Social media causing relationship stress

March 20, 2012 2:12:11 PM PDT
More people looking for new love are turning to social media. However, as helpful as it can be in establishing a relationship, social media can open up a can of unforeseen stressors.

Dr. Scott Bea is a clinical psychologist at Cleveland Clinic. He said when social media and social lives start to mix, it can create jealousy.

"Imagine starting a dating relationship and you find out the guy that you're involved with has 350 female friends," said Bea. "I mean, it creates a whole new kind of stress. You have all of this competition that you might not have known about before."

A recent surveys found that sharing too much information on a profile page is most often cited as the top way social media causes stress in a relationship. Being 'tagged' in a photo with an 'ex' is runner-up. Receiving a friend request from an "ex" will also cause trouble in paradise, as well as finding revealing information or photos on a partner's wall.

Bea believed it was much easier to keep some things from new dates 15 or 20 years ago; these days, not so much.

Psychologists say part of the problem is how humans are hardwired when it comes to love.

"We weren't built to think about the person we're dating, having so many other social contacts and friends that might compete with us," said Bea. "We like that feeling of exclusivity that we're the one that matters first and foremost."

So if it's a new relationship, at some point you'll have to have that Facebook conversation. Where you figure out what your relationship status is, and where you explain pictures from your past.