We talk a lot about trust in relationships. It’s like the fundamental of any relationships, it’s probably quite easy to lose it with one small action in a few seconds, but to rebuild it can take ages, or forever.
This is a young girl born in 1990s. She knew her current boyfriend of 4-months through an online game then moved on to social media. After meeting each other, they also exchanged phone numbers and start to connect through Whatsapp.
She doesn’t want to be a control freak. But she recently realized that the boyfriend seems to be less caring. Sometimes they don’t talk to each other for whole day. She thought they should still be in the honeymoon phase, how did it end so fast? Sometimes she’d see that her boyfriend was last seen early in the morning on Whatsapp, but he didn’t talk to her, so who did he talk to at such early hours?
So one day when they were out dating, she found a chance to check on his phone, and found this girl’s phone numbers who the boyfriend appeared to be chatting with quite often on Whatsapp.
She wrote down the girl’s numbers, and added it to her phone book. So now the girl’s whatsapp account also appears on her phone. She started to monitor when the boyfriend and this girl are online, whether they are online on the same time, and whether they’re last seen on the same time (one of Whatsapp’s features, it tells you when the contact last online/seen). She’s getting almost obsessed with this checking, especially when she found that they appeared to be online at the same time so often.
At the end she confronted the boyfriend, and ended the relationship, without even finding out that the guy was really cheating. She couldn’t stand it, couldn’t stand the fact that the guy MAY be chatting to somebody else so often, and what’s most, she couldn’t stand her own checking behaviour. She knew when there is no trust in a relationship, the relationship will never work.
Sometimes I’m really not so sure if social medias bring us more benefits or hazards. When people sit in front of each other but do not look at each other, do not talk to each other, but look at the phone and chat with the persons over the phone. Is this still considered as social interaction? Perhaps it isn’t a bad thing when people use it to know more friends and to look for companions, but now people even use it to check on partners, is this still a healthy act?
Is what she does considered morbid jealousy? Can social media now function as a tool to check on partners?
(See more about morbid jealousy and a clinical case study here.)