As soon as social media came into the scene, relationships got more complicated. A simple "like" on another woman's post can cause hours (or even days) of arguments with your girlfriend.
Surely, you'd want to understand why she grows all huff-and-puffy whenever you hit the thumbs-up button so we decided to consult Dr. Tyler Ong, Doctor of Psychology and Master of Science. He says it has something to do with the security of the relationship, personalities of each partner, and past relational traumas.
The relationship expert further explains that a woman becomes extra tight when she feels like the relationship is already falling apart and wants to save it. "For instance, the more unsteady the relationship becomes, the more hypervigilant a woman would be, becoming very sensitive to the man's attempts to leave and escape from the relationship," Dr. Ong says. Moreover, a like or comment may make her jealous and insecure because she thinks there's more going on between you and a potential rival.
It's also possible that she misinterprets your sociability. "Some personalities are more likely to be 'friendlier' to others of the opposite sex without knowing the implications. These personalities would genuinely be confused when their partners start fuming and screaming at them for alleged infidelities." Luckily, fixing this one is easy: Just show her all your other friends' status updates and photos you've "liked" and commented on. You're really just generous with the likes.
Past traumas can be another factor, Dr. Ong says. For instance: being the third party that caused a break-up. "If a person left his partner for another, the third party would now live in the classic self-sabotaging thought: 'If he left her for me, what would stop him from leaving me for another?'" explains our relationship expert. "And this is a very valid thought. Past experiences of being cheated on or being emotionally abused (in the form of lies and manipulation) also contribute to hypervigilance and control in current relationships."
And if you ever wonder why the heck she demands for your Facebook password, it's probably because she wants to religiously check your Activity Log. Dr. Ong says this is "an indicator of the security of attachment."
"Usually, a sample flow of thoughts [of women] would be, 'I'm checking to make sure he's faithful to me,' 'I have the right to check on his account because I'm his girlfriend,' [or] 'if he has nothing to hide, why would he prevent me from checking his account?'" Dr. Ong shares.
If you don't mind her invading your privacy, give her your password. There will be no problem as long as she doesn't find anything incriminating. Our expert, however, warns that this is very subjective. "It depends on the mood of the girl, and the context of the relationship to define what is incriminating or not."
Social media sites can create new threats to a relationship, but as always, the best way to handle this is to communicate with your girlfriend. If you are already feeling uncomfortable about it, there's nothing wrong with confronting your other half.
If this doesn't work and you'd want to save the relationship, you can always consider couples therapy. "The earlier you go in, the better because the problem is still new and still highly conducive to change," advises Dr. Ong. "Most couples who say they've gotten over the issue themselves actually only suppress the topic and pretend that everything is alright."
He adds: "Jealousy is tied to the concept of possessing in order to survive. As such, it is insidious and resistant to most forms of advice and self-help. Even in therapy, issues of jealousy take a considerable time to be resolved, and require the hard work of everyone involved." In short, if you want it to work, you've got to put in the work.