Does Facebook Ruin Relationships?

Click here to see our handy infographic “Love in the Time of Facebook” and find out if Facebook really is ruining relationships.

In July, Facebook acquired its 500 millionth member. To celebrate, the website shared users’ stories about the ways in which Facebook has connected unlikely lovers, reunited long-lost family members or cured terminal illnesses. But as any red-blooded Facebook user knows, the site can also lead to disaster: flirtations exposed, affairs discovered, hearts broken.

We asked our readers how Facebook has impacted their relationships affected their romantic lives. The results aren’t so pretty.

Has Facebook gotten you into trouble with your girlfriend / wife?
It sure has, say almost half (44 percent) of our readers. And in spite of what Tiger Woods’ experience might indicate, Facebook is more troublesome than text messages – or email (both have busted around 28 percent of guys). Does Facebook invite men to misbehave and ruin relationships? Not so, says Kimberly Moffit, a Toronto-based relationship therapist. “Facebook simply makes it easier to get caught.”

It’s a truth that our readers know well: Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) admit they’ve got something to hide on Facebook. And it’s not just flirtatious messages: Wall posts, photos and the mere existence of some friends all pose a threat for about a third of guys.

Do you unfriend exes?
The temptation to look back wistfully (or lustfully) at your ex’s pics is too great for most to resist: More than three-quarters (77 percent) play with fire, and remain Facebook friends with exes.

Does your girlfriend or wife have access to your Facebook account?
With so much to hide, this one makes sense: Just 28 percent of guys allow their ladies access to their account.

Has Facebook helped you initiate a hookup?
The majority of our readers owe a debt of gratitude to Facebook, too: 55 percent say the site’s facilitated a hookup. Call us old-fashioned, but we’d like to believe that courtship requires actual conversation – not merely a “poke.” That said, it’s clear by now that there’s an excellent chance Facebook will anger your girlfriend, or even ruin your marriage. Might as well enjoy the upside while you can. And with half-a-billion users out there, the world, young man, is your oyster.

To embed our handy infographic “Love in the Time of Facebook” on your site, visit slideshare.

Click here to see the full Facebook and relationship poll results.

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