When it comes to social media and romantic relationships, there's no love lost, but there are unexpected ways in which social media is good for your relationship. Between the politics of "relationship status" and stalking someone's ex, social media is a fraught playground for the anxiety ridden. It can cause undue stress in a relationship, or an individual to go privately mad while hunched over their computer alone, desperately clicking through a catalogue of ex-girlfriends, comparing themselves to each and every one of them, always coming up short. Yeah, social media sucks a lot, but it's not all bad. Your relationship might even benefit from it in ways you never noticed.
Technology is an irreversible addition to daily life, and for all its down sides, there are some great things about it too. For instance, as someone who lives on the opposite side of the world from their family and friends, it gives you easy access to their lives. Scheduling calls isn't always easy with time differences, so being able to instantly find out about a new job promotion or see photos from the weekend is a practical way to stay connected. Obviously, social media isn't all you need to build a healthy relationship (which should be a big DUH), but just as there are positives in staying connected with family and friends, there are for your relationship as well.
1. Relationships Can Begin On Social Media
Meeting your partner online is no longer a social taboo. And while it can be difficult to navigate the vast ocean of people (and duds) on Tinder or OKCupid, social media gives you a much greater insight into your blind dates. For instance, maybe you've been tweeting at a professional peer back and forth for a while, and you end up meeting for romantic drinks. Or maybe you're using Hinge and just found out your cousin's high school friend is actually pretty cute. Social media can be a great tool for dating and forming relationships, acting as a more trustworthy source than anonymous dating sites.
2. There's An Added Level Of Transparency
You should always trust your partner, but when you're just starting out, having a clear view of the other person can be helpful. It not only lets you know how trustworthy that person is, it gives you a good idea of what kind of person they are. For instance, if you've been dating someone for a long time and they refuse to put their status to "in a relationship" on Facebook, and you couple that with them being shady, or giving you periods without contact, etc. it might help you get a good picture of how they operate and how they feel about you. Generally, someone who has nothing to hide from you on social media thinks of you as someone they have nothing to hide from, which is a nice feeling for all couples.
3. It Makes It Easier When You're Apart
As someone who has had to do long distance with their SO, social media can be a life saver, especially in different time zones. It makes it so easy to do little things, like tag them in a photo of a puppy on Instagram, for instance. When you can't just lean across the couch to tell or show something to someone you love, being able to do it online is a suitable alternative. Even during the work day, it's pleasant to have someone send you links to things they'd think you'd like when both of you are otherwise too busy with your jobs to jump on the phone.
4. It's Actually A Pretty Cute Log Of Your Relationship
Who prints out photos these days? Who compiles albums of memories? I'm sure some Leslie Knope types (me), but also, no one, really. If you're uploading photos of special occasions and vacations to Facebook, even if only you and your close loved ones can see them, it's a nice personal long for you to have as a souvenir of your relationship. Sometimes when we're busy being cynical of social media, we forget how nice it can be to reflect on loving memories. And no, you don't need photos to have fond memories, but I challenge anyone not to feel fuzzy inside clicking through an album full of loved-up, happy faces.
5. It Can Give You A Sense Of Solidarity
It's a really wonderful feeling to feel part of a two person team. If you're in something, you're in it together. Including social media! Being able to talk about the day's happenings online, whether it's the news, life events of mutual friends or acquaintances, or even linking to and supporting one another's work can be valuable to a relationship. I know from experience that every time my boyfriend posts a link to one of my articles it makes me feel like we've got a pretty solid and supportive unit, and while it might seem frivolous because ~social media is evil~, what's so frivolous about showing someone you love how much you believe in them?
6. It's An Exercise In Trust Building
Back to the trust thing: you shouldn't trust your partner simply because you stalk them on social media. But social media allows you to test your trust by NOT constantly stalking them. It gives you the opportunity to trust each other even though social media is so transparent. Which means you get to see your partner warts and all, from ex partners to drunken college nights. Social media, in some respects, lays out everything about another person. And if someone can love you, even with all that visible, and accept you for who you are, maybe that's worth putting some trust into.