Obsessively checking your partner’s social media? You’re not alone. This is a really common normal thing for people to do and here’s why: It’s your innate evolved mating psychology at play. Both men and women evolved mate guarding strategies that are innate from the day we are born and passed down through the generations as they offer an evolutionary advantage. Basically jealousy pays off evolutionarily as the loss of a mate is a loss of vital resources (for yourself and your children) and opportunities.
Research from the evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss and others has shown that jealousy happens an equal amount in both women and men. Both sexes display the same amount of jealousy in their behaviours. Every time you are checking your partner’s social media this is your mate guarding in action trying to make sure you are preventing the potential loss of your partner.
The problem with this is that it can become mentally draining if it gets out of hand. You might be wondering how you can stop this. The important first step is to understand that it isn’t your fault and what you’re doing is completely normal human behaviour that many people are doing every day. But that in the long-term this isn’t a healthy behaviour and is mentally and physically draining. In order to change it one helpful strategy to use is to replace the habit of checking your partner’s social media with a more healthy habit. It helps if the habit you are replacing it with is very simple and just as easy to do as checking your partner’s social media. For example you may want to play a puzzle game on your phone instead, or learn a few new words of a new language, or go for a walk. Each time you feel the urge to check your partner’s social media notice what is happening and instead choose the new replacement behaviour. Over time as you repeat doing this new habit it will replace your current habit of checking your partner’s social media.
To learn more about the science and psychology of human relationships and mating strategies I highly recommend David M. Buss’s book The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating that you can check out below: