Most of us have looked up an old flame on Facebook. There can be something compelling about having a good old look through an ex’s new life without you.
And while it may seem frivolous or harmless to peer through these windows that social media grants you, it can cause you to let your past interfere with your present, which can pose a risk to your relationship.
I started to get suspicious when I noticed my girlfriend had added her ex on Facebook. She insisted it was innocent; they were just old friends keeping in touch. But then he started emailing her, texting her, calling her... and it soon became clear he just wanted to get back together.
To avoid any potential Facebook fallouts (or full-on cyber warfare), sit down with your partner and work out what you’re both comfortable with. Most couples will find it helpful to set some boundaries for their time on Facebook and other social media. You might discover you’re both happier if old flames are off-limits or even defriended, but perhaps simply telling each other about any new contacts you’ve added will be enough to maintain trust.
Facebook can be addictive and the advent of smartphones has meant some people find it difficult to log out. Many couples now set aside some phone-free time, during dinner times and date nights, so no one feels neglected in favour of the news feed.
Every time I look round, my husband has got Facebook up on his phone. I get that it keeps him entertained while we’re in the supermarket or on the bus, but when he’s still on it while we’re sitting in a restaurant waiting for our food to arrive it really, really infuriates me.
When one partner spends a lot of time on their phone or computer, the other can become suspicious and jealous. It’s easy to start wondering whose profile they’re scrolling through, or who they’re chatting to as they chuckle by your side.
Try not to let your imagination run ahead of you. Talk to your partner and ask them to include you more in their online life. It needn’t take place in a secret world you know nothing about - often sharing the occasional bit of news or a funny status update is enough to make a partner feel included.
Do you and your partner keep your ex's on Facebook? How has it affected your relationship? Tell us about it in the comments below.