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Are you letting tweets sour your relationship?

Updated: November 11, 2012 6:06AM

Is tweeting harming your relationship?

Recent rumors suggest this might be the case for engaged lovebirds Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. Miley has been posting angst-ridden tweets as of late, and many people believe that the messages are pointed references to her relationship with Liam. (In one recent tweet, Miley posted: “Thought of the day: Maybe it’s not that they love you less, they just love you the most they are capable of loving.”)

As a result of this and other Twitter thoughts, Liam reportedly has been pressuring Miley to quit Twitter — which actually isn’t the first time. In 2009, she quit the social media site after stating Liam’s dislike of it.

While this might seem like much ado about nothing, the truth is that social media has changed the way many couples relate to one another, even those couples who are not in the Hollywood spotlight. So what are the rules of engagement when it comes to love and the Internet? Consider the following:

Go old school. Technology has revolutionized the way couples express love. A recent survey found that only six percent of women and four percent of men still write love letters, while texts, Facebook and Twitter have become more popular (97 percent of women and 89 percent of men say “I love you” through text, while 43 percent of women and 39 percent of men use Twitter to express their feelings).

While wishing your partner a happy anniversary on Facebook can be a touching way to express your love to the world, it doesn’t have the same impact as a handwritten and thoughtful card. If social media is the main — or only — way you express your love to your partner as of late, it might be time to get back to basics.

Instead of sending her an email during the day or texting her ‘I love you,’ why not slip a note into her briefcase or even surprise her for an impromptu lunch? As wonderful as social media is, it can never replace the tiny gestures of intimacy and personal connection that you both hold dear.

Don’t share personal details. Whether it’s the pet name you use in the bedroom or a recounting of your argument from the night before, it’s never a good idea to over-share on Twitter or Facebook. Some things should be kept sacred and intimate, and without that assurance of privacy, your partner might hesitate to open up to you.

Even vague messages such as those posted by Miley can be damaging to you — even if you likely won’t have millions of fans questioning your relationship. By posting such posts, you will leave family and friends questioning, and that can be just as damaging to your bond and your trust.

Don’t vent, compliment. Sometimes people use the Internet to embarrass or castigate their partners, such as by tweeting, “Can’t believe my husband didn’t remember to get the oil checked #lazy” or, “Someone overdrew the checking account this month #whydidigetmarried.”

Instead of using social media to complain about your spouse (even in a “joking” way), why not use your profile to boost your partner’s mood and brag on them a little? For example, the next time he or she makes amazing dinner or lands a promotion, why not post about it proudly?

Replace highlighting all the negative things your partner does by spotlighting the positive. Not only will your friends and followers appreciate it, but it also will help to keep you in a grateful frame of mind. And your partner will feel like a million bucks!

Dr. Berman is the star of “In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN and director of

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