7 Painfully Honest Reasons Why Social Media Causes Relationship Problems

How social media can harm your relationship.

Last updated on Mar 08, 2024

Upset couple using laptop Tomwang112 | Canva 

Let’s face it, Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites around. You can share almost anything you want, and at the same time learn a lot about your friends and family. You can also connect with old friends from the past. This can be a lot of fun. But, at the same time, it can cause you to feel insecure.

If you are in a relationship and you start seeing your friends and family's photos of relationships that probably show them happy and in love all the time, you may start feeling insecure about your relationship, especially if you are having relationship problems at the time. It’s easy to compare yourself to others on Facebook. I think this is a natural part of being a human being. I think it’s important not to let Facebook dictate your relationship for you.


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Here are 7 painfully honest reasons why social media causes relationship problems:

1. Spending too much time on social media can cause relationship problems

Needless to say, this can cause your partner to get jealous, especially if you are commenting on your friends' photos and status all day, rather than spending quality time with your partner. Also, this can allow an ex to see you on Facebook. If your partner would like to spend time with you and you are on Facebook, your partner will feel left out. If you feel like you have to respond to Facebook right away, then this could be a problem. Your partner wants to feel like a priority in your life, don’t let Facebook get in the way.


2. Oversharing can cause big arguments

A lot of people want to share the good times in their life on Facebook. This can be fine, most of the time. But, some people may see this as self-indulgent or tacky. Also, some people like to share more than others. This is a good time to have a conversation with your partner about social media. Your partner may not be as excited to share on Facebook as you. Or, only want certain things shared. It’s alright to have differences about sharing on Facebook. But, try to come to a compromise on this. That way no one gets their feelings hurt.



RELATED: 13 Tiny Signs Your Relationship Is Doomed To Fail

3. Spending time on social media while in bed can put a damper on intimacy and affect sleep

We’ve all been there. You just want to check on one more friend. This, of course, leads to checking on more friends and posts. The next thing you know an hour has gone by. You look over at your partner and he is fast asleep. Although, you feel wide awake. Even though you need to get up early the next day. Before bed can be a great time to reconnect with your partner. If this continues to happen, he will begin to feel left out and resentful.


4. A jealous partner could use social media to be manipulative

If you are going through a rough spot in your relationship, Facebook could be used by your partner as a form of aggression. Posting pictures, having fun at parties, his arm around other women, etc. Facebook is being used as the vehicle here. There is a much more serious problem. If your partner feels he needs to use this, there might be a problem with communication. Perhaps, you have missed something. Or, your partner is holding something in. This is a great time to talk about things and get a better understanding of what a relationship means to your partner.



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5. Social media can cause major misunderstanding

In the days when social media rules, it can be anyone's game. You may see a post from a friend that has your partner in it. You thought he was at work that day, turns out he wasn’t. Maybe this was a misunderstanding, maybe it wasn’t. Not only can this cause problems with your partner, but it can cause problems with your friends.


6. Checking social media when you are spending time with your partner is a bad habit 

This is one I am seeing more and more of. You’re at a restaurant and you hardly talk to your partner. You would rather spend time catching up on Facebook. This could mean you are avoiding talking about something very important. I encourage couples to put their phones down and communicate directly with one another. This is a great time to use "I" statements. Let your partner know how you are feeling. If you are feeling left out, then let your partner know. Also, let your partner know what you need.

7. Past photos of you with your ex may bring up old feelings 

Yes, those photos are still out there. This means there is the possibility of your ex seeing them. This may make you feel creepy or like you haven’t moved on. You may decide to take those photos down. You may also ask your friends and family to remove the photos. The decision is yours. The question is: is this causing tension in your relationship? If the answer is "yes," then I would look into removing the photos.

It’s important to remember, that you can’t keep a secret on Facebook. Whatever you post, will be seen by a lot of people. So, select carefully what you decide to post. A lot of these problems could be due to underlying problems in the relationship. If that’s the case, you want to start talking about these problems. I know this may sound impossible. But, when handled gently it can lead to better communication and intimacy in your relationship.


RELATED: 7 Less-Obvious Relationship Mistakes That Drive Apart Even The Happiest Couples

Lianne Avila is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in San Mateo, CA. Her work has been featured in Psych Central, BRIDES, and Prevention.