Is Facebook Sabotaging Your Romantic Possibilities?

Facebook Relationships

A long, hard look at how the social network is affecting your chances at real intimacy.

Our devices and media can also negatively impact our present dating situations. As Dr. Sherry Turkle, Ph.D. in Sociology and Personality Psychology, said in her TED Talk last year, "Those little devices in our pockets are so psychologically powerful, they not only change what we do; they change who we are."

We have not only shaped technology to fit into our daily lives and needs, we have started adapting to make our own lives more easily work with those pieces of technology. Instead of simply checking Facebook as a once-in-a-while, fun little tool for networking or keeping in contact, millions of Americans find themselves obsessively refreshing, sticking close to their computers to see what else will happen.

Theoretically, using technology should allow us to be more closely connected, not bring us further apart. And yet, we allow ourselves to take social media concerns incredibly seriously — sometimes to the point where it can damage a relationship if one party is not reciprocating those public e-displays of affection. Spira says, "The first priority is that both parties need to be on the same digital page when it comes to social media and Facebook status updates. Having a conversation about how each one of you would like to handle social media and posting is imperative to the health of your relationship." By doing this, you're eliminating the potential for problematic misunderstandings or hurt feelings as a direct result of Internet interactions.

"Second, if you spend the majority of your time online flirting with your sweetheart, you're leaving IRL intimacy on the table," says Spira. "Find a balance that works for both of you. Saying 'I love you' shouldn't only happen digitally." Instead of using Facebook as a tool to project your relationship, "Use social media in a positive way such as flirting on Facebook chat, sending a text message, posting a photo of the romantic restaurant you just dined in to keep the romance alive."

If you feel like Facebook is getting in the way of your intimacy as a couple, try taking a break from it. Your relationship is more important than a little blue page, right? Oh, and Spira gives one last obvious — yet often overlooked — piece of advice: “Never, ever change your Facebook relationship status to "In a Relationship” until you've had the talk and both are comfortable becoming Facebook official at the same time."