The Importance of Boundaries

Tonight’s post was inspired by a piece written by a recent Guest Post writer, Jimmy.

Recently, I came home and my girlfriend was not a happy camper.  Apparently I was in the doghouse for tweeting too many women on my Twitter account.

For real?

Thinking this was just her insecurities, I blew it off until I recently received some emails from some fellow twiends about how their significant others are slightly perturbed over our friendly “twirting” sessions.

Give me a f*cking break.

I’m sorry, but anybody in any relationship who brings up Twitter (and doesn’t have a Twitter account, mind you) as a means of betrayal in the relationship has some insecurities to definitely sort out.

I happen to agree with Jimmy’s girlfriend. As I explained to him, it’s not the flirting (or not flirting) that is concerning. It’s the need for attention that sets off alarm bells. It’s also the total lack of boundaries. Take this excerpt above. Do you really think his girlfriend wants everybody knowing that he thinks she’s insecure? Do you really think she wants him sharing the inner workings of their relationship with his mostly female audience? Probably not. That would make many people insecure. Hence why she’s sitting at home watching his Twitter feed.

Something else that raises a red flag?  That your significant other or person you’ve just begun dating is not just monitoring your social media (many do it) but are telling you that they’re watching your social media. (You never go full Stalker, kids. Ever.) What they’re telling you with this behavior is that they are concerned. Possibly unhappy. To dismiss that is dangerous.

How many stories have we heard about women seeing Wall comments on the Walls of the men they are dating? Or comments they’ve written on women’s Walls? Here’s a secret ladies. I know men that intentionally write comments on a woman’s Wall KNOWING that a woman he’s dating is one of her friends and will see it. More often than not that women, within hours, is checking in with the guy “out of the blue” just to see how he’s doing and how his day is going.

The reason why I enjoy Twitter so much is because since over 60 percent of the North American population is on the social network, it gives me the chance to converse with amazing people I would have never met otherwise and the fact that I write about dating and relationships, I’m already expected to have more female readers than male readers and I won’t censor myself just so significant other can feel at ease.

Here’s the deal. A relationship hinges on the ability and willingness of each partner to consider each other’s feelings. If someone who is in a relationship can’t step away from Twitter or Facebook and has to engage in banter with the opposite sex, then there is something wrong. It’s a desire for attention. That need is supposed to be filled by your significant other, to some degree. Not a bunch of avatars. Knowing that your significant other is announcing aspects of your relationship (even the positive ones) to people, even friends, is unsettling. It also makes it very, very hard for them to trust you.

Nobody likes to feel like their significant other is telling tales out of school. We don’t need to go home for Thanksgiving and wonder if our partner’s sister or brother knows about our sexual proclivities or that fight we had that night when we were drunk. We need to know that what goes on between us stays between us. More over, we don’t like the idea of people judging our relationship. (Although that’s usually a sign of our own discomfort with the relationship.) A more experienced person knows that if they don’t want something judged, they don’t share that information publicly. Keep yer trap shut. It’s a pretty simple concept. If you don’t want to be judged or scrutinized, then keep your private life private. There aren’t enough Twitter or Facebook blocks in the world to prevent people from finding out what you’re saying, either. So either be comfortable with what you put out there, or say nothing.

We also don’t like to feel like we are fodder for conversation when we aren’t around. I mentioned last week how concerned I was that a guy told his friends about who I was and what I did. It’s one thing to feel like somebody is proud of their partner or who they are dating. It’s entirely another to be concerned that someone is dating you for bragging rights. As I’ve said in the past…any guy that says he wants to be written about or doesn’t mind immediately becomes suspect to me. Immediately. Not just because it means he could be  an attention whore, but because I fear he lacks boundaries himself and will broadcast our private life to friends or via Social Media.

Obviously, the issue is boundaries and trust. It doesn’t matter the medium in which you share these details. It’s the fact that you’re sharing them at all that is the problem. The other issue is not just the oversharing, but the need for feedback. You shouldn’t need reinforcement regarding your relationship. If anything, all that noise that will only serve to weaken the bond between you and your partner.







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14 Responses to “The Importance of Boundaries”

  1. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “Something else that raises a red flag?” What raised the flag for me? That he had a Twitter account in the first place. That is an indisputable sign of an attention whore: someone who thinks that their taking a shit is so incredibly important to the world that they have to tweet it from the can instead of waiting a few minutes until they can get back to put it on their blog or Facebook page. Seriously? You have problems. All of you.

    The rest flows from there.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Jesus. What’s your problem?

      Twitter is very useful for promotion and marketing. Its not all attention whores.

      • DC Phil Says:

        Not all attention-whores, but Twitter and Facebook are media that seem to bring out the attention-whoring in some people. Back in the day, such people probably wouldn’t have been tempted at all.

      • Felemelt Says:

        “Twitter is very useful for promotion and marketing.”

        And community outreach, and networking, and arranging spontaneous social events, and meeting new people, and making new friends, and — dare I say it — and finding a date.

    • D Says:

      I prefer Twitter to Facebook. One could well ask why you feel it matters whether one uses Facebook over Twitter.

  2. Saj Says:

    In his entire post he basically said freedom to twitter flirt > gf concerns. All of this and a strong history of cheating makes for attention whoring and rubbing his girlfriend’s face in it. Rude and mean behavier in a loving relationship.

    For a relationship to survive you cant dismiss their feelings even if you don’t agree. If you are constantly being made to feel invalidated then you will lose trust and emotional security.

  3. dimplz Says:

    I guess I don’t really “get” the unnecessary drama. But I’m an olds and love my privacy. It seems to me that the OP isn’t just using Twitter for marketing, but he’s using it to market HIMSELF. If one is in a serious relationship where their SO is doing this, then that’s where I think the root of all the problems within the relationship will stem. People like the OP are probably insatiable. No one person will be enough for them. They have the need to be “followed” (and I think it’s ironic that you said she was stalking him, because isn’t that kind of what Twitter is like? Approved stalking?), admired, adored, etc. She will never be able to satisfy that need for him. If he weren’t doing it online, and Twitter didn’t exist, he’d be flirting at the local bar. He needs an outlet for flirtation, and he’s most likely not the guy for her.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Like I said, I don’t think it’s about flirtation. I think it’s about a need for attention. Jimmy is hardly the only person I’ve seen on twitter who cultivates a following heavily comprised of the opposite sex. We talked about this in a recent post. There are women out there who get a bunch of male followers and get addicted to the feedback those guys provide.

      Just like no man wants to be dissected on a blog, no woman wants a bunch of other women commenting on their relationship. That’s brutal.

      • dimplz Says:

        Are you saying that you believe his need for attention came AFTER he developed a following, because if so, I disagree. Maybe he doesn’t have a need to flirt, but his need for attention is probably what prompted him to have a twitter account.

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Jimmy’s motivations don’t really concern me. The bigger issue is how easy it is to cross certain boundaries via social media and how easy it is for things to be misconstrued once put out there.

          The need for attention is always there. But once you get it you tend to get caught up in it.

          • dimplz Says:

            “The need for attention is always there. But once you get it you tend to get caught up in it.”
            I think that still depends on the individual. I can only speak for myself, but when I had a blog and I noticed people were following, I didn’t keep it much longer, especially if the people who began to follow actually knew me. Of course, there are some people that social media just doesn’t appeal to, and I might be one of them. If I use any at all, it’s very sparingly and not to divulge anything personal other than what I might watch on television.

  4. Felemelt Says:

    Jimmy’s girlfriend is justified, and is right for wanting to set a boundary as for what is and is not appropriate. And Jimmy is disrespectful to his girlfriend for not discussing the issue with his girlfriend and coming to a resolution, instead ignoring her and blowing her off.

    I wonder if he performed this Twitter-flirtation before/when he met his girlfriend, or if this is a change in behavior indicative of dissatisfaction in the relationship. She opened a dialog to address it (“Stop flirting on Twitter”), he refused to discuss or admit there may be a problem. Refusing to talk about what is making the other unhappy is going to lead to the relationship-kaboom, Twitter’ (or Facebook or blogging) has got nothing to do with it.

  5. Saywhat! Says:

    Entirely with Moxie here. It’s sad but today people don’t know bounds and it’s all thanks to technology. The worst thing a man can do is to try and get all Dr. Phil and analyze us. Sorry guys we kinda blow you away in that category. There is no need for tweeting to chicks about your girl. Are you a girl? if you are your only looking for validation for being the dick that you are. Grow up.

  6. Jaimie Says:

    I’ve just read a few of his posts. If someone I was dating ever told the world about the time I farted in front of him I would be mortified. His girlfriend is a punchline for alot of his stories. I feel bad for her.

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