Social media and dating should have nothing to do with each other. I firmly believe there should be a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the early stages of dating; meaning that until you have an acknowledged commitment, you should both be dating other people, but not necessarily telling the other about it. However, posts, Tweets, and uploads frequently reveal sensitive information that is inappropriate to share in a new relationship.
I can’t even tell you how many clients have called me upset about something they read or saw on their lover’s social page. One client didn’t call me until after she had already freaked out on the guy she was crazy about. She saw a post about him and another girl, and then called and told him off. He dumped her.
When she called me, it was to see if she could get him back. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. He thought she was crazy. You see, they had only had a few dates, but she had slept with him. They had never said they were exclusive, and she hadn’t asked if he was seeing anyone else. She caused her own heartburn and ruined any chance of a real relationship. All because she saw something that she shouldn’t have.
Now, one could argue that she saved herself valuable time by finding out he was a cheater. But did she? She has no idea what that other girl’s relationship to him is. She might be a friend, a relative, or just a casual date. She might have been the girl he was crazy about. But when she attacked him for essentially no reason, it turned him off.
The pattern I see over and over again is social media relaying very important information that is either misconstrued or that comes from the wrong source. The whole “If you see something, say something” campaign does not apply to relationships. Being an open book is a sign of unhealthy boundaries. Be smart about social media. Dating is hard enough; don’t sabotage your efforts by causing your own heartburn.
Rules for social media and dating:
- Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want dates or lovers to know about.
- Don’t snoop on your love interest’s or ex-lover’s social pages.
- Don’t accept invitations or extend invitations to anyone until you’re in a committed relationship. Even then, use caution.
I’ve always believed that snooping is a bad idea. If you find something that upsets, you can’t ask about it without admitting that you were snooping. Snooping is a major violation of boundaries and is very destructive to the trust in your relationship. Social Media is public access to snooping. The danger of is discovering something that’s completely innocent but allowing your insecurity to blow it out of proportion or make it something it’s not. Even worse, it gives you too much information that you wouldn’t have known any other way.
If you need more help recognizing what you’re doing wrong or finding who could be right for you I offer personal coaching. You’ll also find more help in my book: Giving Up Junk-Food Relationships: Recipes for Healthy Choices