Dating and Facebook are two words that together can certainly cause some problems. For example, I just heard about a guy who won’t “like” any of his girlfriend’s pictures because he’s afraid his ex-wife will get upset. Then there’s a couple who just ended a long term relationship and the girl doesn’t want to post any pics of her and her new boyfriend because she doesn’t want to hurt the old guy. I also know a woman whose boyfriend of over a year won’t let her post pics because he doesn’t want his kids to see. Then there was a woman who broke up with a guy because he was tagged in a photo kissing another woman on someone else’s page. I could go on and on.
When it comes to Facebook (and any other social media site), my rule of thumb is, if you post something, you have to be OK with it to the extent that if it was on national television, you wouldn’t care about ANYONE, (not one single person) knowing what you posted. If that’s OK, then it’s all good.
But, what if you were dating someone, and the guy (or girl) told you he/she wanted complete privacy when it came to social media and his/her texts? In other words, he/she didn’t want to “friend” you, or have you be a part of his/her Facebook account? He/she also locked their phone and didn’t want you reading any of their texts? The reason: “I just have a strong need for privacy.”
This is the situation that one of my readers is in, and she’s finding herself asking, “Am I being oversensitive or over trusting??”
I have to be honest and say that I have a real problem with this guy who wants to “stay private” in social media for several reasons. First, it implies that he is dating other people, which is OK if he is upfront about that. But, I’m getting a sense that that’s not the case.
I think the message this guy is sending her is, “I don’t want to be your Facebook friend because I don’t want you to see what I’m doing. I also don’t want you to see my texts because I’m hiding something. I’m either involved with other women, (or multiple women) or I don’t want you to see what I post because it’s inappropriate or it might be offensive to you.”
Would I want to date this guy??? Hell no. I think this woman can do way better. I think she deserves more.
I believe that the biggest part of a healthy relationship is trust. I think that if you want a truly authentic, meaningful relationship that you should be able to hand your *ucking cell phone over to your partner and say, “I’m an open book. Read whatever you’d like about me, go on my social media pages and have fun because I’m not hiding anything from you.”
I’m not judging anyone who doesn’t agree with me, but I know that for myself, that’s what I want, that’s what I feel I deserve, and that’s what would make me happy. And, I’d be happy to do that for someone, as well. No secret Facebook or texting life. All that does is cheapen the relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. I get a lot of joy out of Facebook and seeing people’s vacations, kids, inspirational quotes and funny jokes. It’s a great office day break and a nice way to stay in touch with others. But, Facebook can cause friction and hurt in friendships and in romantic relationships.
I guess you have to take the good with the bad. The choice is yours. But if a guy I was dating didn’t even want to be my Facebook friend, I think I would RUN (not walk) away from him. It’s mean, it’s sneaky, and it’s even kind of creepy. Who wants to date someone like that?
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, Love Essentially” for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she’s divorced.
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