Social Media and Relationships
We live in a fast paced world, and that pace can cause us to make decisions that, without outside temptation, we wouldn’t normally make. Social medisa communication and connection presents a lure, much like a drug, distracting us from our normal feelings, habits, or routines. The computer screen can give us the security of saying or doing things we wouldn’t normally do.
You are on Facebook one day and your “suggested friends” tab draws your interest. Your high school flame is there. So you figure, “Hey, I wonder what they are up to these days.” They have pictures up with a beautiful family. On the other hand, maybe they don’t have those pictures and instead they only have pictures up of their life as a single entrepreneur. That old face brings you back to a time that was carefree and uninhibited. Then you blink and your computer screen shows a checked box that says Friend Request Sent.
Social Media and Relationships
It may not appear like it at first, but a seemingly harmless interest can change into something that can really compromise your relationship, partnership, engagement, or marriage. Connecting with an old flame can increase arousal, lower anxiety and make someone feel young again. This tradeoff can also lead to changes in the dynamic of your primary relationship.
Regardless of the reason for a past breakup, rekindling an old relationship is often easy because the old memories and feelings associated with those memories create a familiarity and convenience. After all, long or short, you still have a piece of your past in common.
How do I know if the influence of my social media is affecting my relationship to my partner?
The best way to understand the toxicity that can come from this outside influence is to see if your behaviors are changing the normal balance in your relationship:
- Do you find yourself thinking about your rekindled relationship when you are in the presence of your significant other?
- Do you find reasons to bring this person up in conversation?
- Do you have fantasies of intimacy with this person?
- If a harmless conversation or introduction has begun, do you find yourself inclined to respond quickly and check your social media more often?
If you can relate to any of these feelings, or you are concerned that your partner’s feelings towards you are compromised because of these possibilities, it’s important to seek out an opportunity to talk to someone who understands of these patterns and can help you work through your situation, like a counselor or therapist. There is a chance that your choices around your rekindled relationship will compromise your primary relationship, so it might be important to consider clicking that Unfriend Button.
Social Media and the Fantasy Factor
Social media, pictures, and profiles engage the brain’s ability to access the part of our memory that is strongly rooted in desire, feeling and emotion. When that happens, it’s easy to forget the fact you both were very different people when you dated in past. It allows you to forget that you broke up for a reason, and while you may feel you know that person, the reality is you don’t. You know a feeling that you once had and memories that you have stored, but you don’t know that person any more. In many ways, your feelings that go along with their current pictures are your own judgments or projections. There is noreal healthy source of emotional, verbal, or interpersonal communication that goes along with your Facebook inbox.
On the other hand, you may have an authentic line of communication with your partner. It is important not to forget you founded your current relationship on a legitimate interpersonal connection, while your social media communication is often formed based upon desire-based distractions and euphoric memory.
Connecting through social media is not always bad, but it’s important to consider where social media connection might pose a risk to your relationship. If your relationship to your partner shifts after a Friend Request is met, it might be important to consider what this connection means for you, your partner, and your relationship.