According to a psychotherapist, the key to long lasting happiness in a relationship is to unfriend your partner on Facebook – he tried it himself.
Ian Kerner, a psychotherapist from New York who specialises in couples counselling, says the way social media encourages us to overshare is spoiling the mystery of romance.
“There’s something about being in a relationship where you want some unknowingness and some unpredictability,” he explains in an interview with pri.org.
The therapist says that the couples on his couch are increasingly dealing with problems sparked by social media, and are often suffering from a lost connection that comes from being plugged into devices 24/7.
He believes that following your partner on sites like Facebook, where users continually share updates about what they had for lunch for example, is adding to that problem.
Describing the way social media began to interfere with his own marriage, Kerner, who has since come off Facebook entirely, says: “I realised for a little while with my own wife that I didn’t really want her to be my friend on Facebook.”
“I didn’t want all of that extra information. If anything I wanted less information — I wanted more mystery and more unpredictability.”
“I didn’t want to know that she was posting about being tired or having her third coffee for the day. So I specifically unfriended her during my brief tenure on Facebook.”
“It’s something that I do recommend to couples.”
Along with unfriending each other, Kerner also advises that couples make a concerted effort to switch off their devices when spending quality time together.
“When you add up all of the periods of distraction that devices give us, you might have a lot of time that you could put towards your relationship.”
“We live in a culture where sex ruts are epidemic and people go to bed too tired to make love — they have no time for each other. And yet they’re spending hours a day on social media, on blogs and on Netflix.
“Maybe we really need to figure out how to turn off that faucet.”