When The Internet Comes Between You

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Sex and Relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr explains why being online all the time can spell trouble for your relationships.

Many people fail to realise that spending lots of time online even if it’s general scrolling on Instagram, can slowly but surely invade and ruin relationships whether it’s with a partner or between friends. The problem is that it's hard to recognise this is happening. Because the problems caused to your relationship don't just happen overnight - instead day by day the problem slowly creeps into it and suddenly you realise there’s a distance between you both.

Making new friends online can be easy and feels fun and new. But actually, if you let that time overtake the time for your real-life friends or partner, then you end up neglecting your relationships with them. You desperately want to get back to where you two were - being with each other and enjoying it but it's not that easy to stop checking social media, otherwise you end up feeling like you’re missing out.

It's very hard to give up these things - you really feel you're missing out and worry that you'll lose your new friends. But are they really friends? You need to ask yourself this. Have you even met up with them and had face-to-face time? The thing is I know that often when this happens - and you meet up - it's a big disappointment. And I know people who've kicked themselves over ruining their real relationships for some false online ones.

If you’re in a relationship, being online too much can spell trouble. It's easy to slip into flirting with people you meet like this and suddenly they seem far more exciting than your partner who is there every day. But on the whole, some quick thrills from someone off the net end up very shallow and I regularly speak to people who are trying to make things up to a partner they've cheated on.

Use your best judgement to prevent this happening to your relationships: 

-       Prevention is always better than the cure

-       Set yourself a reasonable limit on how long you'll do things like e.g looking at Instagram 

-       Talk to your partner/ friend about it so that you both know what your expectations are.

Carve out time together that should be fun and refreshing. As well as not letting the Internet take over your relationship, you shouldn't let it take over the rest of your life. It's great for keeping in touch with friends but don't let it overtake face-to-face communication with them or your partner.

Originally posted on Dr Pam Spurr’s blog

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Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash