The 4 Biggest Obstacles Social Networking Brings to Relationships

Posted by: Erica Conte for

Hardships in relationships are something we cannot avoid; however, when couples are challenged with an issue and communicate and work together toward a solution, it can potentially result in a stronger bond. Jealousy and other fears that come with the dating territory are natural and understandable, but with the arrival of the digital age, these emotions now run the risk of escalating more than ever.

Thanks to social networks, the lives of friends you love, like, and even dislike are on display awaiting comments and sharing with just about everyone. As convenient and entertaining as these networks can be, they can also contribute to, if not increase, trust issues in a romantic relationship.

Related: Is Online Dating a Must-Do These Days?

For a relationship to succeed, both partners have to trust one another. Social networking brings a whole slew of communication tactics into play in relationships that weren't there before, and all of them serve as obstacles to gaining and maintaining that trust. However, by understanding how and why these fears may arise, and why they are in most cases nothing to worry about, you can view these so-called 'woes' in a more healthy way. Here are the 4 most common activities fueled by social networking that present the most frequent obstacles to maintaining trust in relationships:

1. Your partner's sharing activity

The use of sharing information online has given the public a free opportunity to investigate the lives of others. People will jokingly refer to social networks as "the place to stalk". We suddenly find ourselves interested or even obsessed with the most insignificant details of someone's life. In relationships, viewing your partner's profile and activity runs the risk of developing into a constant and paranoid habit.

Related: Don't Wear Your Heart on Your Facebook Page

2. Your partner's relationships with others

With this constant opportunity to connect, you may find your partner making connections with others that you know, merely heard of, or never knew existed. No one relationship is an open book, which is why social networking contributes to growing (and in most cases, invalid) suspicions around your partner's relationships.

Related: What's Your Status? Making Your Relationship "Facebook" Official

3. Your partner's "friendlier" friends

Because all of this social networking takes place online, the potential for text or images to be misinterpreted is naturally greater. Viewing a picture online of your partner and someone that you don't know enables your mind to wander down an insecure path. Although you realize you may not know everyone and everything in your partner's life, social networking has the ability to enhance suspicions that may not have been present in the relationship beforehand.

4. Your partner's past

Whether you just started dating your partner or you've been together for years, the both of you had a past before committing to one another. Knowing this is one thing, but because social networking encourages connections (both old and new); the past generally resurfaces in a comment, picture, or other sharing features.

The theme these four obstacles have in common is the ease of public over-sharing. Things we may not have thought twice of before are completely magnified by social networking's ability to reveal information to just about everyone. Since social networking is not going away anytime soon, couples must articulate the concerns they have online in order to justify the over-analytical behavior that has encompassed our minds, and ideally, rise above it.

Do you think social media helps or hinders a relationship?

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