Once it’s been spread across Facebook, it’s been spread across the world. Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to social networking, posting something on Facebook is the same as posting something on a billboard in New York’s Times Square. Metaphorically speaking.   Prince Harry faced a similarly humiliating situation when his girlfriend of 5 years officially ended their relationship by changing her status on Facebook as well. No matter which way you look at it, changing your relationship status on Facebook is an official and public declaration of what’s going on in your real life. “Breaking up via the internet is a form of cyber bullying.  It is a cowardly approach to handling a situation and leaves the other person feeling humiliated, ashamed and can also cause many readers to side with the person initiating the break up” says Dr. Bonnie Weil.

A Facebook dating app (AreYouInterested) conducted a survey and the results of 1,000 responses are telling. Apparently, a lot of people are using social network sites to do the “dirty work” of dating, from surreptitious splits to manipulative messaging. Almost 25 percent of respondents found out their own relationships were over by seeing it on Facebook first.

Dr. Bonnie explains that avoidance of confrontation may be the cause of people resorting to breaking up through social media sites. “80 percent of men are distancers. I refer to this as a man being allergic to a woman’s emotionality. This avoidance, distancing, and fear of dealing with repercussions can lead to couples taking short cuts in ending a relationship.” But that doesn’t make it right. “I assist couples in learning how to communicate through all stages of their relationship, and there are right and wrong ways to break up. Ending a relationship on the Internet is wrong.”

Not only is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and other social networking sites the new trend for breaking up, it is also where many divorce attorneys are finding credible evidence for cases involving adultery. Apparently Tiger Woods phone isn’t the only tattler to “out” adulterers. Over 61 percent surveyed by IllicitEncounters,com, the UK’s largest extra-marital dating agency, said a text message had, at some point, either incriminated them or aroused suspicion about their affair.

Dr. Bonnie, relationship expert and author explains the details of how, why and when to break up appropriately in Make Up Don’t Break Up, a groundbreaking relationship book now available in paperback with the accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying in Love. Dr. Bonnie can be reached at 212-606-3787 for a therapy consultation or via email at info@doctorbonnie.com



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