This originally appeared on Mamamia. Republished here with permission.
According to new research, couples who post the most about their relationships on Facebook are often the least secure.
A new study is making the Internet rounds this week because it finally offers definitive proof for the very important thing that everybody knows to be true:
The more you brag about your relationship on Facebook, the shittier your relationship probably is.
Or, to put it the technical way the researchers put it:
“On a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships visible.”
Now, I’m no scientist myself, but I’m pretty sure this Facebook Relationship study is legit. I know this because I have lived it. I am the proof of this science.
(The proof is also probably the actual proof, found in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin right here.) But I’m writing this, so let’s make it about me, shall we?
My last relationship was extremely shitty.
We fought from Day One. No part of it was ever simple or easy. We never even had that honeymoon period where you have endless sexy-times. Just fights and anxiety and resentment and stress. So. Much. Stress.
But, if you had looked at my Facebook page at the time, you would have thought I was madly in love. Madly in love in what was possibly the greatest relationship since Sam and Diane. Or Jim and Pam. Or Bert and Ernie. Or Charles and Diana: The Early Years.
I made my relationship look like total perfection. The Facebook version of my relationship was a tightly controlled machine. I put up photos of us kissing. I posted statuses that said nothing but: “Best. Boyfriend. Ever. SO IN LOVE <3 <3 <3.” I tagged him in YouTube videos of Death Cab for Cutie songs under which I would place a single heart emoticon. My profile picture always had him in it. Usually staring lovingly at me.
I was the fucking worst.
And I was only being that insufferable because the relationship was a total disaster. We once fought for days over his insistence that $2,000 was a perfectly acceptable amount of money to spend on cutlery. I said I didn’t think I could be with anyone who didn’t buy their cutlery at Kmart. He said he didn’t think he could be with anyone who did buy their cutlery at Kmart.
I posted a photo of us holding hands, and went to sleep with my back to his stupid, snobby face.
The worse things got, the more I posted. On Facebook, we were Kim and Kanye. In real life, we were Kim and that sports robot she married for magazine covers.
It was all a lie.
And that’s why I know: Anybody who goes overboard with the lovey-dovey stuff on Facebook probably isn’t enjoying spending time with their partner.
And now science has backed me up: If you broadcast your love, it’s likely your love is a sham.
But, before I get a hundred shitty emails from people whose partner is in their profile pic, please know that I’m also currently trying to navigate actual, not-crappy love on Facebook. And it’s quite difficult, to be honest.
How can you be happy about a relationship, and share details about that relationship, without being the absolute worst? If posting about your love means there is no love, how do you ever tell anybody that you’ve found someone who doesn’t hate you for watching four hours of television a day?
I have managed to find someone who loves me, even though when you Google my name, a lot of very questionable stuff about vaginas comes up in the search results. He also doesn’t even care if I fart. He may be It, you guys. There has to be a middle ground, right?
But science says if I talk about it too much, we’re doomed.
So how does one navigate this? I certainly don’t feel the need to post photos of us kissing every 10 minutes, which is a fairly solid indication that something is right. But it also feels strange to say nothing.
Maybe I should go the opposite way. If science says making things “Facebook Official” means we’re headed for relationship death, maybe if I unfriend him altogether it means we’re soul mates?
Is that it?
OK. So that’s where we’ve landed, you guys. As soon as I publish this I’m going to unfriend my boyfriend on Facebook to ensure the future of our relationship.
Yup. Good plan.
This isn’t going to confuse anybody at all.
Rosie Waterland is a contributor to Mamamia.com. Follow her on Twitter @RosieWaterland.