New York–Roses, cards and gifts are too clichéd gifts for Valentine’s Day, so people should now discuss boundaries regarding social media with their significant other, says a researcher
The study conducted at Kansas State University noted that without a discussion, each person in the relationship might have a different view of what is and is not acceptable.
“Social media can enhance romantic relationships when it’s used to stay in touch throughout the day or honour your partner’s achievements, but there are pitfalls to avoid that could damage the relationship,” said Joyce Baptist, Associate Professor at Kansas State University.
The study involved nearly 7,000 couples who use social media, and Baptist found that the more accepting couples are of “boundary crossing,” or communicating with someone they perceive as physically attractive, the more harmful it is to their relationship.
“A crossing is when a partner brushes a proverbial guard rail, possibly by having platonic but frequent contact with another individual he or she finds attractive. Boundary violation, on the other hand, may be emotional or physical infidelity,” Baptist said, suggesting that couples should discuss when a crossed boundary becomes a violation.
He said that it was an important conversation for couples to have as a preventative measure.
“Although they may say, ‘I trust you and it’s OK,’ they are not happy about it. They eventually perceive that their significant other is spending too much time connecting with others on social media rather than paying attention to their own partner,” Baptist added.
Not paying enough attention to your partner and frequently crossing the boundaries can decrease relationship satisfaction and levels of care that people receive from their significant other.
Since every relationship has ups and downs and that may tempt a person to confide in a former significant other during lower points of a relationship.
“Keeping lines of communication open with former significant others can become a slippery slope. When you come across an old flame or another attractive person on social media, the question to ask is: Will communicating with this other person enhance my relationship or harm it?” Baptist said.
It is always tempting to recount the moments you have shared with your previous significant other but reigniting an old flame can destroy your current relationship.
“My best advice is that if you are serious about your relationship, cut off those (old) ties,” Baptist suggested in press statement that appeared on website of Kansas State University.