Single people struggle with the negative effects Facebook can have on them and how to adjust their use for more positivity, and couples do too according to one statistic that says Facebook has become a leading cause of divorce. If you haven't had it come between you on occasion, consider yourself lucky. Yes, while it's true that Facebook may only amplify a couple's pre-existing problems (like infidelity), it's still considerate to read and apply the following guidelines out of respect for your relationship. My favorite relationship analogy comes from the book Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book she describes your relationship like a house that needs to be protected by keeping doors and windows secure. Our actions can open windows and doors to unwanted riff raff, so we need to consciously decide what we are letting in and out. The following guidelines can get you started.
1. Wear your Facebook wedding band
I'm talking about your relationship status here. Changing your relationship status to 'In a relationship' or more specifically "In a relationship with _________" (tag your love) is an effective way to tell your friends and any of your profile visitors that you are happily taken. Acknowledging your anniversary is also a nice gesture.
2. Filter your friend requests
The rule of thumb is to only add people you know in real life. This excludes a lot of riff raff for single and committed people alike. But in a relationship it's wise to take this one step further by only keeping company that respects your relationship too.
3. Keep your private messages appropriate
Perhaps thinking about whether you would want your partner talking to a certain person or about certain topics can help you determine what's appropriate. You may even think about what it would be like to share the conversation with them. If messages to you contain inappropriate content, you can ignore it and redirect the conversation and employ a "3 strikes you're out" before fading them out of your Facebook use and life. Or stop it dead in its tracks.
4. Make your profile private
Drama can ensue not only from the friends you keep, but just those who search for you and look at your public content. Making your profile as private as possible (for friends only) maintains your security and right to privacy and sends the message that you are consciously deciding what to let in and out of your life or at least, Facebook.
5. Never air your dirty laundry
I shouldn't have to include this guideline because it seems like common sense, but you see these repeat offenders all the time. The quote "too many passengers sink relationSHIPS" comes to mind. Your dirty laundry doesn't belong on the internet. Nothing good comes from including Facebook in your private affairs with another person. It's very distasteful and makes you look just as bad, if not worse than your partner or ex.
6. Limit your use
If you find yourself wanting to air your dirty laundry, it's probably because you need to talk to your other half, not Facebook. And if you're finding yourself in some kind of Facebook moral dilemma, it's probably because you're not spending enough time with them. The grass is greener where you water it and Facebook has a lot of fake grass if you know what I mean.
7. Foster trust
No doubt trust issues run rampant these days, but if your partner has them, you have committed to working them out together. If your partner has a concern, you should consider their feelings even if they don't seem reasonable. No, I don't think sharing a Facebook account or disclosing your passwords for your partner to pour through your messages when they feel insecure is fostering trust. I'm just saying elevate your relationship. Hear your partner out and give them every reason to trust you so you can move forward and not remain stagnant. If you're not guilty or embarrassed of any of your Facebook or phone activity, you'll be able to put them at ease by looking at them together if they question something. This is bound to come up in even the most secure long term relationships. It's kind of like knowing someone loves you, but still wanting to hear it.
Ivy Brooks works as a freelance copywriter using the art of language to achieve the business goals of her clients. In her spare time she takes classes about writing, internet marketing, business and various topics and writes creatively to expand her portfolio. She welcomes you to contact her for a free consultation about your current project or business and how she can assist you with her talents. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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