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Is Sharing Your Relationship On Social Media Destroying It?

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We see it all the time: relationship oversharing on social media. Those perfect couples who constantly post mushy gushy love notes to one another, brag about how awesome they are, and leave the rest of us wondering what in the world is wrong with our own mediocre relationships.

Some days I sit there looking at these posts and just shaking my head. Hells yes I’m jealous! Who doesn’t want gorgeous selfies with their guy, and he actually looks HAPPY to be in the picture?

I have to beg Mr. OG to be in a selfie. Then if I don’t push that shutter button quick enough, I end up with a photo of me looking deliriously happy, next to a blur of the side of Mr. OG’s face, because he’s already bailed. Or I end up looking annoyingly perky next to him looking pissed at the world. Like so:

 

 

The point is, these kinds of overly-exuberant relationship posts can leave some of us feeling inadequate and dejected, because our regular old relationships don’t seem to hold a candle to the perfection we see everyday on our Facebook or Instagram timelines. Are those couples really that much more in-tune than the rest of us? Let’s find out.

 

 

What Oversharing Can Mean for Your Relationship

 

Guess what? Those indefectible couples probably aren’t as blissfully in love as they appear. Research says relationship oversharing on social media may not be the best thing for your partnership. There are many concerns that this type of behavior could be pointing to, and I am going to briefly discuss three of them.

 

Validation:

In an interview with Daily Mail, sexologist Nikki Goldstein points out, “Often it’s the people who post the most who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media.” She goes on to mention that by seeking validation outside of the relationship, you are taking away from the quality of the moments you spend with your partner.

“The likes and comments can be so validating that when someone is really struggling, that’s where they get their up from – not the person making the gesture, but what other people will say about it,” she states. “You see people who will focus so much on taking a ‘relfie’ – a relationship selfie – and getting the right filter and hashtags that they’re missing the moment. Couples are taking these photos, straight away putting them online and then watching the likes and comments instead of being with their partners.”

 

Insecurity:

It isn’t necessarily posting pictures of you and your partner that’s the problem. It’s what you are masking that becomes the issue.

Northwestern University researchers surveyed over 100 couples, and afterward, released a report on the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. They found this: “On a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships more visible.”

 

Possessiveness:

Goldstein goes on to mention that how a couple poses in photos, or how they label those photos can bring in an element of ownership. She uses the example of The Bachelorette’s Sam Frost and Sasha Mielczarek, who were constantly posting photos on Instagram of their “perfect” relationship. Sadly, they only lasted 18 months before they split for good.

 

 Source: Sasha Mielczarek’s Facebook.

 

Many of their Instagram photos were labeled “My man,” or “My bae.” Notice also that in the above photos they are displaying quite a lot of forced affection, and you can see that Sasha is almost always holding onto Sam in some way.  These all can be signs of possessiveness, which is never healthy in a relationship.

Goldstein says, “There are a lot of people out there who want to flaunt to their friends and the world that this person is mine.” Do you feel the need to show people that your partner “belongs” to you? That could be a problem.

 

What’s the Meaning?

So, according to the above information, if a couple feels the need to document every moment they spend together on social media, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple has to make themselves look way happier on the internet than they are in real life, it might not be a good thing. Or if a couple needs constant reaffirmation from outside sources that their relationship is going well, it might not be a good thing.

Of course, this made me think about celebrities, those people we all follow on social media that look so fulfilled. How about we conduct our own little experiment here? Let’s look at a few examples of celebrities who stay private verses those who overshare  (because I don’t think my friends would like if I started comparing them on this blog).

I warn you, this experiment is EXTREMELY scientific.

 

 

Staying Private

Here is a short list of celebrity couples who have been together for 10 years or more, and who try to keep the nuances of their relationships private, especially on social media:

 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, together since 1988

 

Source: Rita Wilson’s Instagram

 

These two are known for being very private, yet they aren’t afraid to address their bond occasionally. They’ve been through a lot together: she is his second wife, he helped her through a breast cancer diagnosis. They credit honesty and humor as two of the reasons they are still together. They don’t hide their relationship from their social media accounts, but they do post sparingly, and generally the posts are not possessive or showy.

 

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, together since 2004

 

Source: Portia de Rossi’s Instagram

 

One of my favorite things about this couple is how supportive they are of one another. If you check out their social media accounts, you won’t see a lot of mushy posts about their undying love. Instead, you see a few pictures of them on vacation together, or supporting one another’s achievements. They definitely respect each other. You also don’t see them looking possessive or having to declare their undying love constantly for the world to see.

 

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, together since 1994

 

Source: Will Smith’s Instagram

 

It’s known the the Smiths have had their ups and downs, but one thing that they have always valued is privacy. While they are willing to answer surface questions about their relationship, they don’t talk about the ins and outs very often. Instead, they opt  to keep that between the two of them. Search through their social media accounts and you aren’t going to see a ton of pictures of them together. That’s not to say they don’t exist, but usually it’s pictures of them with their kids, or small discreet tributes on special days (like their 20 year anniversary).

 

Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn, together since 1983

 

Source: Goldie Hawn’s Instagram

 

I have always loved this couple! For one, like Mr. OG and I, they have never felt the need for a wedding (Goldie was married twice before they got together, and Kurt once). But that doesn’t mean they are any less in love and committed to one another. Their social media accounts are full of fun pictures of them enjoying life, together and apart (I want to be best friends with them, btw). What has been the key to their successful relationship? “Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex,” Hawn says. “If you don’t nurture that, and remember, you’re done.” These two try to keep their relationship out of the spotlight, and instead focus on nurturing their beautiful blended family.

 

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, together since 2007

 

Source: Justin Timberlake’s Instagram

 

These two have been extremely private since their relationship began. They rarely post photos together on their social media accounts. In fact, it’s almost always on a special occasion if they do. When it was leaked that Biel was pregnant in 2014, the two wouldn’t confirm or deny the rumors for some time. Timberlake is known for being very protective of his family. When they do mention one another, it seems to be with great respect and support, something we can all learn from.

 

 

Oversharing

I thought about making a list of couples who overshared on social media and ended up breaking up, but that’s not really fair. We never really know the all of the reasons for a breakup. The point of this article is not to shun posting your relationship on social media. Rather, it’s to caution that too much sharing can be a symptom of problems. So instead, I will mention a few celebrities who are known for oversharing. These celebrities also either can’t seem to make their relationships last, or are often in partnerships that are extremely volatile:

 

Taylor Swift:

 

Source: Taylor Swift’s Instagram

 

Taylor Swift is notoriously guilty of relationship oversharing on social media. Now, that may not have anything to do with her lack of success in long-term relationships, but it certainly doesn’t help. When she dated Calvin Harris, she constantly posted photos of them doing amazing things like vacationing in tropical locations, barbecuing, and riding inflated swans together. It seemed like it was meant to be. Sadly, it wasn’t.

This isn’t the first time Taylor can be accused of oversharing. She seems to be guilty of relationship oversharing with almost every partner she’s been with, including Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Even more, Taylor has a habit of writing songs about her ex boyfriends. Also, she is constantly in disputes with other celebrities (Katy Perry, Kanye West). She has no problem airing her thoughts about said “beefs” on her social media accounts. You’d think she’d learn.

 

Lindsey Lohan:

 

Source: Lindsey Lohan’s Instagram

 

Lindsey Lohan has long been known for her bizarre antics and strange relationships. She has had many a breakup unfold via social media, including recently with Egor Tarabasov. She posted quite a bit of personal information on Instagram. Basically the world was given a play by play of their entire relationship, including alleged physical abuse and infidelity. If that isn’t relationship oversharing, I don’t know what is. Then, to top it off, she got angry at people for commenting negatively about and “butting in” to her relationship. She went out of her way to make a statement (on social media, of course) to ask that people give her privacy. Go figure.

Of course, she has done all the same things in her other past relationships, with Samantha Ronson and Aaron Carter.

 

Kylie Jenner:

 

Source: Kylie Jenner’s Instagram

 

Again, we have a celebrity that can’t stop oversharing! This example is a little different than the previous two, because Kylie doesn’t necessary overshare when it comes to her relationships. She just overshares. This can still put a lot of unnecessary stress on a relationship, though. Of course, it’s to be expected, as she comes from a family that lives constantly in the spotlight. I’m going to inject my personal opinion here (shocker!) and say, Kylie drives me nuts! Almost every single picture she posts is so incredibly posed, it makes me want to puke. She is just trying way too hard to follow in her older sister Kim’s footsteps…..and Khloe’s…..and Kourtney’s…..

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t she look unhappy? That might be because she doesn’t believe in smiling, taking a note from Kim, who says it causes wrinkles. Hmmm….would I rather look like a zombie with no emotions, or have some small wrinkles around my lips and eyes because of happiness? That’s a tough one, and by tough I mean not tough at all. I’ll take happiness with a side of wrinkles please!

The main point is, Kylie seems to struggle in her relationships as well. In fact, don’t all of the Kardashian ladies? If they’d put their phones down for a moment and participate in the reality around them, they might be more successful in their love lives. Of course, they are laughing all the way to the bank, aren’t they?

 

 

The Bottom Line:

This theory behind relationship oversharing on social media clearly isn’t completely scientific. But any person with common sense can see there is a definite correlation between maintaining privacy and having success in your relationship. Of course, there is always the other side of the argument. Some researchers say that posting frequently on social media about your relationship makes you stronger. I personally haven’t seen this in action much, but it’s a valid argument that should be considered. The bottom line is, while oversharing doesn’t necessarily spell doom for a relationship, at times it can mean there is trouble brewing behind the scenes.

“But Amber,” you may be thinking, “I like posting about my partner for my family and friends to see!” Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. The key here is to avoid oversharing, maintain privacy, and stop trying to mask problems.

Many of those couples I mentioned earlier that value privacy still post about their partner on social media. There are a couple of key things to remember about the way  they post. For one, they usually save mushy posts for special occasions. Also, instead of needing to show possession, with a lot of PDA and labeling, healthy couples generally post photos of them and their partner having fun and enjoying life together. Nikki Goldstein (mentioned earlier) gives an example of a couple who posts about their relationship in the right way: social media star Pia Muehlenbeck and her boyfriend Kane Vato.

 

Source: Kane Vato’s Facebook

 

Notice they always seem to be having fun and laughing together. Their photos give us a peek into their relationship, and it doesn’t seem like they are trying reaffirm to everyone that they are SO into each other.

The takeaway here is this: Instead of trying to document every moment of your relationship for your Insta-feed, put that phone down and make some memories. When you do post pictures of you and your partner, stop trying to make all of us believe you are so excessively happy that blue birds follow you around singing all the time. Be honest. Be respectful and supportive. Have fun together, and while doing so,  if you happen to capture a moment of that on camera authentically, by all means, I’d love to see it on my wall.

Just don’t share too much, mmmkay?

 

Talk at ya later!

 

 

 

I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

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Research for this article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4115946/Sexologist-Nikki-Goldstein-says-loved-social-media-sign-relationship-failing.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/couples-social-media-oversharing-facebook-instagram-twitter-relationship-insecurities-experts-nikki-a7530911.html

https://www.elitedaily.com/dating/posting-relationship-means-failing/1752552

http://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/news/a7116/over-sharing-social-media-couple-insecure-study/

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/8-reasons-why-happy-couples-rarely-share-their-relationship-statuses-on-social-m.html

 

Six Reasons Why Space in a Relationship is Not Bad, it’s RAD

I was married exactly one week after I turned 20 years old. Tying the knot felt like such an adult thing to do.

I’m not going to lie, I felt like a badass in my wedding dress. It was a classy, sexy, crisp white, A-line gown my grandmother purchased for $99 online, and it made me look like a woman.



Underneath all the beading and tulle, I was scared shitless. It felt like I was pulling one over on everyone. I was terrified that at any moment everyone would discover that I was a phony who had no idea what the hell I was doing.

I was a little girl trying to pass herself off as a woman.

Both of us were so YOUNG. Husband #1 (his nickname, even though I’ve only been married once) was only two weeks older than me. We weren’t even old enough to legally drink. We were babies.

 

 

Lucky for me,  Husband #1 had been my best friend for years. I leaned heavily on him for support and to help me overcome my inner fears and feelings of inadequacy.

As a result, our relationship became extremely close. We knew each other better than we knew ourselves, to the umpteenth degree. In our household, number ones AND number twos were committed with the bathroom door open. There was no such thing as guy’s nights or girl’s nights, only couples’ nights. We were a package deal.

Husband #1 and I didn’t understand the concept of individuality within a relationship. We almost NEVER had space from each other. In fact, we viewed giving each other space as something negative. In our minds, the lack of space in our relationship was definitive proof of our connectedness. I remember pitying couples around us who did give each other room to breathe. I thought, “Those couples just don’t have the same chemistry and deep love for one another that we have.”

Boy, I couldn’t have been more of a dumbass.

 

 

Time is the great instructor, and as it passes it teaches us a whole lot about ourselves. It took me years to learn this, but space can be one of the very best gifts you can give to your partner and yourself.

Take a note from the experts. “In many cases,”  says Steve Ward, CEO of Master Matchmakers, “a little space will give them [your partner] time to refocus and see that it’s up to themselves, not their partners, to create personal satisfaction and happiness.”  Christopher Knippers is the author of Cultivating Confidence.  He mentions, “When two people assume all their needs are going to be fulfilled through each other, the relationship is set up for disappointment, and ultimately failure.”

The success of your relationship is partly dependent on setting and respecting each other’s boundaries. There are a shit ton of advantages you will discover when you learn to start giving your partner space.

These are the six most awesome benefits I have discovered in my own relationship:

 

It Gives You the Chance to Miss Each Other

Remember when we were kids and we would spend a few days over the summer at a friend’s house? By the end of it, I was so effing sick of that friend, I never wanted to see them again. However, after a little time apart, I would forget why I was annoyed in the first place. I missed my friend, and I was ready to dive back in headfirst.

Not much changes as an adult. Especially in relationships, when you get too close, you start to hate each other’s guts. You know those cute little quirks you love about each other? Not so much anymore. You want to take those quirks and shove them up your partner’s patootie!

But what if you give your partner some space? In my experience, when I get some time away from Mr. OG, I miss him like crazy. When I get to be around him after a little space, we have so much to talk about, and we feel content to be near each other, instead of burned out.

 

 

It reminds me of when we were first dating. We could have hours long conversations, wanting to know as much about each other as possible. Nowadays, after getting some time apart, we do the same thing. We have so much more to converse about. Besides, think about it:  Most people in serious relationships live together. Is it really that bad to give each other some space?

 

It Helps Build Trust With Each Other

As I mentioned earlier, many people make the mistake of thinking lack of space is a sign of connectedness. However, I’ve found that when I am REALLY honest with myself, usually this is just a way to disguise real issues in the relationship.

It’s not always true, but extreme closeness between partners can be a sign of insecurity in a relationship. If you can’t allow your guy to go have a beer with his bros without texting 27 times to make sure he isn’t doing anything bad, that says a lot about the level of trust you and your partner have with one another.

Giving space to your partner gives them a chance to show you they are loyal to you. I was so young when I married Husband #1. I didn’t have anything to compare our relationship to, other than my own parents’ marriage, and they were divorced when I was 11. I was winging it.

Let me tell you, I wasn’t doing a very good job. I would go through his phone when he was asleep. I was the chick who called and texted a zillion times when we were apart. I was SO insecure. It did NOTHING to better our relationship, and in fact created a whole lot of unnecessary tension.

 

 

Nowadays, Mr. OG always tells me with a wink, “I already have a crazy woman to deal with. Why would I spend guy time looking for another one?” It’s good for a laugh, but it has some truth to it.

Unless you happen to be going through life with a real asshole, most guys don’t want to spend their “guy time” thinking about another woman. They don’t want to think about you, their sister, their mom, their grandma, or any other woman in the world. Guy time is an opportunity for your man to scratch his balls freely, drink too much beer, grunt, fart, and generally act like a prepubescent teenager.

Giving him that opportunity without a guilt trip attached is assigning honor to your man. You are telling him that you love and trust him, and that you want him to have some fun on HIS terms. This is one of the best ways to make your guy feel respected. It is something he needs to do for you as well. Demand it ladies! If you’re giving this to him, make sure you are getting it back from him, or that’s a case for a huge amount of resentment.

 

It Prevents Unnecessary Fights 

Everybody fights. If a couple doesn’t fight, I’ve always thought, one of them is lying. There is no way you can spend a whole lifetime, or even just a few months with a person and agree on EVERYTHING.

 

 

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve gotten in an hours-long all out rager with Husband #1 or Mr. OG, and I think, “If I’d just have walked away earlier this damn fight wouldn’t have happened!” There are so many arguments that can be prevented by giving each other a little space to think.

The most unacceptable behaviors that come out during big brawls are simply natural defense mechanisms we create to protect ourselves when we feel cornered. Like an animal, humans tend to lash out at their partners when they feel trapped; it’s the “fight” part of our “fight or flight” instinct.

Giving space when tensions are rising offers both you and your partner the chance to calm down, organize your thoughts, and even put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Oh, and it gives your Mister the time to think of a really good apology, because we are always right ladies, am I right???

 

It Affords You the Opportunity to “Do You”  

Space in your relationship gives you time to pursue individual interests. It is very common for people, especially women, to lose themselves in a relationship. Often a person will set aside their goals, aspirations, dreams, and even hobbies, for the sake of the relationship. We have all done it.  The crazy thing is, most of the time, it ‘s completely unnecessary. In fact, many women take this step without their partner demanding it, or even hinting at it.

Really, the only time it makes sense to give up these interests is if your partner is terminally ill and you are their caregiver 24 hours a day. Even then, you still need personal time.

Ladies, we need to stop putting ourselves on the back burner! We really CAN have our cake and eat it too when it comes to being in a relationship and staying true to ourselves. So take some time to pursue those hobbies you set aside, or to learn new ones.

 

 

Read, paint, knit, get a pedicure, learn a new recipe, take a class. DO YOU. Think about it: if we DO find that our partner is not supportive of us being an individual, is that person someone we really want to build our life and future with? That’s a rhetorical question, but you should definitely answer NO to it!

 

 

Giving your Mister some alone time is guaranteed to make him happy. Mr. OG likes to golf. It’s therapeutic for him. Whether alone or with buddies, something about walking the course with a brewski in his hand can change his whole outlook on most things for the better. I don’t text or call him when he golfs. When he comes home, he is so appreciative, he can’t get enough of me. So worth it ladies!

 

It Helps You Reconnect With Your Friends

Have you noticed when a person gets into a comfortable relationship, their social life tends to goes out the window? We have all been on both ends of this kind of situation; either our friend gets a guy/gal and forgets all about us, or we get a partner and our friends are history. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a thing. It happens.

Especially in a new relationship, it’s difficult to not want to be joined at the hip with your new partner. Unfortunately, it’s usually at the expense of everyone else in your life.

However, if you and your partner are practicing giving each other a healthy amount of space, you have a good opportunity to reconnect with your old friends, or to make new ones.

I can’t emphasize enough the value of having close friends of the same sex, ESPECIALLY if you are in a committed relationship. It provides you with people to vent on,  to get advice from, to drink gallons of wine with. What’s bad about that?

 

 

So go do girls night, or guys night. Make some new friends, and remind your old friends why they love you. Showing them a little courtesy and appreciation for sticking around will go a long way.

 

It Makes Sex SO MUCH Better

There are times when sex can become a little dull and routine in long-term relationships. It takes real effort to keep things fresh and exciting.

I’ll admit it, a lot of times I’m just too damn tired to be creative when it comes to sex. There are even times when Mr. OG and I try to get it done during commercial breaks so we don’t miss our shows. What the hell? That’s life.

 

 

However, after we get a little time apart, our sex is much more rewarding. The anticipation itself adds to the excitement and pleasure. We get excited to try new things, we laugh, and we ENJOY ourselves. Instead of sex becoming a burden, it’s more like the icing on our cake of a relationship.

My sex life really changed for the better when I began to apply this principle of giving Mr. OG some extra space. Sex became fun again, and anything BUT routine.

 

The Moral of the Story

Of course, there are times and situations when space can be harmful. If trust has been broken before, it would be prudent to seek guidance from a professional in creating healthy space between you and your partner. This can enable you to respect your partner, but also to protect yourself.

A key point to remember is that it’s all about balance. Sleeping in separate bedrooms at opposite sides of the house may not be the beneficial kind of space your relationship needs. But a regular guys or ladies night, where you don’t text each other for a few hours can be.

I write from my own life experience. While I am no longer married (a story for another time), one thing I can tell you is that when Mr. OG and I make it a priority to create and maintain healthy space between us, it changes our relationship immensely for the better.

Ironically, the less space you give each other, the further apart you grow. If longevity is important to you, and you want to grow old with this person you call a partner, give them a little wiggle room.

Could your relationship benefit from some space? Do an honest self-examination to answer that question. Still not exactly sure? Find out by taking this quick test.

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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