Facebook is known for bringing people together, but did you know that it can also be a contributing factor in pushing couples apart? In an edition of Cyber Psychology & Behavior, researchers found Facebook jealousy can bring out the jealousy in relationships.
With 300 participants, half of which were in relationships, the researchers created a “Facebook Jealousy” scale with questions like: “Are you jealous after your partner has added an unknown member of the opposite sex?” The researchers discovered that Facebook increases jealousy in envious partners. Jealous partners spend a lot of time using Facebook to monitor their partners’ activities and accessible information.
This little green-eyed monster is no stranger to our culture and is the theme of many literary masterpieces from Othello to Wuthering Heights. Feeling jealous every now and again is natural, according to psychologists, but when jealousy starts dictating your life (i.e. reviewing or stalking every unfamiliar person in a partner’s Facebook friends list), there may be a bigger problem.
Luckily, there are some solutions for Facebook jealousy:
If you HAVE a jealous partner
When it comes to jealousy Psychology Today’s Dr. Orbuch suggests being honest. If you feel that the jealousy has nothing to do with your actions it could be that your partner has low self-confidence or is may be too dependent on the relationship. Suggesting that they spend time relaxing with family and friends may be the answer. Lastly, remember to listen to your partner’s concerns, sometimes an honest discussion will make them feel better.
If you ARE the jealous partner
Experts such as Dr. Phil advise asking yourself why you are choosing this behavior. Maybe you had a bad experience in a previous relationship. Maybe you are feeling afraid. Whatever your reasons consider talking to your partner about how you feel. Experts also say that jealousy is usually a desire for control so it’s important to respect your partner in order for the relationship to thrive.