“Are We Sharing Boyfriends?:” Toxic Dating Trend or Modern-Day Feminism?

If you haven’t heard about the “Are We Sharing Boyfriends?” Facebook groups, you’re about to be put on to what might be the most intrusive, yet helpful dating trend. No longer are women waiting to find out if their beau is worth the trouble — they’re finding out for themselves. Cosmopolitan spoke with a member of one AWSB group and unpacked the new fad with therapist, Andrea Dindinger.

AWSB are “city-specific groups where women post photos of the people they’re dating,” Cosmopolitan shared. Like the true investigators women can be, they ask if anyone else is dating that person and anxiously wait for a reply — while hoping not to receive one.

Whether you’re based in a small city within Arkansas or dating in Los Angeles, these groups have thousands of women sharing details back and forth, hoping to save each other from the chaos that dating can become.

One TikTok user named Nadia came across AWSB after a viral post landed on her For You Page. She suspected her boyfriend of shady behavior so she decided to join a local AWSB group. Within two months, she noticed someone had posted her boyfriend and instantly ended the relationship.

For Nadia, AWSB was helpful, but where this can be modern-day feminism and solidarity, it may be slightly toxic.

San Francisco-based therapist, Dindinger, who specializes in healthy relationships, shared that this phenomenon isn’t alarming, but can be harmful. Groups like AWSB magnify the dopamine boost we already receive with social media interactions. It becomes dangerous because “the stakes are so high… Naturally, you’ll tune in obsessively, even if it stresses you out and gives you anxiety.”

If you pop into these groups when you intuitively feel that your partner is being shady, it’s understandable. Get the information and go. But, if you linger and use it as a crutch to find out who your new potential beau is sleeping with instead of asking to be exclusive, you can become addicted to feeling like there’s bad news around the corner.

Instead, talk to a trusted therapist and work through the negative feelings you have while empowering yourself to create healthier bonds.

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