The impact Facebook has on my relationship with J.M.

James and I are indebted to Facebook in some ways.  After we had our first danced together, I added James on my Facebook in an attempt to maintain a new friendship.  Later that night, I invited him to go watch a movie with me, and my invitation was accepted. Following our first date, we spent approximately two hours chatting on Facebook on a daily basis.  By the end of that week, I had become Jame’s companion on the visit to a magnificent  mansion.  Little did we realize that we were getting into a very serious relationship…

Perhaps the most embarrassing moment for me was when I announced on my Facebook that James and I were in a romantic relationship.  Earlier that night, he held my hand as we were walking to his house.  At some point, he even wrapped me in his arms.  These behaviors revealed romantic attaction, and accordingly, I thought we started to be romantic partners.  As soon as James was notified about the change in his romantic relationship, he was astonished.  He could hardly believe that it was true.  He was not truly ready for it.  He did not expect that I would be delighted to be his girlfriend.  When my friends sought clarification of my love story, I realized that something was missing.  James did not have a chance to ask me to be his lover.  Worse still, he did not have a chance to respond to my offer, either.

My fundamental mistake no longer concerned us. Both James and I were thankful that Facebook allowed us to casually follow up on our first meeting, which led to many surprises.  The fact that our relationship became official on Facebook before it became official in life made our story no less sweet and memorable.

Facebook can lead to conflicts if partners do not view and use Facebook in similar ways.  James was a quiet human being, and he first posted a photo with me on his Facebook last October, eight months after we started dating.  In the caption, he referred to me as QuynhNhu Phan, no more, no less. James’ hesitance to express his affection towards me in the online world made me question his commitment at times.  His relunctance to change his cover photo from one of mountains in Norway to one of us upsetted me.  The more I bragged about our relationship, the more I was worried about negative social evaluation.  In other words, it bothered me that I might appear in a one-sided intimate relationship, trying to win his heart.

Having studied the influence of Facebook on our lives, I told myself not to be a slave to this social media page.  The experiences we shared together spoke volumes about our feelings and commitment towards each other.  Why would I let the lack of sharing on Facebook put a strain on my relationship?  The last thing my love story needed was external validation.  Besides, the race for likes and admiration on Facebook can do more harm than good.  Sharing too many intimate memories threatens the privacy and intimacy of romantic relationships because little secrets make partners special and irreplaceable.

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