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Partners: Log off those Facebook accounts and take a walk instead

If you’re in a romantic relationship, it’s only natural that you sometimes feel motivated to present your partner with a gift or some other token of your appreciation.

Any number of things might come readily to mind. A watch or piece of jewelry, perhaps. A night out on the town with dinner and a concert. Maybe a cruise or other adventure trip.

Although there is certainly a wide universe of choices to select among, some family law researchers say that there might be one thing to think twice about -- especially for couples that have only been married for a few short years or are in the early innings of a pre-marital relationship.

You might just to forgo a gift-wrapped laptop computer, especially if it’s likely to motivate your significant other to start logging on regularly to Facebook.

A quick fact based on research findings from one recent study: Using that social networking site regularly was a factor in one-third of the divorce filings reported by divorce attorneys.

There’s just something about Facebook, say researchers, that can turn a relationship sour, especially a coupling that is less than long-tenured. Excessive use of Facebook -- defined in a recent study conducted by several universities teaming their research efforts as logging on more than hourly -- is especially problematic in many instances.

Some readers might guess why. For those who themselves frequently log on, they know all too well why they should be, well, logging off. Constant use can pique undue interest in what a partner is doing -- uploading, posting, saying about things -- and can arouse an unhealthy jealousy. Trust can be undermined, suspicions heightened.

“Negative relationship outcomes” can occur for couples, especially those in incipient relationships.

So, if you think time well spent is an evening together with your partner, each of you trolling through your Facebook site, you might just want to forgo that activity in lieu of a movie or long walk.

Source: Huffington Post, "Facebook, divorce linked in new study," June 6, 2013

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