I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I can’t avoid it because of the work I do, so it’s a very necessary part of my life, but some days I could do without it. I entered the world of social media with resistance, but here I am, along with so many of you. Once we are in it, our job is to manage it well.

I was one of the last people in my group of friends to get a Facebook account. I avoided Twitter when it first hit the scene because I couldn’t understand why I’d want to “follow” anyone, and I jumped on that Instagram ship long after it already sailed. Thankfully, being late to the party hasn’t stopped me from having a good time. Social media allows for late entry, and it’s a world that comes with many benefits.

But lately, I wonder if social media is doing more harm than good when it comes to romantic relationships. Through my own observations, along with conversations I’ve had with family and friends, I have to wonder if people are managing social media in a way that helps them sustain the relationships that matter most.

I see people share so much about their relationships online. I am friends with many of those people. I see friends shares pictures about date nights, birthday celebrations, vacations with their significant others and I love it. It’s beautiful to see. I am not hating, I am not bothered by it, and it doesn’t annoy me at all. But I also know that those posts don’t reflect what a person’s entire love life looks like. I know there are moments of frustration, things don’t always go as planned, disappointments occur, pain interferes with their love, and some days are downright painful.

That is reality.

But I find that so many people are getting lost in the land of status updates and posts, insisting that something is flawed about their relationship because everyone else’s is going so well.

The madness has to stop. Social media wasn’t designed to encourage people to use the lives of their friends and acquaintances as some measuring stick for their own lives. It’s a place for people to connect and share.

If you think social media is harming your relationship because of what you post, what your partner posts, what you see, or what you don’t see, please step back, take a deep breath, and check out these 4 tips to help stop social media from ruining your relationship.

Unplug and Take a Social Media Break

We don’t need to be online all day, every day. It’s damaging. If you find that social media is starting to make you feel “some sort of way,” step away from it. Maybe you need the weekend off, or maybe you need to walk away for a week or a month. The world won’t stop spinning, and you can get right back to things when you feel mentally prepared to do so.

Remember That You Are Only Seeing a Part of the Story

Please don’t get caught up in comparing your relationship to anyone else’s. You are only seeing a part of their story. Even the happiest couples have challenging moments. Focus on your own journey with your partner and keep it moving.

Don’t Expect Much From It

Don’t expect much from social media. It’s a space that countless people can access, and you won’t always agree with everything you see. Keep your feelings out of it. People share what they want to share, and it’s not always truth. Don’t expect much from your social media experiences. Share your personal truth, connect with people, and enjoy life.

Don’t Use It to Air Out Your Dirty Laundry

This is the biggest social media no-no. The world doesn’t need to know how pissed off you are at your partner. This will harm your relationship without a doubt. If you have nothing positive or neutral to post about your relationship, stick to other topics or take that social media break.

What are your tips for keeping social media from ruining your relationship?