Although it’s a great way to kill time, Facebook can be a messy place. Research has shown that it can create issues in romantic relationships, and a 2013 study found a link between Facebook and divorce. So, while it can be fun for walks down memory lane or as a way to break up a boring a work day, it can be a source of drama if you don’t proceed with caution.
Of course your intuition might be to find out everything you can about the person you’re dating, because that’s the world we’re living in these days. But think about it. Being friends with someone on Facebook too early in a relationship can actually create problems that wouldn’t exist if you had just avoided it altogether.
If you’ve just started seeing someone and are flirting with the idea of sending him or her a friend request on Facebook, walk away from your computer and consider these 5 reasons to wait before friending on Facebook:
1. You may get the wrong impression. Whether you become friends with someone at the office or someone you’re dating, your first inclination is to go through each and every photo, right? Before you know it, you’re in a folder from the summer of 2001 and your date is mooning the camera in what appears to be a post-prom high school photo. We were all young and crazy once, but some of us may not want to know that about our potential love interests… yet.
2. You could become unnecessarily jealous. You’ve been dating someone for a few weeks, things are going great, then you log on to Facebook and see him or her arm in arm with someone else. What follows? Jealousy, and lots of it. So, you ask your date about it, trying to hold back your jealousy, and you find out that the person in the picture is a sibling. You’ll feel a sense of relief knowing that there’s no threat, you’ll also feel a bit foolish. Save yourself the time and energy.
3. You may discover certain things too soon. One of the best parts about dating is getting to know someone little by little over the course of the dating process,. If you friend that person on Facebook, you’ll be fast-tracking the process and losing the organic flow of getting to know someone.
4. You’ll end up comparing yourself to the ex. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to the people our current partner dated before. It’s not right or wrong, but it is something we should all try to avoid, because we’re all really great in our own ways. If we compare ourselves to others, we’re doing others and ourselves a disservice, so don’t let yourself play into that.
5. You’ll waste even more time on Facebook. As we already know, nothing sucks up more time quite like Facebook, but if you’re so busy playing amateur private investigator on your date’s page, then you’re just wasting more time than usual. Don’t do that. Instead, get to know the new person in your life the best way—in the real world.