When it comes to our romantic lives, the lines between public and private have become quite blurry. Some people are willing to subject their entire relationship to public scrutiny, offering a blow-by-blow account of conflicts and make-ups for anyone connected with them to read and comment on. Whether it’s Facebook status updates or daily blog postings, for some folks, it’s all on display.
One of the major problems with this is that every little high experienced, as well as every mistake made, is both magnified and amplified. You tweet your first kiss to a thousand ‘friends’ and receive several dozen virtual high-fives in a matter of hours. Or you write about your latest fight on Facebook and have dozens of sympathizers calling your partner all sorts of names and telling you to get rid of him or her.
How is it possible to develop and maintain a clear and realistic assessment of your relationship amid all of this? Furthermore, how is it possible to stand on your own two feet and make your own decisions about your partnership when you have dozens of other voices almost instantly appearing in your head to compete with whatever your gut is telling you?
Here are two guidelines I use for myself, which might be helpful for you as well:
1. Don’t share current relationship conflict on social media. If I want to talk about current struggles or relationship questions with others online, I might head to one of the numerous dating and relationship sites.
2. Don’t have a relationship status on Facebook. Early on, I did change my relationship status a few times and found that it just led to confusion and having to tell people stories about very short-term relationships that really didn’t need to be told. Dating someone for 3 or 4 weeks doesn’t need to be highly publicized, nor does the end of that connection. Reserve the status for major milestones.
What’s your experience with all of this? Do you have any other helpful guidelines to share?
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