Millions of girls are in love with the guys in One Direction, the Wanted, Big Time Rush and Mindless Behavior. Girls take their last names on their profiles on Twitter and Facebook, hold up signs at concerts asking for their hands in marriage and scream their heads off at the mere sight of them.

Think for a moment how it would feel to actually be one of their girlfriends. Instead of blissful, might it actually be full of annoyances and Twitter-based death threats? For the girlfriends of boy band members who do talk about their romances online, it hasn’t been an easy ride.

A few of the One Direction boys have “regular person” girlfriends. Louis Tomlinson dates student/part time model Eleanor Calder and Liam Payne is with dancer Danielle Peazer. Both couples communicate publicly on Twitter and lots of 1D fans follow the girlfriends. Zayn Malik may or may not be involved with Perrie Edwards, but the two are keeping their lips tightly sealed on the matter especially after the abuse she seems to have suffered, including death threats, from 1D fans on Twitter.

From the Wanted, Siva Kaneswaran has a long time girlfriend named Nareesha McCaffrey while Tom Parker lives with girlfriend Kelsey Hardwick. The former has only recently been directly talking about or posting photos of his girlfriend on Twitter, while the latter seem to use Twitter to communicate often.

UK singer Olly Murs went on a tour around the U.S. with One Direction this summer. When he spoke to CBS Local he gave his take on how girlfriends of boy banders should handle the online drama.

“That’s the problem with social networking,” Murs said. “If you have a girlfriend and you’re famous and you have a high profile relationship, unfortunately they are going to get abused for it. Because their fans, Justin Bieber’s, One Direction’s, the Wanted — they’re all going to have girlfriends at some point. It’s a fact of life. We all get partnered up and we all meet someone that we love. Of course that’s going to happen. I think that the best thing or the only advice I would say is just don’t go on it. I know it’s a shame but for your relationship and being with that person, why bother being on Twitter if you’re going to get abuse for it? You have to just come off it.”

The boys themselves can’t do much to stop it either, other than send angry or discouraging Tweets. Murs acknowledged that, saying, “Obviously not for Justin Bieber and the boys in One Direction or the Wanted because obviously that’s where their fans are. But if the girl I was dating was on Twitter and she wasn’t famous but she was getting abused I would say, ‘Look, do you know what? Just come off it.’ That’s if it’s causing you upset and you’re not liking what you’re hearing, just come off it. I mean, I get it everyday.”

The phenomenon isn’t new, boy bands and their girlfriends have had to endure it for decades, but on the Internet it is enhanced due to the direct access fans have to their idols and potentially their love interests.

These days the behavior is called cyberbullying. Fans are treading on the line of illegal behavior in many states and certainly risk being blocked by the boy band members they profess to love.

-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local


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