Dating: The Facebook relationship status

Image via

What has become the status quo in terms of stating your relationship on Facebook?

Back in Facebook yesteryear (2006) it was exciting to post that you and Billy Highschool-love were staying strong, even after freshman year started. It was a warning to potential suitors (and possibly a reminder) that you are, in fact, dating some guy from some other town.

That was when we were younger, and when Facebook had still been for college students only. How has the Facebook relationship status changed and how are people using it now?

Let’s look at our options:

  1. Single. Probably the most striking FB relationship status. It normally yields either a “yeah, no shit” or “seriously?! we HAVE to meet up with him” reaction from any given stalker.
  2. In a Relationship. Seen by FB friends as “yeah, I’m still with him” or “that shit is gonna crash and burn in like 1 internet year” (about a week).
  3. It’s complicated. The most volatile FB relationship status. It shows your brazen attitude towards letting everyone know exactly what’s going on in your relationship.
  4. Engaged/Married. Same shit, unless there’s a crash and burn revelation by either party and it turns into a furious SINGLE. Mostly translated by viewers as “Oh, good for them,” “I better get invited to that wedding” or “that’s not going to last very long. They are both batshit crazy.”
  5. In an open relationship. Yeah, unless it’s a friendship faux relation, nobody cares. You’re “in a relationship” asshole. There’s nothing less attractive than other people’s drama when you’re trying to get your freek on.
  6. Widowed. Sadsies. “That was really, really awful. Who wants drinks?” (you know it’s true)
  7. Separated/Divorced. Depressing, yet probably yields more jubilation and sick satisfaction to your FB viewers than any other relationship status. “Fuck YES I’ve been waiting to hook up with them since junior high!” or “Knew it! Who wants drinks?”
  8. In a civil union/In a domestic partnership. It’s either true, or it’s some boring white 20-something couple trying to keep the spark alive. “Oh.”
  9. BLANK. The elusive, mysterious blank.
That's creepy. Internet dating can be weird, y'all. Image via gawker

Most people, at least on my friend list, stick to the holy trinity of in a relationship, single, or married. Straightforward. No muss no fuss. However, once in a while your dramatic friends begin to update their relationship status daily: “In a Relationship.” “Single.” “It’s Complicated.” “In a Relationship.” “SINGLE.” “REEEEALLY SINGLE.” “So totally single I’m going to talk about it for 9 months because I clearly have obsessive tendencies and a penchant for oversharing!” I really which that last one was an actual status.

There are also the faux relations, where two friends decided to be virtually married or dating a friend forever. Good for friends everywhere, bad for potential dates stalkin’ on your info.

Then, ever so often, you run across a couple who leaves their status blank, but have been together for like 3 years. When you think of it, if you’ve been together that long and all of your friends know this, it’s really not pertinent information.

On the other hand, there are the couples who have been together for like 4-6 months and are still kind of in the honeymoon period of officially being a couple, yet leave their FB relationship status mysteriously blank. Is it because they don’t want people to know that’s who they’re dating, or is it simply a case of not caring about the FB relationship status?

Fascinating. Image via

One factor in omitting relationship statuses on Facebook is the fear of virtual breakups. It can be stressful and embarrassing to go through a break up, not to mention one that people can comment on or even ‘like’. Gross. It just leaves a lot of annoying “I’m so sorry! You’ll find someone better, I KNOW it!!!” comments that don’t make you feel better and make you want to jump off a bridge into a lake filled with needles. Relaying your most recent pain and heartbreak to a few people you care about and a LOT that you don’t is just another added stress of keeping up with relationship statuses on FB.

When not in a relationship, that I will gladly post, I prefer to be a blank. I think it’s the best way to be single, because you’re not stuck with this ‘single’ title. If you start casually dating someone, you’re not immediately pressured to let everyone know by switching your ‘single’ status to something else. There’s also an added air of mystery surrounding your relationships and dating life which is a beautiful thing in this digital age where everyone shares everything with each other.

Clearly everyone takes their FB relationships status differently. What’s your Facebook relationship status?


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