You feel very popular. All day long, you’re texting, posting comments on a social media site, and responding to endless e-mails. You’re making friends and influencing people.
But in doing so, you may be ignoring your partner. They may feel hurt and jealous because of all the time and energy you’re devoting to your cyber life.
The fact is, big problems can develop when we start getting our needs for comfort and closeness met outside of our primary relationship. I’ve seen time and time again how over-sharing online leads to under-caring at home.
Is your love life at home and social media life online in sync or out of balance?
Ask yourself, do you ever:
Check your email, or favorite social media site before your head is off the pillow in the morning, or the second your partner leaves you alone?
Share more about your life, thoughts and feelings with your online friends than with your partner?
Surf the internet or text when you could be spending quality time with your partner?
Put your phone, face up on the table at a restaurant instead of in your pocket or purse when you’re out with your partner?
Have to “check one thing real quick” on your computer or smartphone when you were supposed to be at the event 10 minutes ago?
Interrupt an activity you’re doing with your partner just to text, post, or tweet about it?
Feel defensive because your partner/friends/family ask you if you’re even listening since you’re staring at a screen while they’re talking to you?
If you answered ‘yes’ to 2 or more questions, BEWARE!
You may be sacrificing your relationship for your online life. You’ll need to refocus your time and attention toward your primary relationship, not your virtual ones.
Here are 4 quick tips to help you find balance between getting your social media fill and having a close, loving relationship with your partner.
1. Spend good, quality time alone with your partner offline.
When you’re with your partner, hold hands, express gratitude, compliment them—anything that communicates how important they are to you and that you appreciate them. If your relationship feels happy and strong, your partner is far less likely to resent or begrudge you the time you spend online. When your relationship is more fulfilling, you’ll probably want to spend less time online, anyway.
2. Use technology to spice up your relationship.
Instead of allowing technology to isolate you from your partner, use it as a way to show your partner how much you care. Text to say, “I’m thinking of you.” Email them to let them know all the reasons you love and appreciate them. Then whisper more of that into their ear at night.
3. Discuss guidelines.
Communicate clearly and honestly about when it’s appropriate to text or be online, and what is and isn’t acceptable to post. For example, you may think your partner falling asleep midday, mouth wide open, body spread eagle on the couch is cute – but your partner might be absolutely mortified if you posted it on Facebook. A good rule of thumb is if there is even the slightest question in your mind – ask your partner first.
4. Be an open book.
Tell your partner about all the social media outlets you post in. Make it clear to your partner that your networks all know you’re in a committed relationship. You need to be trustworthy if you want to be trusted.
Remember what really matters in life. Hint: it’s not your new online “friend,” or how many likes your post generated, it’s your real life partner, and letting them know with your words and actions that they’re loved and appreciated. In the long run, the fleeting feeling of elation and illusionary connection you have with your cyber friends will never compare with being held, adored and nurtured by a warm, loving partner sitting right next to you.
Why Your Relationship Needs a Social Media PreNup: Watch the Katie Show Clip here
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