The Benefits of Dating Someone Without Social Media

It’s admittedly (almost) impossible to live without at least one source of social media today, especially for folks looking to network, job search, or maintain an online portfolio of their work. Social media keeps us all connected to our career worlds and opens doors to new opportunities.

But there are no rules for how to bring – or not bring – your relationship online. Social media makes us eager to constantly share our best moments, which often include our partner, but over-sharing can lead to the string of problems just mentioned above: jealousy triggers, peer pressure, relationship anxiety, and a boatload of other stressors.

Thinking about promoting your partnership all over Instagram, or even entertaining a response to those Dms from the attractive stranger who thinks your selfies are hot? I’d suggest thinking twice, and here’s why.

Social Media Will NOT Help You Work on Your Jealousy Issues

For the last 10 years, I’ve been in a serious relationship with a man who despises all forms of social media. He doesn’t utilize any platforms; honestly, not a single one. (And he vocally hates social media so much that I have zero suspicions that he’s using it behind my back.)

I never realized just how much stress social media caused until I finally lived with a partner who didn’t use it.

I no longer had to read Facebook notifications telling me that my boyfriend’s ex had once again left him an overtly sexual, uncomfortably flirty comment (a true story from a previous relationship, but that’s for another day). I no longer had to worry that some total stranger was being given the wrong idea by an overly friendly boyfriend who simply enjoyed chatting and making friends online. I was no longer stressed that the woman who was making doe eyes at my guy while at a friend’s party would try to ‘friend’ him and flirt her way between us.

Social media made it harder for me to work on my issues with jealousy and anxiety because it waved them in my face every single day.

You might be thinking, “Well, even if your current boyfriend DID use social media, those jealousy issues are YOUR fault, not his!” And you wouldn’t be wrong. But why foster more opportunities for heartbreak, anxiety, and fights in your relationship? Navigating your relational mental health is already difficult without social media adding to the strain.

You’ll Reduce Jealousy Overall When No One is ‘Sliding Into Their DMs’ to Flirt

Whether we like it or not, and often whether we work on ourselves or not, jealousy will still creep into many of our relationships at one time or another.

If you’re in a loving, sexual relationship – and that applies to monogamous folks, poly people, and literally anyone with one or more partners – you’re going to encounter situations in your real, in-person life that will trigger one or both (or more) of you to feel jealous. People who never, ever feel even the tiniest hint of jealousy are, dare I saw it, pretty rare.

You can rarely remove jealousy triggers in their entirety from your real life, but you can absolutely remove them from your online life. Skip social media behavior that can reel in unwanted advances – or skip social media altogether! – and you’ve just eliminated a HUGE pressure point in your relationship.

It’s up to you and your partner to decide how to manage your respective accounts if you decide to keep them. Don’t limit your social media use to the point that it feels truly unfair, overly restrictive, or controlling. Have a discussion that ends with both partners changing things for the betterment of the whole so there isn’t any resentment.

Personally, this is what I do: I keep my personal account set to ‘private’ and heavily curate those I allow to follow me. Slide into my Dms just once and you’re immediately deleted.

I rarely post selfies, and when I do, I don’t post anything ‘sexy.’ (Because as much as I wish the world would allow women to look sexual without assuming they’re looking for sex, I know we have a long way to go until that’s the norm, and I’d rather avoid the unwanted attention and flirtation. I also think it’s unfair to my long-term partner.)

I don’t respond to DMs from strangers on my personal account, and I only respond to business-related messages or messages from known colleagues on my business account.

Now when someone comments on one of my personal photos, it’s usually someone I know and trust, like an old high school friend, a close colleague, or a mutual friend of me and my boyfriend.

Your Friends, Family & Followers are Forced to Mind Their Damn Business

Jealousy talk aside, posting your entire life online can create, at best, annoyances and at worst, severe problems that have nothing to do with overly flirtatious followers.

There is really no need for everyone who follows your account to know every little thing you do and place you go. The only way to truly force your family members, friends, and random strangers to mind their own business is by not constantly sharing your own.

Most of us have – for example – that one family member who just has to comment on our recent vacation pics, asking how we can afford a trip if we’re struggling in our career right now, or that one friend who can’t stop themselves from giving unsolicited advice on our posts, even if we’ve made it clear we just needed to vent.

Now your mom is on the phone, wondering what you did to piss off Aunt Karen, or your best friend is sending long text threads, asking why you didn’t tell her you had a connecting flight through her town on your way to Europe.

Quit giving these folks a reason to butt into your business. The only surefire way to keep your private life just that – private – is by reducing what you share online.

The algorithm has us all drooling over likes, comments, and shares to the point that if we don’t post about every minute of our lives, our moments of fun and joy won’t feel as fulfilling. Prove Mark Zuckerberg wrong and enjoy a day out with your partner or an impromptu, couples getaway vacation without your Facebook or Instagram apps open to reveal what could otherwise be little romantic moments just for the two of you.

Take as many photos as you wish, because you’ll definitely want to look back on these moments while chilling on the couch together later. But don’t give in to the pressure to share everything. Save some of those experiences for only your closest friends and family, who can still hear about your adventures in-person, over the phone or Skype, or in a private message or friends/family text chat.

The last thing you need is your boyfriend’s nosy Aunt calling up his mother, telling her how she just saw your recent Facebook post and wondered how you two got time off from work, or having to respond to a comment on one of your cute selfies from your boyfriend or girlfriend’s jealous ex.

The less people know, the more you can both maintain your inner peace and stomp out IRL drama.

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