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Holly Sidell Headshot

Don't Let Facebook Timeline Be the Demise of Your Relationship

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As soon as I heard we are all being forced to automatically switch to the new Facebook Timeline, I was not a happy camper. I have purposely not changed mine yet, been grateful that my boyfriend hasn't changed his and had a hell of a time trying to figure out just what exactly was going on with the pages of friends who HAVE changed over. I mean, come on, they're a little confusing.

But that's beside the point. The point here is the damage that can be done through easy access to people's pasts, which Facebook has so graciously provided. It already takes every bone of discipline in my body with the layout now to not click back on "older posts" of my boyfriend's page to before we started dating and see the girls of his past, beating myself up over each shared smile (come on, like you haven't done that!?). Now with this new timeline, with one little click of a mouse you can see his or her page from years back -- the same affectionate comment he made to a girlfriend in 2009 that he says exactly the same way to you now ... Your slightly tipsy status update from that night in 2008 with that guy who ... well, NSFW.

No matter how solid a relationship is, we all have insecurities. And usually they're ridiculous. Our significant other had relationships before us. We had relationships before them. We didn't know each other ... These other relationships, or flirtations, or friends with benefits, or whatever, have NOTHING to do with us. But for most of us, there is that little flicker of insecurity that can get ignited from just the tiniest spark. And it's not always. Most of the time we hold ourselves together ... but it is in these dark moments when we are not able to control ourselves (or we've had one too many drinks, or we're really bored at work ...) that the problem arises.

FACT: If you go snooping, you're going to find something ... because you're looking to find something. Most of the time, what we find is a story that corroborates what we have made up in our heads. And we usually don't calmly ask our partner about it -- we ACCUSE. It may start a fight. Or it may cause us to pull away from our partner, get defensive and put up a wall. It is not good for the relationship. And it is not based on truth. It is based on our own insecurity or fears.

Until we can learn how to unequivocally trust ourselves, be secure in who we are, and put the trust we have in our partners into practice, I suggest staying away from the snooping that is being handed to us with the new Facebook layout (I know, I know, that's a tall order). If you don't trust your partner, well, then, that's a whole other post. But for the sake of argument, let's say you trust your partner. If you trust him (or her), you have no reason to snoop. Because really, what good will it do?

If you KNOW that you get jealous, if you KNOW that you get insecure, then for the sake of your relationship, refrain from oh-so-gently guiding that mouse over to "2010" and oh-so-innocently taking a glance. Your relationship will thank you for it in the end. You'll be taking care of yourself and your partner. You'll be pretty proud of your own willpower ... which will boost your self-esteem. And pretty soon you'll have so much self-esteem. you'll be like, "Insecurity? What insecurity!? Bring on the Facebook snooping ... I'm not insecure anymore ... I can handle it!"