Social media can be great for relationships, as it keeps the two of you connected when you're not together, allows you to playfully flirt from afar (thirsty comments are welcome!), and can be a fun place to share your memories with friends and family. Who doesn't want to post an adorable photo of date night or a stunning photo from your vacation? However, there's a fine line between what's appropriate behavior for a relationship (especially when it's new) and what's not. By making some relationship missteps, you might give off the wrong signal to your partner and your mutual network, putting your romance in jeopardy. To keep the two of you strong and to use social media for advantageous purposes only, be wary of doing these seven things.
A lot of people use social media as a way to keep "backburner" relationships alive. These could be exes, past dates, or even friends you felt a spark with, and you keep these people in your life in a semiromantic way with occasional messages, snaps, and shares. "This can harm a relationship because these backburner relationships ultimately draw your focus away from your current partner, and it's very convenient to emotionally cheat with them when your partner upsets you," David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating, told POPSUGAR.
That smiling couple on Insta isn't always smiling. They fight, just like everyone else. "It's important to remember that people always put the best on social media," Bennett said. You see the cute couple photo, not the 30-minute fight before the photo and the hours of "silent treatment" later that night. "Comparing your relationship to the relationships portrayed on social media isn't a good idea," he continued, adding that you're bound to feel unsatisfied and create tension.
What you post is public, and sometimes if you share too much and too often, people might get annoyed or get the wrong message. "Many people feel the need to share every thought on social media, and the result can be oversharing about your relationship and partner," explained Bennett. This could be complaining about your partner, airing dirty laundry, or constantly changing your relationship status during ups and downs. "These actions can harm a relationship. Instead, keep the drama private."
There are some mistakes we make on social media that can cost us a potentially good relationship. One is reading into posts that your partner/potential partner "likes." "Partners read into them thinking the worst — that there must be something more than just a non-thought-out action," Shirin Peykar, M.A. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, told POPSUGAR. "It's a mistake to take a simple 'like' and imagine it as a threat to the relationship or that there is more meaning there." Instead, trust them!
On Instagram, the ability to see your partner or potential partner's last active time can be another area people read into. "I believe it's a mistake to do so as it can make you go crazy imagining what they're doing, why they are/are not on, etc.," Peykar said. "It's best to ignore any inclination to analyze their last activity."
Another mistake that's more for newer/potential relationships is adding people on social media too soon before giving them a chance. "Seeing their social media feed might be too much information up front," Peykar said. "It's best to get to know a potential partner separate from their social media so you're not swayed into believing things about them (or projecting) your ideas of them before you know for sure."
If you're officially dating, be proud of it. "If you feel the need to hide the existence of your partner on a particular social media, you may want to evaluate your social media use, or why you're with your partner," Bennett said. For example, it could be because you have too many "backburner" relationships on a certain app, or because you don't feel like your partner fits with your "image." Either way, hiding your partner from a corner of your world isn't healthy or fair.