More and more people are using social media to find new love. But as helpful as it can be in establishing a relationship, social media can open up a can of unforeseen stressors. Scott Bea, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Cleveland Clinic, says when social media and social lives start to mix, it can create jealousy.
“Imagine starting a dating relationship, and you find out the guy that you’re involved with has 300 female friends,” Dr. Bea says. “I mean, it creates a whole new kind of stress. You have all of this competition that you might not have known about before, it might not have existed before.”
A recent study found sharing too much information on your profile page is most often cited as the top way social media causes stress in a relationship. Tagging your “ex” in a photo is runner-up. Getting a friend request from your ex will also cause trouble in paradise, as will finding revealing information or photos on your partner’s wall. Dr. Bea says 15 or 20 years ago, it was much easier to keep some things from the new person you’re dating. These days — not so much.
“We weren’t built to think about the person we’re dating having so many other social contacts and friends that might compete with us,” he says. “We like that feeling of exclusivity, that we’re the one that matters first and foremost.”
Dr. Bea expects people to get a little more used to this over the course of time, which will hopefully decrease the tension in the dating world.