With the explosion of social media, we’ve seen relationships take some pretty ugly turns, right before our very computer screens. Especially when sites such as Facebook and Twitter first arrived on the scene, few of us quite knew how to handle it in regards to our love lives. But remember, social media is considered public space. Never do anything such as the following if you wouldn’t feel just as comfortable doing it on a congested sidewalk. And if you would do these things in public, um, you might want to take a look at the health of your relationship and what you consider to be acceptable behavior.
Don’t Go A-Stalking
Sure, he’s probably still friends with his ex’s online, even if he’s not friends with them in real life. But that doesn’t give you permission to start stalking them, and especially not to start harassing them. In a similar vein, it’s not okay to try and stalk your own guy online or have your friends do the dirty deed for you. Relationships are built on trust, and you two aren’t going to get anywhere if you’re trying to watch his every move.
Don’t Make Your Tiffs Public
If you have something to say, say it offline. Don’t go posting immature, goading or uncomfortable comments on your lover’s wall for the world to see. If you care about and respect the relationship you have with him, you’ll discuss any problems you have with him in private. You otherwise take a severe risk in upsetting your man even more and just plain embarrassing yourself in front of your friends.
The Past is the Past
Don’t get upset about anything that’s on your beau’s social profiles from before you two were dating. This includes any negative thoughts he may have written about dating, any jokes about a kind of physique or characteristic you happen to have, and any pictures of them with their ex’s. He did all sorts of things and thought all sorts of thoughts before he met you. Don’t expect him to comb through his entire backlog and delete any possible thing that could upset you.
His Profiles Aren’t All About You
Don’t interrogate your guy about tweets or posts or comments—either from him or others—that don’t concern you. He has a life outside of you that started long before you came along, and he may indeed have other guys (or girls) flirting with him. The only time you’re allowed to get upset is if he were to start flirting back.
Don’t Out Him
If you’re dating the guy, you should have a really good idea of whether or not he’s out. Never forget that outing is a kind of spectrum, ranging from nobody knowing to everybody knowing. But it’s rarely one or the other. Plenty of guys are out to their friends, but not, say, their immediate family back in Arkansas. So don’t go tagging him in obvious photos or posts that could land him in some hot water at home. Is it hard working with him on this kind of level? Sure. But you knew what you were getting into while you were getting into it. Compromising his privacy online is pretty much the same as calling up his folks and introducing yourself as his boyfriend. Don’t do it.
Don’t Use Social Media as a Measure of Your Relationship Success
Social media shouldn’t be used as a way to flaunt your relationship, prove its success or compare it to the relationships of others. In the end, your relationship is about two people: you and your man. Nobody else needs to see (or care) about every single second of it. Further, every relationship is different. If you start getting upset because your friend uploads more couple pics and receives more smoochy comments from his guy than you do, that’s no reason to get upset. Be in a relationship that makes you happy, not one that’ll simply make you look good in front of everyone else.
So have there ever been any epic relationship fails done online by either you or a friend? Tell us about them in the comments below, especially what you learned in the end!