One of the uncharted perils of any serious new relationship is how to deal with the tricky unwritten rules of social media. Without frank discussion this can be a subject of anxiety and frustration leading to possible future misunderstandings and conflict.
How soon is it advisable to change your status
What to do with the untidy business of past connections
Who has access – and to how much?
It is a given now that nothing is ever truly ‘disappeared’ – as somewhere out there in the ether resides every detail we ever document, so it’s vital to have a discussion at the start of any new coupling to safely air feelings and agree on some basic social media guidelines that suit you both and will safeguard the relationship.
Most people come with history – so it’s important to chat openly about your feelings around exes and how they may feature in the future.
Staying in constant touch with recent lovers can often threaten a new partner and it can also keep us tied to the past. It’s hard to remain connected to a passionate past relationship and believe it’s going to be easy to slip into ‘friendship’ mode without a period of separation during which you can both move on and become individuals again in your own right.
Back in the day, people would have memory boxes filled with old photographs and treasured love-letters. These would not have been on the public display that Facebook and Instagram offer. They would have been tucked away in an attic or cupboard to be fondly rediscovered from time to time in private. But now these memories are publicly and eternally displayed.
Will it bother either of you to continue seeing relatively intimate images of past lovers draped over your current squeeze – especially if they are open for public comment?
Discuss what could be deleted or hidden and be thoughtful about the levels of concern that each of you may have.
One of the most important aspects of any relationship is the ability to trust each other.
If one of you feels uncomfortable then find out why and keep an honest attitude to understanding why something may have an affect on your partner. What seems simple to one of you might feel complicated or threatening to another.
Transparency is key, secrets are divisive and cause great pain when discovered. It’s important to listen and care about each other’s point of view. You may not easily agree, but at least you will feel heard and should understand more about your new love.
This is a fresh experience for you both so keep the present safe by treating the past with caution and sensitivity.