Facebook: The not-so-silent relationship killer

In some ways, being friends with your partner on Facebook can be as potentially problematic as agreeing to be radically honest with each other. She may not want to be told truthfully that she looks fat in her favorite jeans, just as he may not be able to deal with how his girlfriend’s 8th grade date to the Sweetheart Ball said her new profile pic is, "Stupid hot."

Jealousy is natural, and not something many of us can overcome easily. Facebook fuels our jealousy, and turns us into the obsessive and hyper-protective people in relationships we do not want to be.

As someone who spends each day talking about relationships and sex, I logically understand the uselessness of jealousy, but that does not mean I am beyond its influence. After recently starting to date a guy, I quickly found myself in the grips of near insanity as Facebook made it painfully clear just how popular he is with women.

Is there a solution to this problem? My answer was to delete the guy I am dating from my friend list. I may not be able to turn off my jealousy with just one click, but I can save myself a lot of grief by simply distancing myself from him, at least online.

We're still dating and the issue of us not being friends on Facebook comes up from time to time. He will say something like, "Well if we were Facebook friends you would have seen the youtube video I posted of that band!”

I remind him that if we were friends, then I would also see his ex's sad attempts to vie for his attention, like how she “likes” every youtube video he puts up.

Yes, this means that there is a lot I am not seeing, but remember what we did before the Internet? We trusted people, or at least we trusted them until they gave us a reason not to. If you have trouble with jealousy, you too might benefit from deleting the person your Facebook says you are in a relationship with.

Where do we draw the line between letting someone into our world, and letting them into that part of ourselves on the world wide web?

Couples are increasingly citing social networking sites as major factors in their divorces and breakups. She intercepted emails he was exchanging with his yoga instructor, or he became impossibly jealous after she refused to delete her ex from her friend list. Facebook may not be causing these splits, but it does facilitate many relationship problems by fueling our jealous imaginations and by documenting our flirtations.


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