What does your Facebook profile secretly say about your relationship?


For men it’s the words and for women it’s in the picture.

Men who listed their partnership status (“In a relationship with…”) and women whose profile picture displayed their partner both had happier relationships.

Extending previous research on positive and negative correlates of Facebook use for individuals’ outcomes, this study examined male and female dating partners’ (n=58 couples) Facebook use and portrayals of their intimate relationship on the Facebook profile. Confirming hypotheses from compatibility theories of mate selection, partners demonstrated similar Facebook intensity (e.g., usage, connection to Facebook), and were highly likely to portray their relationship on their Facebook profiles in similar ways (i.e., display partnered status and show their partner in profile picture). These Facebook profile choices played a role in the overall functioning of the relationship, with males’ indications of a partnered status linked with higher levels of their own and their partners’ (marginal) relationship satisfaction, and females’ displays of their partner in their profile picture linked with higher levels of their own and their partners’ relationship satisfaction. Finally, male and female reports of having had disagreements over the Facebook relationship status was associated with lower level of females’ but not males’ relationship satisfaction, after accounting for global verbal conflict. Thus, the findings point to the unique contribution of Facebook disagreements to intimate relationship functioning. Results from this study encourage continued examination of technology use and behaviors in contexts of intimate relationships.

Source: Lauren M. Papp, Jennifer Danielewicz, and Crystal Cayemberg. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. February 2012, 15(2): 85-90. doi:10.1089/cyber.2011.0291.

Join over 140,000 readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

Related posts:

What are the top reasons for Facebook un-friending?

Does a Facebook profile show you someone’s real personality?

Can I predict how happy you’ll be in the coming years by looking at your Facebook profile?


Subscribe to the newsletter