Think of your new love connection as a newborn baby.
180 Days. Yes, six months of silence. Embarking on a new relationship is similar to getting the keys to a new car. (Well, without the pending car payment, need for fuel, and worry your friend is going to spill their caramel latte on your fresh leather seats.) It's similar in a sense that you want to slay everyone Beyoncé-style and show off the new love in your life.
I recall getting the keys to my first brand new car. Windows down, radio speakers bumping and nowhere important to go. I must have driven that day for an hour or more around the city. Seeing others gawk at my new wheels assured me back then. It made me feel like I arrived and that I was worthy of beautiful things.
The analogy works — except new boyfriends and girlfriends can break down sooner than the latest model luxury vehicle.
I write in my new book Love Laws about the relevancy of Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, and how they have become the new gateway entrance not for drugs, but attention.
A few years back I learned the lesson of social media and love. 2008 was a year I started posting photos of me and my soon to be wife on Facebook. I remember the feeling of finality, a cloud that drew over my emotions after posting to the world. Not of regret, but a miscalculation.
What if this relationship didn't work out? What if an ex came out and spoke of my past? How would I handle a guy commenting on her page so soon? Is it fair if she interacts with guys of the opposite sex since we are just dating?
Reflecting back on this moment, I hope you do things differently. We have been married for five years and so much of our lives exist on social media. The roots are deep in the ground with love.
During our moments of tension and conflict, friends of ours reminded us of the perception and the reality of our relationship. That we are relationship role models to many who "follow" us. We didn't need that as motivation to get our lives in order.
But a newbie relationship in the first 180 days may not be able to sustain the pressure of perception.
Why wait 180 days? The six-month mark is equal to a fork in the road. Jitters and nerves have gone away. You're now forced with making a decision. Turn right and you're committing to what could be a promising future. Turn left and you're choosing to remain friends with a possible revisitation of a relationship down the road.
You have six months to pretend, wine and dine, movie dates and maybe an out of town trip. At some point things must evolve. If you don't enjoy their company now, that probably won't change in six more months. This is a major reason why privacy is vital. It allows you to shift course without much public explanation. Time may be wasted but egos and feelings may be saved.
Think of your new love connection as a newborn baby. The auntie with the smoker's breath and dirty coat doesn't stand a chance holding your baby. What about the neighbor you don't like too much: any chance she holds your newborn?
Probably not; your newborn baby is precious. Not just because of their soft hair and good-smelling skin, but more so because they are still developing. Their need to breathe air, see clearly, hear the environment, poop and pee are vital to live.
The old flame would never prowl if they weren't privy to your information. You wouldn't have so many enemies if you stopped sharing all your business with your friends and followers.
Wrap up the tender relationship you have. Change the settings on your connection to private and not public sharing. You don't need likes to find love and surely don't need new followers for friends.
Social media is dope, but we must resist its magnetic pull on the areas of our life not yet ready for its power.