Social Media and Adult Dating
Feeling the angst of adolescence decades later
She’s back in the dating world at 45 and discovering the power of social media to make an adult feel like a seventh grader again – and not in a good way! See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson has to say about social media and adult dating in “Ask Amy.”
I am a 45-year-old divorced woman with a fairly active social media presence.
After my divorce, I dated someone with no social media, so it was easy. After that ended, I met someone through a friend. He immediately suggested that we connect on Facebook.
We’ve been out quite a few times and it’s been great, but he’s dating other people. That’s fine – and I’m open to seeing other people, too.
I’m not even sure of my feelings for him, but seeing posts about his various dates and his active social life makes me uncomfortable. I can tell who else he’s dating from his posts. It makes me curious and jealous in a way that I don’t like.
What do people these days do about social media when they’re dating, but not settled? Should I mute him? Not connect with people on social media until the relationship is serious?
I know people talk about social media being toxic to teenagers, but I think the age range should be extended!
What’s the protocol? How do I protect myself from myself?
– Socially Confused
Many people actually “meet” on social media, but they’re in another category, because they already know and are attracted to the other person’s style of sharing.
Your guy is using Facebook like a seventh-grader (not that kids these days use FB), and it’s triggering you to react like a seventh-grader.
You know the truism about STDs: when you’re sleeping with one person, you’re actually sleeping with all the people they’ve slept with.
Facebook is like that. When you connect on social media with someone you’re dating, you become tangentially connected with everyone they’re dating.
Nobody wants that.
For you, I think it’s wisest to use social media the way all the millennials I know do: Lock it down. Be extremely judicious about what you post and private about your sharing circles.
Mute or hide his posts, and if you want, you can check him out during periods when you’re curious or in the mood (no drunk-scrolling allowed).
In the future, it might be best for you not to dive into a Facebook connection early on with someone you’re seeing.
This is the best way to save you from yourself – it also saves you having to go through the whole “unfriending” process later on, if things don’t work out.
Ask Amy: Older man baffled by dating
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from sharing information like questions of autism in women diagnoses to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.
©2023 by Amy Dickinson