourself and find out where your current relationship feels lacking. Don’t lay the blame on your partner, but take steps to address the holes or weak points in your relationship.
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