Photo: David Malan/Getty Images
By Jennifer Harrington
Popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, are great for many things. Re-connecting with old classmates, checking out your best friend's vacation photos and sharing the news that you had an exciting celebrity sighting, are some of the best reasons to log on. But when it comes to your love life, is Facebook your friend… or foe?
Social media provides access to all of the key information about the object of your affection. Status updates revealing their whereabouts, wall posts indicating updates from their friends and photos that can point to previous romantic partners, offer you a glimpse into their private world. If relationships are about getting to know the other person better, it's easy to see how checking your better half's page many times per day might be justified.
With newspapers like The New York Times dedicating articles to teaching kids how to break-up nicely online, it is apparent Facebook has changed how we interact with each other. Therefore, Cupid advises you that when it comes to Facebook and your love life, Facebook is a relationship mine field that must be navigated carefully. So, before you hit the "refresh" button on your sweetie's page again, ask yourself a few questions to figure out if Facebook is destroying your love life:
Are you using Facebook as a window into another person's life?
If so, get off the computer immediately. Pick up the phone to chat with your special someone, or make a date to catch up over coffee. Nothing takes the place of live interaction when building and maintaining a relationship.
Related: 5 Ways Technology Is Ruining Your Dating Life
Do you get upset about things you see on Facebook?
There's a lot of room for misunderstanding; from old pictures being posted to comments from friends taken out of context. If you see something that upsets you, take the time to talk it through with the other person. Don't draw conclusions solely based upon what you've seen online.
Does your honey know you are stalking their page?
If you have found yourself slipping and mentioning to your significant other things you've noticed on their page, this is a warning sign. People like to be noticed, but not stalked online. If your partner knows you are snooping, it may make them feel like you don't trust them.
Have you de-friended your significant other (or their friends) out of anger?
Always avoid de-friending in a moment of fury. Reports suggest that The Jersey Shore's Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola has de-friended her on- again, off-again boyfriend, Ronnie Ortiz Magro's friends in moments of rage - and everybody knows that is not a model relationship.
Related: Are Jersey Shore's Sammi and Ronnie Back Together?
While it's hard to imagine life without Facebook, don't lose sight of the fact that relationships are built on love and trust and not what appears on Timeline. If you're interested in learning more about maintaining healthy relationships both online and offline, check out a recent article from The Huffington Post which highlights relationship advice from experts including Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil.
Has Facebook destroyed your love life? Share your stories below.