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How to handle a new relationship on social media

Before, it was as simple as going out to dinner and the movies and seeing what happened. Today, however, the dating game has a whole new aspect to it — one that can be very public for both parties.

Woman using Facebook on phone

We’re talking about love and social media. Yes, while we might like to mindlessly whittle away the hours “liking”, tweeting or sharing pics online, it can actually become a whole new ball game when love is involved.

From asking someone out on Twitter to over-sharing pics of your new beau, we’ve got the latest dating conundrums covered.

To help us get the lowdown, we spoke to Elly Klein, author of the hot relationship and dating book, Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates.

Making moves online

It’s not just bars and parties where we can meet people these days. Now, through groups and connections, we might just see someone interesting on Google+ or Facebook.

“Social media is, by nature, social. If you see someone you like, why not strike up a conversation with them?” asks 35-year-old Klein.

“On Facebook, you could send them a private message, tell them who your mutual friend is and talk about a comment they made or meme they posted that you thought was funny or interesting — and see if they respond positively. Likewise on Twitter, tweet back and forth for a while. If you’re getting along, suggest you move the conversation over to email.”

Just take the time to have an online chat before broaching the subject of a face-to-face date.

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From “Single” to “In a relationship”

Once you’ve hit it off with someone, it can be very tempting to shout it out loud — or, more literally speaking, change our social media relationship status.

However, before you go clicking on yours and his Facebook pages, Klein recommends you think about your new love’s position on this.

“To be fair to both parties, I think a discussion should be had before anyone updates their relationship status. Listen to each other’s feelings on the matter and come up with a solution you’re both happy with,” suggests Klein.

Remember, if he doesn’t want it changed, it might be because he’s a private person, has conservative family members online or uses his social media accounts for business too.

The smoochy pics

We’ve all been there, enjoyed a romantic day and captured it on camera. However, how many of us actually like looking at these affectionate photos of other couples? Klein recommends that new couples think about how much they want to “display” online.

“You need to remind yourself that no-one will ever be as excited about your newfound love as you are. There’s nothing wrong with mentioning it every once in a while, and maybe uploading a picture or two of you and your new beau, but just be tasteful about it.”

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The new kind of “ex” existence

Before we used to be able to just put ex-partners in the back of our minds — ours and his. Today, however, it’s very likely that ex-lovers are creeping up as connections on social media.

Unfortunately though, you can’t control who your partner connects and shares with via Instagram, Twitter, etc. Klein says you have to trust your partner in all aspects of life, including social media.

“If your partner is friends with his ex, you need to trust that they’re just friends. If you suspect they’re more than just friends, then you need to have a conversation about your relationship — not about social media,” advises Klein.

“The only exception to this rule is if the ex is the jealous, controlling or possessive type, and you don’t want him or her knowing too much about you. Tell your partner you feel uncomfortable and/or unsafe and figure out a solution together. It might mean un-friending and blocking the ex. Or it might mean not posting too much information about you.”

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