Living out loud is good. Social Media gives you the freedom to communicate, opine, rant, tell stories and connect with people. Share your best photos, the funniest memes and to broadcast your current mood no matter what it is. There’s usually someone ready to respond with theirs. To agree or disagree with you to comment, like, or commiserate with you. The rise and prevalence of Social Media networks and platforms speaks to the needs it meets in people for a listening ear, validation, agreement, or a feeling that no matter where they are or who they are with, they are never alone.

We watch our social media “friends’” lives play out on a constant basis. Social media platforms are political soapboxes, activist enablers, and for those who care to share, a continuing daytime relationship drama that plays out for our friends list every day. If you think about your friends list, you probably have more than one person who is unlucky in love and cries out their bad luck regularly on social media. We’ve seen the pattern repeat over and over. From the “I’ve met someone and we’re dating”, to “I’m totally in love with this person”, to this person is such a jerk, to good riddance to X.”  You may recognize yourself here. It’s not a happy place to be.

Putting all your dirty laundry online is harmful. Not only to your partner (ex or otherwise), to their family, to both of your friends and to your own current and future relationships. It hurts you more than it does them in the long run. .

Denigrating or insulting your partner says more about you than it does about your boyfriend, girlfriend, or ex. All the drama you project, stir up and create will certainly be a negative force in your online (and real) life. While social media is a great outlet for self-expression, it can also be a tool used to hurt and ruin others .The recent trend of online bullying has actually driven people to suicide.

So should you only post happy shiny and positive posts, creating a fake life that looks perfect and superficial? I’m not saying that at all. You should be truthful and authentic. Some people are not good for us, some relationships are toxic, and you DO need to get out of them and away from those people. Moderate your posts and comments and do your best to strike a balance in between what is healthy for you, and not harmful to someone else. Don’t set out to tear down someone that you professed to love only weeks ago.

There’s plenty to share you don’t need to put all your private relationship issues out there for everyone. You know all your friends will have comments and opinions, and do you really need that? Be aware of the power of your words to lift up or tear someone down. It’s far easier to move forward in life and get over a break-up if you don’t dwell on the hurt and pain. Don’t force friends and family to take sides, and try to keep the drama to a minimum.

Less is more when it comes to social media, what is known as TMI (too much information); divulging too much (in some peoples’ opinions) and putting all the drama and personal details out for public consumption can be off-putting and overwhelming. You do yourself and your friends and family a disservice by giving them too much access to your life. You wouldn’t let just anyone come into your home and go through your drawers and cupboards. You don’t tell just anyone you know all about your deepest darkest fears and feelings, why would you broadcast them online?

We all have a need to express ourselves and to have our feelings validated but it’s easy to carry that too far on social media. One of the reasons that love relationships fail is one or both partners spending too much time on their devices and not enough time paying attention to their partner and making real world connections.

I often wonder about people who have joint accounts. Does that mean somebody cheated? Whether the account is joint or individual, each partner should feel that they know exactly what the other is doing, to whom they are speaking and interacting with on social media sites.

Access is important especially when there are trust issues or relationship injuries. Don’t just snoop because you’re the jealous type. Give your partner respect and privacy when they need it, but each partner should be able to be an “open book” when it comes to what they’re posting and who they’re chatting with on Instagram, snapchat, etc.

Get your validation from those who matter. Seek out those real world connections and interact in real time. Save your own truest and most authentic emotional conversations for people who love you and whom you love. Never put anything on social media that you will want to take back. Read it again before you hit enter. Once you put something out into the ether, it’s there forever. You can never take it back. Remember, freedom of speech doesn’t mean we want to know all your business.

Your best chance for a long term relationship is not on social media. If he/she is really “the one” you’re not going to have to go on and on about how much you love them on social media. You’ll be too busy really loving them and spending time with them instead.


  • Stuart Fensterheim

    Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW

    The Couples Expert

    Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.