Whether you’re at the beginning of a budding romance or ten years deep with no foreseeable end in sight, there is an inevitable conversation lingering in the back of your minds, waiting to strike. It surfaces when one of you says those three big words that mean so much: “In a relationship.”
I’ve gone Facebook official with three different guys in the course of my dating career. I think the I’ve been the one to bring up the conversation every time except once. When my most recent ex-boyfriend brought up the idea without any prompting, I heard angels singing in the background. But when we broke up and then got back together a month later, he didn’t want to post it back on Facebook. After all, his friends had been dating for years and still hadn’t made it Facebook official, so we didn’t need to either. We ended up breaking up again (actually, that was partially because a girl started talking to him on Facebook, thinking he was single because he was listed as such), so it was probably for the best that we didn’t post it, but it really bothered me that suddenly he didn’t want to show me off anymore.
Now, with my new boyfriend, I’m facing a similar – albeit less extreme – version of the same problem. It’s know irrational, but there is a little twinge of rejection that comes when your significant other is unsure about making it Facebook official. There’s some sort of stigma that it’s not cool to care about becoming Facebook official, but if it’s truly not that big of a deal, why bother putting up a fight about it?
I guess I don’t understand how someone can be good enough to hang out with your friends and meet your parents, but not good enough to be superficially linked to you on a social media site. Yes. I know it’s superficial. I know I’ll sound like a crazy person if I let on that I actually care about something so stupid. That’s why, while bombs are exploding in my head, I smile at the boy and nod and say, “Oh, I gotcha. Yeah, no big deal.”
Some girls are able to play it cool so well that they convince themselves that they are secure about a situation. I am not that girl. I haven’t been cool a day in my life and I’m not one to shake things off easily. But I try to act calm and mature because I know something so ridiculous does not belong on the list of stressors in my life.
There are a few good reasons that I want to be listed as “In a relationship” if I’m dating someone. First of all, I’m proud of my boyfriend. I want to show him off. I want his page linked to mine. I want the assholes from high school to see that I’ve finally found a good one. I want to make it convenient for my friends to creep on him. Is some of this attention-seeking? Probably. Do I want to throw it in my ex-boyfriend’s mother’s face that I’m dating a hot French guy now? Maybe that’s part of it – she’s a bitch, after all. But becoming Facebook official is not about revenge. It’s an easy way to declare, “Hey, I like this person and I am unavailable” to the world.
Guys might not take this into consideration, but girls can get a lot of unwanted attention when they are listed as “Single” on Facebook. Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not some hot girl that boys clamor over one another to obtain. I’m an A cup with an average face – my romantic life is not a bloodbath. However, I do get the occasional creep with half a mutual friend who wants to “meet up for coffee ;)” or take things to the next level by asking for my Snapchat username. I know it’s flattering and that it’s easy to say, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend,” but I’d rather not have to deal with it at all if I can easily avoid it by being “In a relationship.” I also don’t want girls approaching my boyfriend thinking that he’s on the market.
I don’t hold being listed as “Single” as the culprit of destroying my previous relationship; I know that the boy made choices too, and there were lots of other factors that played into our breakup. I can’t blame the girl for approaching him…after all, his Facebook said he was fair game.
I know that being listed as “In a relationship” won’t lock a boy down, and I don’t want my boyfriend to feel like that, either. That’s not the point. I just don’t like feeling like I have higher expectations for the relationship than he does – or like he’s not sure if he wants his friends back home to know about me. I honestly don’t think that’s the case, but I can always come up with worst-case scenarios in my head.
I guess I’m just not going to bring it up again.