TIME relationships

People Are Getting Social Media Prenups

Facebook's Influence In Consumer Consumption Of News Growing
Facebook (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

But if you need one, your relationship is probably already doomed

Dating a jerk who cares more about his Facebook than your feelings? Don’t worry! You can get a social media prenup to protect your online reputation while you continue to sleep with the callous twit of your dreams.

Social media prenups are on the rise, according to ABC News, as more and more couples draw up contracts about what they can and can’t post online. Most of the prenups are monetary, which means someone may have to cough up as much as $50,000 if they post an unflattering picture of their spouse (and some include bans on revenge porn and other post-relationship social media.) “It’s a huge issue because we all know this stuff, once it’s out there, you can’t shake it,” attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza told ABC. “It can be humiliating. It can be painful. … It’s really no joke, and I expect this clause to become much more important with any of the other contracts.”

But for every person who’s annoyed about having their embarrassing beach body posted online, there are other people who get upset that their significant others asked them not to post something. “This morning one of my clients was so hurt because her boyfriend said ‘don’t share on Facebook that you and I got together on my birthday,'” said Dr. Karen Ruskin, a psychotherapist and relationship expert. “Not being able to post something is hurtful because it seems like someone’s trying to keep you a secret, like a mistress in hiding.”

Dr. Ruskin says being told not to post something online can make people feel controlled, and make them feel like they’re being kept a secret and devalued by their partner. But if you have to draw up a contract over posting embarrassing pictures of each other, maybe there are some deeper issues going on. Like if someone doesn’t listen when you ask them not to post a picture of you in your bathing suit, maybe you should’t be dating them. Ditto if somebody is pretending you don’t exist online.

“If you’re fighting about social media, it means that there is something else going on,” Dr. Ruskin said. “If your relationship is in a healthy place, you’re likely not to argue about social media. Social media is just spotlighting the problem.”

ABC says that 80% of divorce attorneys say discussion of social networking is increasingly common in divorce proceedings for a range of reasons, which means we’ll probably be hearing more about prenups like this. But it’s not a safety measure– it’s a red flag.

Run, run for the hills!

 

 

 

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