I don’t talk about my relationship often. My friends always say they know something is really wrong if I actually talk about what is going on, because the rest of the time I like to keep my cards close to my chest. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no problem with talking about the good stuff as well, I just like to keep my relationship private. I’ve always thought that what goes on between a couple should stay between the couple – I know that isn’t always the case, but for the most part I believe it should stay that way. Just like I don’t tell all my other friends about all the stupid stuff me and my best friends get up to and all the rubbish we talk about, I don’t see the need to tell everyone about the moments that mean the world to my boyfriend and I – because quite honestly, who cares other than me and him? After well over eight years together, we have no need to tweet how much we love each other, we don’t need to publicise every romantic moment on Facebook, and I certainly don’t need to blog about every argument I win.
I realised not long ago that we’re not actually even listed as “in a relationship” on Facebook and I’m not even sure how long it has been that way… Pretty funny that I still get complete strangers coming up to me sometimes asking if I’m Wolfy’s girlfriend! But it made me realise that no matter how Facebook official things are, it isn’t proof of a good relationship, nor are soppy tweets or sickly sweet Instagram pictures. For me, the proof comes in radio silence. The happiest couples I know are the ones who barely communicate on social media because they’re too busy talking face-to-face. The ones who you could almost miss are a couple until something big happens like an engagement, a new home or a baby. They are the ones whose love transcends the world of social media, which is basically just communication on performance-enhancers, and they are the ones who happily go under the radar. Amusingly, all those pictures and quotes that are posted about what women want, holding out for a hero and all that tosh, are usually the things posted by the ones who wish they were in relationships like the ones splashed across our newsfeeds and rammed down our throats at every opportunity.Of course it is wonderful and great to be in love, to have someone who cares about you and wants to make you happy. But does that mean you have to status update every meal at Nando’s, every date at the cinema, and every lazy Sunday spent in bed together? If you ask me – that’s too much OPDA for my liking (Online Personal Displays of Affection) and you need to step away from your phone. If you’re spending more time checking in on Facebook and tweeting about your date than talking to them, or if you’re thinking about the Instagram photos you’ll post later while he’s talking about how much he loves his dog – you need to sort out your priorities. I’m not saying keep everything off social media, it is a place for sharing of course, but when your relationship updates are the only thing you post, or people start commenting on how much you’re flooding their newsfeed – perhaps it’s time to take a step back.
10 signs your relationship needs to go offline:
- Your relationship status is always the first thing to change when things get rocky, and you’ve been known to use “it’s complicated”
- You’ve had Facebook friends comment on a post saying “u ok bb?” or “inbox me bbes”
- The first thing your friend says to you when she sees you is “TELL ME EVERYTHING” about a cryptic relationship status/post
- You’ve posted a status or a photo of your beau captioned “my world” or “my everything”
- You’re sharing everything, from stories about the wart on his bum to pictures of you both lying in bed together…naked
- You spend all your time together on your phones, or your other half actually has to ask you to put your phone down during a date
- You check the pair of you in on every single date, supermarket trip, and even your phone calls…. when you are NOT even in the same room!
- You row on Facebook or Twitter, and even involve your friends
- EVERBODY knows your business, even the postman
- You have a joint Facebook account. Need I say more?
Now I have to be honest, being a blogger I spend a lot of time on social media and there have been times when my boyfriend has had to tell me to put my phone down. But I love that he does that. He is the complete opposite of me, he never posts on Facebook or Twitter, I think he’s forgotten he has Instagram, and that is so refreshing for someone who spends a lot of time blogging or sharing online. So it is nice when we go on dates, or have an evening together, that he makes me put my phone down and stop talking to the rest of the world so we can spend time just the two of us. Because that’s what a relationship is – just the two of you. And when it comes to those lasting memories – nobody remembers the time they tweeted about a date, but they do remember the way you made them feel and the laughs you shared. Priorities – that’s what it comes down to and, if you ask me, if social media comes first, you need to question whether you’re really meant to be together. So next time you head out for date night, try leaving your phone in your bag. Stop snapping every moment for Instagram and start appreciating the time you have together – you never know when it could run out.
Are you guilty of having an online relationship – how do you strike the balance? Do you have too many OPDAs crowding your newsfeed?