“Facebook is where you can find everyone you didn’t sleep with…

Mercy's star Taylor Schilling

I decided to investigate after hearing a provocative teaser from NBC’s new show Mercy. One of the lead characters says “Facebook is where you can find everyone you didn’t get to sleep with in high school and college.”
 
The writers of that show have a whole different perspective on Facebook than the one I’m privy to, but I could see where they were coming from. Tales of unrequited or long-lost first love is nothing new. My own sister reunited with her high school boyfriend. They have two children now. She never moved far from our home town, nor did he. What Facebook does is make every place accessible. And there is the potential for havoc for those hitting a rough patch in their current relationships. Also there are those who never get over their first loves, and others who hold an overly romantic view of the past.
 
According to a recent article in the www.telegraph.co.uk, Mark Keenan, Managing Director of Divorce-Online said: "I had heard from my staff that there were a lot of people saying they had found out things about their partners on Facebook and I decided to see how prevalent it was. I was really surprised to see 20 per cent of all the petitions containing references to Facebook.” According to some experts, the stats say women who cheat and are caught usually are divorced by angry husbands. Men who cheat are often forgiven and suffer much less from their Internet dalliance.
 
And it isn’t just married couples who are affected by Facebook’s potential for relationship havoc. Social psychologists from theUniversity of Guelph in Canada questioned a group of college students about the effect of Facebook on their romantic relationships. Their preliminary findings, described in the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior, suggest that Facebook use may be fueling jealousy and other unhealthy behavior.

Take away the extremely public nature of Facebook and its ability to broadcast one’s indiscretions and the only question remaining is — is any of this new? I don’t think so.
 
Darlings, over the years I have known crazy jealous people; men and women. They were born insecure and jealous and they will die that way. Nothing seems to squelch their suspicions. They see plots and poachers everywhere. Don’t linger near their spouse; even if you are eight months pregnant, they’ll suspect you of flirting. It’s craziness of a special kind, I suspect those who stay married to them enjoy the sick attention. I give these people a wide berth.
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Facebook is tailor-made for players. They can keep several women on a string, without even leaving home. These guys love the game. They enjoy feeding the fires of jealousy. Anyone who loves a cheater is bound to be miserable or crazy or both. 
 
Granted, the potential for crazy-making on Facebook is boundless with all the updates and commentary from friends. But is it any different than the endless chatter of high school or college dorms, if you are vulnerable to that sort of insanity? Just as with the 24-hour news cycle of today, or the endless stream of cheap celebrity gossip — you can switch it off at will. 
 
After over 25 years of marriage, I can offer a few suggestions on how to survive Facebook and a few other relationship challenges. Accept that a cheater is a cheater and will never change. If you love one, get over it, or accept being miserable. It sounds harsh, but in the long run you will save your self a world of pain.
 
Foolish behavior can lead to foolish choices by otherwise sensible people. That’s why smart, well-intentioned people avoid sticky-icky situations. Any situation fueled by too much alcohol will probably result in trouble, so avoid them.
 
Flirting is natural and fun, but if it happens too often or gets too edgy, stop it if your not free to follow-up on it. 
 
Anyone who guards their email and cell phone is a bad relationship bet; normal people do not have secrets. If something feels wrong, it probably is. If you feel like you‘re dating a stalker, you have a problem. Get away from them and get help. If you feel like someone is cheating, and you are not a jealous maniac, you may be right.  
 
None of this advice is new. Too few people trust their instincts when it comes to starting new relationships or maintaining old ones.   I don’t think Facebook is the culprit when things go baldy between two people. 
 
Some experts say Facebook is addictive and causes rage, as family members feel tuned out. Perhaps, but is it any different than being ignored by a workaholic, alcoholic or anyone who chooses to ignore you for substance abuse? I don’t get it, we are all allowed hobbies, but I have never understood how computer addiction could compete with real live humans.
 
Elena " a popular girl" showed up on TV-land's Class Reunion"to  find a man", Facebook could  have saved her time and travel. Facebook may help you find everyone you didn’t get to sleep with in high school and college, if that’s your thing. It also makes reconnecting with old friends a snap. For those of us who have moved many times this is a boon. It’s also fabulous tool for keeping up with new friends instantly in a new city. And if you are single and looking, who is to say the devil you know is not better and safer than the one you might you find on an online dating site? Why not date an old friend from the past?
 
No darlings, Facebook doesn’t ruin relationships, bad choices do. Please send you r coments to domore@dolcedolce.com
 

 

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