You know those couples who post literally everything they're feeling about each other all the time on Facebook? The "relationship over-sharers"? Well we wanted to do a little research to figure out what was really happening there. Are they really that happy all the time? Or are they trying to convince themselves and the world that they're happy with their partner?
We came across a study done by a few researchers just recently that set out to answer our questions! The researchers took a bunch of Facebook profiles and asked the couples to complete relationship assessments about their relationship quality, and then assessed how their activity on Facebook related to their relationship satisfaction. The results were surprising to us!
We thought that the research might show that the over-sharers really weren't that happy with their relationships and were using social media to overcompensate for their insecurity. What actually turned out to be the case, though, was that the people who had their partner in their profile picture with them and shared something about their relationship in their latest status actually turned out to be happier in their relationships than people who didn't have their partner with them in their profile pictures.
People who "over-shared" were rated by research coders as less likeable than those who kept the statuses about their relationship to a minimum, but the perception of their relationship quality remained high, and it turned out to be accurate for the couple. So next time you go thinking about how annoying that couple is that is always posting about their love-life, remember that they're probably really happy together and just enjoying their relationship!
This article was originally published on Relate Institute. It has been republished here with permission.
The Relate Institute is a not-for-profit organization that revolves around the aim of distributing the Relate Assessment - the most comprehensive premarital/marital assessment available - to as many couples and individuals as we can reach. We believe that all may benefit from assessing personal strengths and weaknesses as relationship partners, and work to help make relationship success a reality.