Feeling Insecure About Your Relationship? Blame Facebook

It’s normal to occasionally feel insecure in your relationship, especially in the early days when everything is uncertain and you still get butterflies every time you lay eyes on your partner. However, after a while, those small pockets of paranoia should disappear as you grow as a couple, bond, and learn to trust one another. However, if your insecurities are still getting the better of you in love, there may be a reason: your Facebook habit.

A new study performed by the National University of Ireland Galway and published in BMC Psychology revealed that scrolling your Facebook feed could have negative effects, especially if you’re not using the social media site in the right ways.

The research was based on attachment theory, which is basically how we form relationships with each other as human beings. Folks with high attachment anxiety worry a lot about the fate of their relationship while those with high attachment avoidance, well, don’t really like getting attached or when their partners try to. With this knowledge as a basis, researchers polled 717 Facebook users to discover some rather interesting things.

Those with high attachment anxiety often used Facebook to post TMI, compare their lives to other people’s, waste time/avoid responsibility, and to try to make their lives look amazing even when they weren’t. Those with attachment avoidance were guilty of avoiding responsibilities and creating false personas on Facebook. In other words, if everything on Facebook seems better than your real life and relationships, there’s a serious problem and it’s no surprise that you feel so insecure in your relationship.

As study co-author Sally Flynn explained to PsyPost, “It is important to stress that the research does not suggest that there is something damaging about Facebook or other social media services, but rather, some people network online in ways that could be considered maladaptive, exacerbating distress and vulnerability.”

“We would hope that as a result of this research, people will become more mindful regarding how they engage with social media platforms such as Facebook, perhaps monitoring how they feel before and after using the site, and if necessary, adapting their use accordingly.”

Now, if only more of us followed that advice…

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill