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Tweet much? A new study shows that the more you use the social media outlet— and use its 140-characters to argue with your significant other — the more likely you are to cause a relationship rift outside of cyberspace.
The study, published in in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, concluded that active Twitter users were more likely to have relationship problems that result in cheating, break-up or even divorce. Nearly 600 people ages 18 to 67 participated in the study, answering questions such as how often they logged-on, whether Twitter had caused conflicts with their mates, and if they'd cheated with someone they met through the social media outlet.
"If you are a very active user of any social media, there is a possibility that you are less attentive to your partner," warns Rachel DeAlto, a relationship expert and author. "Are they tweeting instead of connecting? Are they more concerned with retweets, replies and favorites than getting what they need from the relationships? This will obviously cause a rift."
But you can Twitter-proof your relationship with a few simple tips from DeAlto:
• Pocket your smartphone with your significant other. Show him he's got your attention — not your newsfeed.
• Don't use Twitter as an outlet for your frustrations. "Choosing a public forum to air dirty laundry is counterproductive," DeAlto explains. "Your issues with your partner are not for public consumption." If something your significant other did hurt your feelings, take your concerns calmly to him, not your followers.
• Private messages with handsome strangers? That's a no-no. Nip that nonsense in the bud! DeAlto suggests avoiding engaging with exes over the medium, too, and asking your partner to do the same. "Create a boundary with one another," DeAlto suggests. "Let them know what bothers you and what is acceptable."
• Public jabs at your partner's opinion on the latest news link could embarrass him. Keep your debates face-to-face, not screen-to-screen.
• But using the social media outlet to praise your man — such as sharing the news that he's won a work award, or that he prepared you a delicious home-cooked meal — is just the kind of PDA for which Twitter was made. So gush away and watch good things happen on and offline! "Social media is a great tool to connect and can be a complement to a relationship when used with respect and communication," DeAlto says.
How do you think Twitter impacts your relationship? Let us know @Brides!