Just pairing the words “social media and relationships” together gives me anxiety.

Although the topic may seem naïve, silly or immature, it’s not. It’s a real issue – an issue that I wanted to write about because when it comes to social media and relationships, there isn’t much out there.

Why?

The topic of social media and relationships is one of those guilt and shame-inducing unmentionables that we’re too scared to admit we have an issue with. We’re scared because there’s a part of us that feels like we have no right to impede upon someone else’s right to do whatever they want with their OWN accounts.

A big reason why this topic never gets discussed: whenever it starts to become a problem, we automatically generate a bandaid-on-cancer excuse, with the ease of breathing air:

“He had these accounts (and a life!) before me. Who am I to have a problem with it?”

“I FINALLY have what I want. He’s an amazing guy in every aspect. I need to get over this pettiness before I loose him and fail at yet another relationship. I’m not getting any younger. This is just me trying to self-sabatoge a good thing.”

“It’s better than him cheating on me! At least he feels comfortable enough to create relational discomfort right in front of my face.”

“All guys do this! I have no right to be embarrassed or feel shameful about it. He’s just being a guy. It’s not like he’s sexting/DM-ing or Snapchatting these Instagram models and a*s/boob accounts. It’s FINE. I need to work on MY issues and  insecurity, not obsess over trivial things that don’t matter in the long run.”

And the list goes on.

So, we give ourselves the excuse pacifier and seek to work on becoming “more understanding,” “less sensitive,” and “stronger.”

Yet, there it is – this omnipresent, unknowing, shameful, “if-I-was-enough-he-wouldn’t-have-to-follow/comment/like,'” lingering, mind f*cking MADNESS that you just can’t shake no matter how many excuses you try to douse the voyeuristic fire with.

Is there an Instagram/Facebook etiquette for dating and being in relationships?

What are the pink flags that precede the red ones?

How do you know if YOU are being the unreasonable one?

When does “normal” social media activity become a deal breaker?… When does it become wrong?… When does it become creepy?

I’m fortunate to have dated men that could care less about social media. All it took was dating ONE guy that was extremely “active” on social media, to unearth my most humiliating behavior, reverse-narcissistic mentality and deepest insecurities (that I didn’t even know I had in me).

The thing about social media and relationships is that, if you’re being disrespected, it’s the ultimate indirect and passive slow motion torture.

There’s nothing that’s being DIRECTLY aimed at you, so if you ever call your partner out on it, YOU look like the unreasonable, boundary-less a*shole.

When it comes to social media and relationships, here are 5 red flags to look out for:

I hear often from women that say they’re in great shape, their self esteem is in tact, they feel like they’re with a great guy… BUT – he follows an excessive amount of Instagram accounts that display everything that they physically aren’t.

Their self esteem is in tact, until they see who he’s following.

And whether he knows the people behind the airbrushed accounts or not… it hurts. 

Another impossibly annoying scenario – he follows his exes – & the commenting/liking is mutual and excessive.

As far as deal breakers go, that’s not for me to say. It’s ultimately up to you to decide what breaks your relational deal. What I am going to provide are some red flags to keep an eye out for when it comes to social media and relationships.

Your head, heart and libido may be excusing and hanging onto a crumb diet for dear life, but YOUR GUT KNOWS when the crumbs are being taken for a loaf.

Here are the 5 red flags to look out for when it comes to social media and relationships

  1. In-Your-Face Awareness.

    If your partner follows an excessive number of accounts that you deem as disrespectful; that you, your friends, family and the world can see, what about the things that you can’t see? I’m not trying to fear monger here. What I am trying to express is that if your partner is highly sexualized in the public world of social media (& casually follows/likes/comments on numerous model/sexy/naked/ex/inappropriate photos a day for everyone to see, WHILE he’s dating you), that’s a problem. If your partner isn’t even going to pretend to respect you on a PUBLIC platform, what’s he going to do in private? And if he doesn’t deem that as disrespectful, what then? This is so much LESS about insinuating that he will cheat and so much MORE about the kind of mentality that prevents a MUTUALLY loving, honest, loyal and respectful relationship from EVER forming.

  2. Preoccupation with activity.

    If he’s more preoccupied with likes, followers and comments than he is INVOLVED with and an active participant in your relationship… red flag. Conversely, if you have all the females that he follows memorized and are stalking his every social media move WHILE being in a relationship with him, that’s not love. That’s distrust, that’s a red flag and THAT needs to be addressed. As far as how it needs to be addressed – keep in mind that if someone is going to advertise their unavailability, empathetic bankruptness and disconnectivity for the world to see, it’s safe to assume that explaining to them the hurtful effects of something they’re totally fine with doing on a public platform, won’t be effective. Sometimes you just need to speak with your actions and know when to fold.

  3. Attention seeker.

    As humans, we are wired to yearn for connection, meaning and belonging, but when it comes to social media and relationships, attention seeking behavior is a definite red flag. When you consistently attention seek attention on social media, you translate to the universe that image and outward attention takes precedence over authenticity, intimacy, substance, meaning and connection. And what is life without any of those? It’s a red flag when your partner consistently looks for attention outside of your relationship in the name of cyber hearts.

  4. “Without communication, there is no relationship. Without respect, there is no love. Without trust, there is no reason to continue.”

    If you’ve lost respect for your partner (due to his social media activity), and you’ve lost respect for yourself (due to your social media stalking, excusing and lack of backbone), true love is going to have an impossibly hard time finding a way. If your partner does not provide an environment in which you feel safe to express your concerns, feelings and emotions (in a KIND and civil way), without feeling like you’re going to be abandoned, rejected or made to feel/look crazy… you’re in red flag/relationsh*t territory.

  5. The worst kind of threesome.

    Understand that if you’re dating someone that has consistently questionable social media habits, you will ALWAYS be in an emotional threesome. As I’ve said before – true love is linear, not triangular. Inhabiting a relationship triangle is, in and of itself, a red flag. If your relationship can be defined as you, him and social media – that’s not true love, that’s a very sh*tty, dysfunctional and heartbreaking threesome. Emotional threesomes always start as little pink flags that enable us to feel “passion” (because we suffer from low self esteem and are in a state of having to prove ourselves, be chosen over something and win). However, they quickly turn into deal-breaking red flags that will always be present unless you ACT by exiting the dynamic. There’s no need to explain why you want linear to someone that’s professional triangle constructor and inhabiter.

Thank you all SO much for your comments and messages. My Mom and I had such a wonderful time together and my surgery went well! I’ve been working on some amazing things for you guys – coming soon 🙂

x, Natasha

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26 comments

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I needed this today like You Have No Idea. May Karma Bless You a Thousand Times.

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So happy it helped <3 Thanks Jen. All my love to you soul sister. XO

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So true. Social media and people take up all of the attention that is needed for someone special. I’ve been through this. Thankyou so much dear for the red flags to watch out for. Love. 💗💞

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Thanks Pankhuri! 🙂 Sending you love. xx

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Oh wow… You could just switch out the title of this article with the name of my ex and it would be bang on 😳 but it was SO hard to articulate at the time.
Natasha – THANK YOU for reminding us all that our feelings are wise (and valid). And that we’re better off out of the narcissistic, social media harem. Hope you and the fam are well. Much love & hugs.
B x

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Thank YOU B !! 🙂 I’m glad that it served you. You’re right, it is so hard to articulate, especially when you’re immersed in it. Thank you for your love, sisterhood, support and well wishes.

Love to you soul sister. xx

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Great post! Thank you!

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Glad you liked! 🙂 XO

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Natasha what do you have to say about this scenario: I was dating this guy for 3 months and everything was going well, we were exclusive and in all intents and purposes he was my boyfriend. But when we finally added each other on FB after 3 months, I noticed that he had put me on “restricted access” to his profile, I couldn’t see most of his pictures, honestly there was literally no difference between what I could see as a member of the public and when he finally “friended” me. But me being me, I said nothing and never addressed the issue even though it hurt so much because he had unrestricted access to my profile, I have nothing to hide. What I didn’t know then was that he was emotionally unavailable and had no intention of letting me further into his life. I think in hindsight it was a Red Flag situation.

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Hi Becky! Yes – definite red flag. Sorry I can’t elaborate more, I cannot give advise in the comments. Thanks for reading and for understanding! XO

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My ex boyfriend lost interest in me and stopped acting like a partner when I said it bothered me he was following and actively liking lots of naked girls on Instagram and Facebook. He said they were his “friends” and it was controlling to ask him to stop liking their naked posts. I felt like I was going crazy and started to question my sanity.

This article gives the best advice, often it’s best to just fold and remove ourselves from their disrespect rather than torturing ourselves over it. Clearly he wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. Thank you this post was just what I needed!!

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Hi Anne! Thank you! I’m so happy it helped 🙂 You are not alone. XOXO

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Hi Natasha…I still read everything you write and always want to reply cause I love everything you write, but I am usually too tired being the end of my day, and all, by the time I check in with you. I have been following you basically from the beginning, I feel your articles are getting stronger and stronger, or maybe I am getting stronger and stronger, or maybe we are growing together!! I always admire your bravery and raw honesty, and as long as your writing I will be reading!! I will never forget how you came through for me when I reached out for you, it meant a lot to me and still does. x0

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Melissa!! Hi! You are my day 1 – I’ll never forget you. I think we are growing together 🙂 The feeling is mutual. You are loved, appreciated, missed, believed in and adored. Thanks for being a part of this tribe and for your love and sisterhood. I’m excited for you to check out the videos, podcast, online courses and my book when it comes out. Love you sister! XOXO

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My ex had another big red social media flag. Even though he had deleted his previous exes, traces of them still littered his Facebook. A ‘like’ here, a reply to a nonexistent (any more!) comment there. But he never made mention of me on Facebook, anywhere. When I asked him about it, his reply seemed reasonable enough… he didn’t want drama to happen because of it. Thinking back, that should have set off so many warning bells! If we were in a real relationship, why would there have been drama in the first place?

Funny enough, after I finally broke up with him (I gave him an ultimatum about a destructive habit that was ruining both our lives… he made his choice, so I made mine!), and he hopped into a new relationship, photos of them together popped straight up on his Facebook the very day after they started dating. They got married after three days of knowing each other at all. It’s been almost two months and I’m unhappily happy to say that everything you said in your “think your ex has changed and is in a better relationship” post is EXACTLY RIGHT! The new guy is finding out everything I found out first hand. And all I can feel any more is pity — for the new guy!

I was a complete and utter wreck the first month post-male. I finally found my way here thanks to a Google search for, I believe it was “how to get over him when I just can’t” or something along those lines. Anyway! This blog honestly provided me a waypost on getting back on the road to recovery, and I cannot begin to even formulate adequate thanks for that. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and insight! Every day has its own struggles still (working on month four post breakup, and month two of no contact!) but I’m starting to believe I can make it. The biggest lesson I learned was that good memories can STILL BE GOOD even if they turned into something horrible… you’re not weaker for enjoying them for what they are! But, they also don’t have to be a reason to get off your white horse and go begging for him back…! They can just be good memories, nothing more and nothing less.

Wow sorry I did not mean to type you a miniblog here. Bottom line… thank you, thank you for showing your scars so that we can learn for them. Thank you for being a beacon for those of us who are completely, utterly, and hopelessly lost.

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Hi Mouse! I’m honored to have helped propel your healing and realizations. Thank YOU for being a part of this tribe 🙂 You are adored, loved, appreciated, understood, believed in and never, ever alone. XOXO

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Love this! You are always spot on! ❤️

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Love you sister! xo

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I’m curious about a social media experience, and wonder if you have any thoughts on it : my ex would not engage with me at all on FB. He completely ignored everything I did or said – never once acknowledged me online. I didn’t especially want to live my life on FB, so I largely ignored this behaviour.

However, he and his new girlfriend are all over each other on FB, with declarations of love, how much they miss each other, etc, ad nauseum. I also happen to know that it was this way with the gf before me, too (FBI mode. You know how it is).
Given how it all worked out (me with broken heart), I just wonder if any meaning can be attached to any of it.

Your blog has been a lifesaver, by the way – definitely saved my bacon. 🙂

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Hi Rachel!

I’m so happy that the blog has helped!! & YES, I know FBI mode all too well haha 🙂

I wish that I could answer, but I have too much to say to type it all out not enough hands to type or hours in the day. I would also need more details. This is why I cannot give specific advice/answers in the comments.

Thanks for your love, for reading and for your understanding. Keep coming back here to the blog. All my love to you soul sister.

You’re not alone XOXO

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I’ll try to write a post on this soon !! x

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That would be great, thanks! My curiosity runneth over. 🙂

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Words can’t express how accurate this is, and how much it has helped me to understand that I am not the problem, and never was in this aspect of my relationship. Now, onto figuring out why I’m so ready to ignore those red flags and question myself instead. Thank you SO much!

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Happy it helped! Thank YOU Jen – for being a part of this tribe and for being the light that you are 🙂 XOXO

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Really looking forward to working on this

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🙂 xo

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