Most of us are guilty of looking up an old flame on Facebook and having a good old nosey at their new life without us. But at what point does common curiosity turn into plain old cheating?
Facebook can be a great way of reconnecting with old friends and keeping in touch with those who’ve moved away, but it can also pose a risk to your relationship if you let the past interfere with your present.
It’s wise to think carefully before you accept or add an ex-lover on Facebook. Sure, it’s interesting to see what they’re doing now; you may even want to share some old memories with one another. But getting nostalgic often leaves us thinking about all the positive feelings we once had for someone and rarely any of the negatives. By exploring old memories and emotions you could risk misinterpreting your real feelings for both your ex and your current partner. And what’s simply nostalgia to one person can be mistaken for love interest by another.
“I started to get suspicious when I noticed my girlfriend had added her ex on Facebook. She insisted it was innocent; they were just old friends keeping in touch. But then he started emailing her, texting her, calling her… and it soon became clear he just wanted to get back together.” – Simon, Hertford.
To avoid any potential Facebook fall outs (or full on cyber warfare), sit down with your partner and work out what you’re both comfortable with. Most couples will find it helpful to set some boundaries for their time on Facebook. You might discover you’re both happier if old flames are off-limits on Facebook, but perhaps simply telling each other about any new FB friends you’ve added will be enough to maintain trust.
Facebook can be addictive and the advent of the iPhone has meant some fans find it difficult to log out. Many couples now set aside some Facebook-free time, during dinner times and date nights, so no one feels neglected in favour of the news feed.
“Every time I look round my husband has got Facebook up on his phone. I get that it keeps him entertained while we’re in the supermarket or on the bus, but when he’s still on it while we’re sitting in a restaurant waiting for our food to arrive it really, really infuriates me.” – Louisa, Cheshire.
When one partner spends too much time on Facebook it can arouse suspicions and jealousy from within their other half; it’s easy to wonder just whose profile they’re scrolling through or why they can’t seem to turn the chat function off. But don’t let your imagination run ahead of you. Talk to your partner and ask them to include you more in their online life – it needn’t take place in a secret world you know nothing about; often sharing a funny status update is enough to make a partner feel included.
Are you and your partner on Facebook? How has it affected your relationship? Why not head to the Talk it Out forum to discuss your experiences on Facebook with other Couple Connection users?