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How often do you find yourself scrolling through Facebook and coming across a quiz that helps you unlock the biggest mysteries of life? Or an article that seems like someone just read your mind and put it into words? Surely you’re going to be tempted to click on the “9 signs your boyfriend is cheating on you” or the “10 signs she’s just not into you!”

Love in the digital age comes with both, advantages and challenges. An Internet connection has the potential to be quite menacing for even the healthiest of relationships. Here’s how:

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They Catch You in a Weak Moment

Let’s say you’re going through a rough patch with your girlfriend, and she’s been taking hours to reply to texts, staying more distant that her usual self. This has been going on for three days now, and you have no idea what went wrong. While you’re on your phone, waiting for her to reply, you come across an article titled “5 reasons why your girlfriend is ignoring you”. Needless to say, you’re going to be tempted to click.

The worst part is that very often we even know that it’s just a clickbait article that will have nothing substantial to offer. The problem is we’ve been caught in a moment of weakness. In a way, we look for solace, comfort, and advice in these articles, knowing that we’re not the only couple going through such a situation.

They Quote ‘Experts’

It doesn’t help that they throw in the words “experts suggest”, or “according to psychologists”. It’s like they are trying to add an element of authority on the matter. But the fact is that no two relationships and no two situations can be the same, and to apply generalisation to your own relationship might in fact be potentially damaging.

They Make You Incredibly Suspicious

Let’s take the same example of your girlfriend ignoring you, and you can’t figure out why. When you click on the article, the five reasons you find in there will make you question everything about your girlfriend, yourself, and your relationship! The first one will be – “She’s cheating on you”. So you begin to wonder if that overly friendly guy at the gym is a threat. The second reason will be – “The sex is bad”. You might drive yourself crazy thinking you’re not good in bed, or that you’re not able to satisfy her. The third will be a highly conclusive one – “She doesn’t love you anymore”. In reality, most of these reasons might be far from true.

Chance Encounters

Ever heard of synchronicity? In simple words, it is a meaningful coincidence (or in this case, a meaningless one). You know that thing where you are thinking of something, and you suddenly see and hear it everywhere? It’s uncanny how that happens on the Internet—through memes, quizzes or articles that make you feel like they were written for you. It’s either some kind of karmic force of the universe designed to draw your attention to your relationship, or maybe the Internet is just brimming with clutter.

It’s more likely the latter.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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