In the past decade, social media has blown up to extensive proportions. It has allowed us to connect with strangers, family and friends from across the globe – which begs the question: has it made our lives better? From Facebook to Snapchat, Youtube to Instagram, we see both the young and old joining forces and signing up to all these social media accounts. We’re all guilty of checking up on other people and seeing what they’re doing in their lives, which can also lead to checking up on ex-relationships or flings from the past and well, this is where it can get tricky. As love experts, we’ve seen the way social media has either destroyed a relationship or strengthen it for the better. We’ve come up with different stages in a relationship whereby social media is deemed acceptable or overwhelming for a new couple.
Stage 1: First Date
It’s normal and almost acceptable for you to ‘cyber stalk’ your date before the first dinner together. You want to get to know what he/she is like on social media. With Facebook and Instagram, you’re able to piece together if they are genuinely single or not and also get a glimpse into their personal life. Although deemed acceptable, you should try and refrain from doing this though. You should go into a date with an open mind – having a predisposed opinion from social media will definitely hinder this.
Stage 2: 6 months Dating
So now you’re in the relationship, you’re not on the way to absolutely committed, marriage and babies yet but maybe you’re hoping for that kind of ending. The 6-month mark is crucial to figure out where you want the relationship to go and what you see in the future. It’s also an important part in the relationship where trust is being built and strengthened over time. Social media can play a big role in either breaking or strengthening trust here.
As men and women think differently, the 6-month mark can really make or break your relationship – women may feel she can fully trust her partner whereas a man may feel he is not yet ready to commit and may still want to explore his options (communication is key from the very start!). If a woman sees her partner scrolling through Instagram and liking images of other women, she may feel threatened, insecure and jealous. Even though it may not be a big deal, she has already placed such trust in her partner and now she feels as though the trust is broken.
In cases like this, we feel that you need to speak to one another and be fully informed about where your relationship is going and where it will be. If either person feels threatened by social media activity, put a pause on scrolling through Instagram and Facebook altogether.
Stage 3: 2+ years
At this stage, you should know exactly where your relationship stands. There should be a two-sided communication flowing from one person to the other and back again. We feel this is the time you’re able to use social media with no feelings of insecurities, jealousy or broken trust.
If you’ve been in a relationship for 2 or more years, you should have a good grasp on your partner’s social media activities (passwords and all). However, there is one thing we must urge you not to do: please don’t hack into your partner’s phone and social media accounts. Don’t read their last messages as this is such a breach of trust and privacy on your relationship. If you feel that your partner is being dishonest, please just talk to them and confront them head-on.
We feel these three stages act as a great guide for your relationship and social media. Good luck!