The divide between what you might class as a happy couple and everyone else on Facebook is actually more complicated than you may think.
A recent study has shown that people who seem to be the most happy about their fulfilling, committed relationships are also the most disliked amongst their friends. The study is part of a new was conducted as part of a book entitled The Science of Relationships and it involved researchers creating fake Facebook profiles that included profile pics with partners and posts with varying levels of detail about the love between the couple. Other profiles created show no sign of a relationship at all.
100 volunteers were then asked to look at these profiles and comment on
1. How committed the people seemed to be to their significant other
2. How much they liked the couple depicted in the profiles.
The participants overwhelmingly agreed that the couples who were most vocal about their relationships in Facebook were probably very satisfied and committed. They also commented that this group of people where relationship over-sharers and were the least liked.
Relationship disclosure can be categorised into high and low and no disclosure. “Pining away for Jordan…I just love you so much I can’t stand it!” (high relationship disclosure, which involves sharing personal details about one’s relationships); “I love my girlfriend <3” (low relationship disclosure; about the relationship, but less personal); and “phoneless for a bit, email me!” (no relationship disclosure).
One of the authors of the study Dr. Benjamin Le, summed this up well by saying, put it: “When it comes to relationship disclosure on Facebook, there can be too much of a good thing.”
So maybe we need to learn from this that on your next anniversary or when you take your next “relfie” (relationship selfie): consider the way your friends will be seeing it. Your partner may love you unconditionally but just remember all your Facebook friends are probably just a bit bored of it all.