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Fighting on Facebook Damages the Relationship

Lovers' Quarrel: Fighting on Facebook Will Not Save Face

It's one thing to overshare via Facebook, but arguing with your significant other so everyone can see takes things to a whole new, ugly, level.

People actually admit that they Facebook fight so friends can weigh in. It's like The Marriage Ref but, impossibly, worse. “A lot of people aren’t with us if we have a fight at home," Ashley Andrews says of her fiancé. This way, “All our friends can kind of comment on it.”

People aren't just doing it for input, though; they're doing it to protect reputations. Their own reputations. Ryan Stofer, an avowed Facebook fighter, admits public arguments with his ex-girlfriend were mere attempts to save face. "She’d be talking to her friends on Facebook about how bad a boyfriend I was," he said, "And I would be like, ‘No, I was decent.’ "


Psychologists say arguing on Facebook won't protect either person's image, much less the image of their relationship. Public arguments convey instability, volatility, and unhappiness. What is a joke to the couple may be a relationship falling apart to their friends. And because the support of friends and family has proven to sustain relationships over time, chipping away at its image one status update at a time erodes its private stability in the long run.

But does any couple who uses Facebook to send passive-aggressive messages stand a chance?

Join The Conversation
vmruby vmruby 7 years
I have to agree with skigurl....... something's up.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
if your boyfriend won't add you as a friend on facebook, there's a huge problem there! he's hiding something!
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
I hate when people overshare. I have a friend who feels the need to put hearts in her status and tell the world how 'awww' her boyfriend is everyday. And he doesn't even have an account. Another one updates her closest 300 friends on the status of her divorce everyday. I just don't know why people do this. But I was never the kind to talk about personal stuff unless I know someone really welll.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
I'm just into this fb thing only recently, and oh boy, that's the last thing I want to share or read about on facebook. People actually fight on there? What an embarrassment.
bluestar bluestar 7 years
WTF? Are you serious? People actually do this? How f*cking lame...GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No one wants to see that and anyone that would get involved in stupid DRAMA like fighting on Facebook is seriously lame.
vmruby vmruby 7 years
Do people actually do that? Facebook is the last place I would ever air my personal problems. I can't imagine what in the hell would possess a person to do something so idiotic in the first place.......
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
The other thing that weirds me out about this is that I know a lot of people who are "friends" with casual acquaintances or people that they work with. It just makes it even odder that they would then go about airing their ickiest moments on facebook for public comment.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I cannot stand when I see Facebook updates referring to arguments with their significant others. To me, it just looks like a desperate grab for attention. I never comment on those types of updates. I roll my eyes. Social networking is fine, but seriously, you sould be able to gauge what's appropriate to use as a status update. Getting too personal is just annoying.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
@zzleigh, I couldn't agree more. My ex-husband and I kept our entire divorce off of facebook. There were days when I really wanted to rant about him and get some support from my I picked up the phone. We're still polite and kind to each other both online (because neither of us want to be seen as aggressive or unstable) and off (because we're raising a kid). If I was in a relationship with a man who tried to fight with me on Facebook, I'd be over at his house for a face-to-face chat in record time.
zabrow zabrow 7 years
this is so strange to me. it's never crossed my mind to have a public argument on facebook & no one on my facebook friends list does this. is it really that common?
zzleigh zzleigh 7 years
I couldn't even fathom doing this. Not only is it childish but completely embarrassing for everyone involved. When it comes to the internet I think it's a good rule of thumb to never speak about work or relationships unless it's going to be in a positive light.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I know a couple of people who do this, and UGH. It makes you look childish and makes others uncomfortable. Keep your dirty laundry to yourself, please. Oversharers on facebook are one of my major pet peeves. The only people worse than the fighters are the ones who leave intentionally vague "please feel sorry for me" messages. Shut. Up.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
Public arguments convey instability, volatility, and unhappiness ===> AGREE i find it ridiculous when people air dirty laundry on facebook...and no i don't think a couple who does that is normal...but it doesn't necessarily mean they don't stand a just means they are equally socially awkward and dorky...maybe they're perfect for each other...but neither of them are ever going to be my significant other!! this also stands true for people who are all lovey-dovey on you don't need to do see each other every day, you have email, you have texts, and you talk on the phone...why do i need to see your love poems? seriously
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