In this day and age, getting into a romantic relationship with someone has a whole new set of quandaries thanks to our affair with the digital age. In some ways our relationship with digital media supersedes our relationship with other human beings.
Let’s face it, especially if we’re dating, there is an ebb and flow, leading to more on than off or off altogether. While your perspective mate may have left… your digital device and social media will remain.
So, it’s prudent to consider how your digital relationship will interface with your other human relationships, and it may be important to know what your digital boundaries are prior to engaging in a relationship with someone else and clearly communicating them early on.
Digital Boundaries in Relationships
To establish your digital boundaries, you need to find out where you are when it comes to where you feel comfortable – or uncomfortable – with what you share digitally.
Questions regarding your digital romance to consider in respect to your current romantic interest might be
Do I want him to monitor my social media?
Am I okay with him posting on my wall?
How do I feel about him tagging me?
Is it okay for him to befriend my social media friends?
Should we post details about our relationship online?
Am I ready to change my relationship status?
What is appropriate text frequency?
How soon do I expect a response when I text?
Is it appropriate to send (or expect) risqué photos of each other (sexting)?
What are the appropriate times for talking or facing via cell phone?
And what is a comfortable length of time for digital communication?
Do we share each other’s cell phones, computers or other digital devices?
Do we exchange passwords to personal devices, email, social media, etc…?
Knowing the answers to these and other questions is the starting point for you setting your digital relationship boundaries.
Discuss and Come to an Agreement
As you establish your relationship (or as soon as possible, if your relationship is already progressing) have a conversation about your digital expectations in your relationship to establish healthy boundaries. Make certain that each of you understand each other’s expectations and agree to honor them before going forward.
Defend Your Boundaries
Just like any other social boundaries, they are your personal space and you must insist on having your space (even if it’s virtual) respected. Your digital space may be more important than your physical space, for if you were victim to physical abuse the bruises wounds and scars would heal over time, while what happens in cyberspace stays in cyberspace. That is to say – even the best efforts to erase something online are often fruitless, as – nearly anything that has found its way online may be retrieved.
The way that you feel about your partner’s digital interface can change over time. Nothing is set in stone, here. Stay open and honest about how you’re feeling and be open about how you feel about your digital concerns. Revisit your digital agreement and modify it as necessary at any time.