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Integration Phase: More Than Just A "Status" Change

As relationships get more serious and people start to call themselves a couple and integrate different parts of their life. How have things changed since the creation of Social Media? Let's take a look.

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The Social in Social Media

In our constantly-changing world, social media plays a big part. It's no wonder that most of our announcements are done on Facebook - it's efficient, reaches a bigger audience and helps relationship partners keep everything in one place. According to Mark Knapp's Relationship Model, which models how relationships come together and fall apart, one of the stages that couples go through is the Integration phase. Questions arise about commitment, deep self-disclosure, sharing significant experiences, living together and perhaps even exchanging personal benefits (emotional and financial). Before social media, most people communicated through phone, mail, meeting in person(?) and whatever other non-techy ways there were. Now all that has changed.

1. Exclusive Commitment

Warner Bros / Via tumblr.com

Are you so excited about your new relationship? Can't stop thinking about your significant other? We can't either. Before social media, the only people that new about your blossoming fling were those you told in person. Now, it's so much easier to mark your territory with the simple act of a relationship status change. Yes, things are "official," now.

2. Deep Self-Disclosure

Via 9gag.com

Before social media couples indulged deep conversations over candle-lit dinner and wine, now the only light in your life is your phone screen with a notification. With social media, self-disclosure has turned into online conversations, emojis for emotions. It may be less personal but perhaps more discreet because somethings are easier to type than say. Through this this study, researchers examined the influence of Internet use and interaction (amount and types of use and self-disclosure) in online communication satisfaction and online relationship closeness. They concluded that participants who were pleased with their face-to-face communication with each other, used social media sites for self-fulfillment and disclosed their personal feelings, resulting in feeling close to their online partners and satisfied with their virtual communication.

3. Sharing Significant Experiences

abc.com / Via fanpop.com

The terrifying "Meet the Parents" dinner, travels, and reaching milestones are present in most relationships. Without social media it was a personal experience, something we didn't need to document on Facebook to prove it's legit. Now it looks like every trip to the grocery is commemorated with a check in and everyone in your close and not-so-close social circle is informed. Ironically, scientists found support for this notion of sharing experiences on social media: "The Couple that Facebooks Together, Stays Together."

4. Living Together

Warner Bros / Via seriesandtv.com

Before social media, living together became the ultimate step in face-to face communication. An individuals alone time became compromised as you are now sharing a space with your significant other. Linking bank accounts and copying keys were long processes when integrating each other into your everyday lives. After social media, some couples find that they communicate with one another via technology even when they are in the same room. Other couples exchange passwords to access one another social media accounts, emails and bank accounts. According to this study, 11% of committed couples even share a social media site together.

5. Personal Benefits

NBC / Via medium.com

Reaping the benefits of your relationship? We hope so. Emotional support and financial benefits are few of the many great perks of being off the market. Now with social media, this support can be virtual and shared with a larger audience. Followers can "like" comment, and "heart" your content. Now, your BF/GF is not the only one lifting you up.

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