Research studies on dating show that social media has both positive and negative effects on your relationship. So, how can you balance what is private and what is sharable in your relationship?
Should you be friends on social media?
You might think, why not? After all, social media is a part of everyday life. But it may be worth thinking twice before sending or accepting a friend request from your partner. When couples are active on social media it sometimes can create conflict in the relationship. For example, if your man posts a picture with a girl on his wall, you may start feeling uncertain about the relationship. Social media make it easy for a partner to be aware of inconsistencies in the relationship, a surveillance tool of sorts.
How to handle privacy?
Whenever you use any social media platform, the issue of privacy becomes a relevant concern.
Sharing too much on social media can take away from the intimacy of the relationship between two people, says Shaldon Fitzgerald, a certified hypnotherapist based in Cape Town. “Don’t share every detail of your romantic journey on social media, especially if you’re the type of person who’d feel embarrassed if the relationship doesn’t work out. Some special moments are more special because it’s just the two of you, and it’s not broadcast to the whole world,” he cautions.
How to find a balance between 'I' and 'us'
Keeping your digital lives separate can play a huge role in your relationship, and avoid raising suspicion when you see things on your partner’s social media account.
“If you do choose to keep your relationship off social media, stay connected on messaging apps or platforms like email, or choose a new platform you both can explore and experiment with,” Venter continues.
What about joint social media accounts?
Some people have joint accounts for practical reasons rather than trust issues. Nokubonga Mbatha, 33, explains her decision to have a joint social media account with her long-time boyfriend. “My boyfriend’s work doesn’t allow him to have an account, so he shares everything under our account. We haven’t experienced any problems ever since we created this account,” she says.
To learn more about the role of social media in relationships, get our June issue in stores.