Facebook was recently cited as the cause of 1/3 of cheating-related divorces by the UK’s Mirror. Huffington Post explained that chronic Facebook use leads to a breakdown in romantic relationships. Facebook relationships are high in fantasy value that stimulates the brain without the down side of in-person exposure. Learn how to keep the fantasy in the bedroom to Facebook proof your relationship.
Facebook connections exist primarily in the realm of fantasy. Only through social media can a person flirt with a stranger without fear of rejection. A Facebook rejection is barely rejection at all, usually happening as a message not answered or a friend deleted. Even when a Facebooker blocks another user, the consequences to the offender are insignificant.
Along with a low fear of pain from rejection, Facebookers are introduced to expanding circles of potential friends and partners. While access to potential romantic interests are just a click away and relatively without fear of rejection, Facebookers are lured into social media flirting without consequence. Passwords keep flirtatious conversations protected from spouses and life partners. As a result, Facebook romances are on the rise.
The encounter starts innocently. “Hey, you’re hot” from a good looking Facebooker. With just a few clicks of the keyboard, the response might be “You look good, too.” And then the excitement happens. The brain loves the adoration, the promise of romance, the suggestion of sexual engagement. Waves of pleasure move through the brain and body, suppressing the practical notion that this relationship is not real.
The responses from Facebook romantic interests are intermittent and variable, two factors that further stimulate the brain’s pleasure and reward system. Compare this to the variable and intermittent allure of the slot machine that sucks money out of the pockets of gamblers. Facebook is the romantic equivalent of a casino.
With all that brain-based scientific evidence that Facebook stimulates fantasy romance, what can a person do to Facebook-proof a relationship? The great news is that partners can turn up the fantasy in the bedroom and then use Facebook to keep the fires alive with their beloved. Role playing, new positions, toys, and sexy movies are examples of using fantasy to create mind-blowing excitement for you and your partner. Then check in with your partner throughout the next day, making discreet comments about continuing the fantasy when you both get home.
By using Facebook against itself, committed partners can increase their intimacy and satisfaction and overcome the dreaded Facebook curse. You both will enjoy intermittent and unexpected (brain-stimulating) texts with references to more fantasy and pleasure to come. With a firm grasp on intimacy and romance that is real and present, your partner is much less likely to respond to those empty messages “Hi there, sexy.” Stronger relationships provide some protection from break up and divorce.
Keeping the fantasy in the bedroom is a powerful tool to overcome the dangers of Facebook infidelity. Other practical strategies are to keep the dialogue open. Discuss the importance of fidelity; if your partner does not have the same commitment to monogamy, then consider turning to Facebook to look for a new lover. You want to be sure you are in love with someone worth loving.
And remember that you will sometimes be mildly titillated by a good looking Facebook suitor. Notice that you are experiencing the brain- and body-excitation that is similar to the thrill of gambling. Discuss it with your partner. Use it is material for your shared in-the-bedroom fantasies. But resist engaging in full blown fantasy with a Facebook friend. With a Facebook romance, you will be left sitting alone with only a laptop to keep you warm after the thrill is gone.
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