When you start a going out with a new bae (or beau) you’re normally too busy flirting, dating and endearing yourself to their friends to worry about what they might be posting about you on Facebook. However, as one couple just spectacularly (and publically) found out, this ‘innocent’ trait can have drastic consequences.
Posting on Reddit’s dating advice page, one man asked the forum’s 1.4 million followers what to do following an awkward discovery about his girlfriend’s online behaviour, which led them to break up, in a saga that proves it’s best to keep your petty complaints to yourself (or, if you have a serious one, deal with it properly rather than sending ‘indirects’ on social media).
Anyway, here’s how this seemingly innocuous habit of posting about your life (and relationship) on social media can turn into a dark pit of passive aggression, as told by the Reddit thread, “I just broke up with my girlfriend over something she posted on Facebook.”
“So we’ve been together about 7 months,” the story begins, “We’ve had plenty of issues, but always managed to work through them and come out the other side a bit stronger. But something I found tonight just churned my stomach and it affected me so much I ended our relationship.”
Here’s how it went down: “We’re laying in bed and I realize I never accepted her Facebook friend request. I literally never use Facebook, so this wasn’t a point of contention or anything. But we weren’t doing anything else so I decided to accept the request and check out her Facebook (She was right next to me the whole time).”
“What I found really upset me. Multiple shared posts that were obviously in reference to our relationship.”
Although these posts were “just pictures of text she had shared” (rather than personalised diatribes), they were clearly directed at her boyfriend: “The first one I found was this: ‘Hey, here’s a cool concept: treat the people that are important to you… Like they are important to you…’. I think “Hmm, is this about me?”
“I feel like I make her feel important all the time,” he continues, going on about how he buys her presents, gives her lifts, etc. And—although there’s obviously more to treating your partner right than making altruistic gestures—if we take him on his word, he is really trying to be a good boyfriend. However, after reading the next few posts, he begins to question if it has all been worth it.
“I keep scrolling. I see another one: ‘If you push me away, I promise you, you won’t find me where you left me’… Hmm, this one obviously sounds like she’s talking about our relationship. And I was a bit upset at seeing it. Especially considering I never felt like I was pushing her away…”
“I keep scrolling, and I found the one that hurt me the most: ‘Don’t be mad when someone else starts to appreciate the person you took for granted. What you won’t do, someone else will.’
“That one absolutely killed me,” he explains, “I never thought I was taking her for granted. And the thought of her not feeling appreciated kinda floored me. On top of that, the implication is that she wants to find someone else who apparently appreciates her more than I do.”
He then reveals how he confronted her about these posts, to which she said, “They don’t mean anything… (She) didn’t even think about it, and it took less than a second to hit the share button, so (according to her) it’s not a big deal.”
And it only gets ‘better’, as he figures out that each one of those posts was made during an argument they’d been having.
“It just felt so terrible. Like, we have a very minor disagreement about something and you’re thinking about finding someone else… Then there is the whole issue of airing out our dirty laundry to anyone that happens to be friends with her on Facebook.”
“Anyone with a brain knows what those posts are about, he continues. “By sharing them, you are essentially announcing to the world, ‘I’m having relationship problems!!!’. (Now) I can’t help but think about the things her family and mutual friends must think about our relationship considering how often she is sharing things like that.”
“I told her I knew myself well enough to know I wouldn’t forget it. That anytime we had any minor argument, I would be thinking, ‘Guess she’s gonna go find someone who respects her more than I do’. I don’t think I could deal with it. Knowing that anytime we fight… instead of wanting to work it out, she is thinking about finding a new partner…”
“I broke up with her within an hour of seeing the posts. It was ugly. I feel bad. I feel tired. I’ve had no sleep and I have to work in like 3 hours. I don’t even know why I’m posting this. The relationship is over. Maybe I overreacted, maybe I was justified. I just know it felt right.”
While there were a host of comments, some validating his decision, others questioning his behaviour, this tale goes to show: whether or not he really was the model boyfriend he claims to be—nothing good comes of posting immature Facebook status updates (lest you want to come across as someone that never grew out of their teens).