Facebook Challenges to Consider (In Love) and New Relationship
Potential vulnerability and impact of posting your new love relationship status
When you’re active on Facebook, your new love relationship is under magnification. If you choose to announce your status.
When you’re in a NEW relationship, you’re vulnerable. You likely want to share your joy, but hesitate on the best timing. Do you do it now or wait until the relationship settles in a bit? You’re excited or maybe giddy to announce to your Facebook friend-sphere, your new addition and happy status.
But wait… proceed with caution!
On Facebook, your status, profile, and photos are examined and exposed. You can currently delete but you can’t erase what has already been posted. It’s easy for people to share with just a tap on the screen. Almost anyone can forward and save a photo.
If you have a large set of friends or followers, you never know who their connections are. Or who they know. And what they possibly know about your new partner that you may not even have discovered yet in your course of dating. There are always people who know a bit of history about your new mate. And who do they know? Your new partners’ connections.
Remember the days when you only had a phone call, letter/card writing, and in person ways to communicate? I remember those days before email came on the scene. Word still spread to your friends like wildfire when a new couple you knew emerged. Maybe just not as quickly. Now news can be announced all over the internet in a millisecond for friends and acquaintances to see.
Deciding to Post Your New Relationship Status or Photos
When you decide to post your new relationship status, a photo of your couple hood, or a declaration post of your relationship, it shows up in your friends’ news feeds. Then “likes” and comments are made on your posted new status or photos.
You almost can’t control the initial comments people make. Usually just congratulatory well wishes. But sometimes inside jokes and jabs emerge that can be taken any number of ways by readers.
Not to mention emojis that are overly used. And used carelessly and sometimes inappropriately. Usually harmless and meant for warm regards. But can’t they come up with a set of smiley faces and hearts that are only for those in a romantic relationship?
And what if you are already Facebook friends with an old girlfriend or boyfriend? What impact does that have? How did that relationship end? Nice people consider other people’s feelings.
When I got engaged, I decided to post a photo of our engagement announcing my fiancé. He did the same. We discussed it. Before that, we kept our relationship status to ourselves and shared maybe an occasional photo of us together with possibly other people.
Mind you, we use Facebook differently. My fiancé posts regularly, almost every day. He posts a “check in” status everywhere he goes. I only post once in a blue moon. I like to read, “like”, and comment on other peoples’ posts. But my personal posting is mainly travel photos after I’ve returned from a trip. I blog so I use a different social media sharing outlet, and in a different way.
But as a new couple, you are more critical of what is put out there in essentially the Facebook universe. He doesn’t like photos that make him look fat or out of shape. I don’t like photos where eyes aren’t opened or make me look like I have a double chin. No one does, but a photo is subjective to each person’s eyes and thoughts. So, you have to be careful it’s not a bad photo to your partner.
There’s a lot more to consider than just posting a photo of yourself.
And sharing your relationship on Facebook can leave you feeling vulnerable, when:
Scenario: Inappropriate comments come from other people about a post you made.
DO: You can’t control what others write or say, but you can choose wisely how you react. And you can influence your partner on how to react. As that will be likely be seen to the same group that was reading the inappropriate comment.
Scenario: When you are out with your girl friends or buddies without each other, and a photo gets posted or tagged that your partner sees, that looks like you may have had just a little too much fun (or something else deemed inappropriate).
DO: Be proactive and fill in the blanks and questions to your partner, you would have if you were on the other end.
Scenario: When a photo of your partner is posted with a person of the opposite sex that you don’t know.
DO: Don’t worry or seethe. Ask. Feel comfortable with the answer. If it bothers you, most likely your partner will care and see that the post gets taken down. Otherwise you have to wonder, “why”? And that could be a bigger issue between the two of you to work out “offline”.
Scenario: When your partner posts on topics where you have differing beliefs like politics or religion. Do you ignore or confront?
DO: Remember social media is just an outlet. If your partner rants on topics, it’s better to ignore it and let others call it out. We live in a world where everyone wants to put in their two cents. If no one writes anything controversial back, there’s not a problem. Don’t make it one.
Scenario: As a couple, you disagree on something to post. Like the death of a shared pet or an emerging health issue suddenly happens to one of you with questionable future impact. And even worse, a relative takes the liberty to share the news on Facebook. Then you have to do some form of damage control, even if it’s just a light conversation.
DO: Share your feelings with your partner and let the rest go. The news will disappear. Social media posts have a shelf life, that’s short lived. Those who really care will reach out privately. And most people are concerned with their own lives. Even if they are busy bodies or retired. They move on. If they don’t and you wished they would, talk to your reasonable and calm friends on how to react if you need detailed, sound advice. They may have experienced something similar or know of someone. Social media is fairly new so there are many gray areas. But there’s always help around if you ask.
Scenario: You’re not sure if the relationship will last (and even worse, you might learn about it first on Facebook).
DO: Stay positive. Talk with your partner about what you would do on social media if you don’t work out, in advance and in the beginning of your courtship relationship (or decide to do it now). The intention is not to put these thoughts in each of your minds, but just to be prepared, and not unpleasantly surprised should that happen. Things happen in life. And if your relationship ends, such a “touchy” breakup subject should be discussed as a couple first before sharing on social media. If you or your partner does something to warrant a breakup, you or partner shouldn’t be as surprised about the shared news. When it appears on social media, it could hurt deeply but it will go away. Talk to others before you do anything on social media. Don’t isolate yourself in a bubble.
If something you perceive impacting your relationship on social media is really bad, you can always choose to leave social media. That is a choice. We once upon a time lived without Facebook (about 15 years ago) and there are many successful (e.g. married) couples where one of the spouse members is not even on Facebook or social media.
As a new couple, you are figuring things out. For example, maybe you’ll end up together and decide to post as one account in the future. Where you are today, is not where you will be tomorrow.
And social media is good in many ways. There are great things about sharing your new relationship to your friends. Think about the positive things that make it worth it.
The Great Thing about Sharing Your New Relationship on Facebook:
With just a tap of button, you feel happy because you have something to smile about when you post or see a post from your partner about your relationship. That feeling carries you through the day and the weekend. You get the “warm and fuzzies” when your partner comments back or sends you a sweet emoji or “like” back.
You can also feel like you have a life where it feels like everyone else is plastering up photos of their families, and things they are doing in their appearing happy and shiny lives. Seeing a shared photo with your partner on your news feed, you feel like you are loved, belong, and have success in this world. In relationships, Facebook can be a feel good tool. And that’s okay.