Relationships have gone from dinner dates to totally digital. These days, your Facebook status says everything: whether you’re Single (but looking), In a Relationship, Married, Separated, or the oh-so ambiguous ‘It’s Complicated‘. Let’s also not forget the even more confusing options: In a Domestic Partnership, In a Civil Union, In an Open Relationship. Seriously, talk about unclear! Keeping all of this in mind, what does it really mean to be ‘Facebook official?’ And just how important is it?
Urban Dictionary defines it as “the ultimate definition of a college relationship” and “when you know it’s real“. Teens on top of their social networks know that a relationship is legitimate only when it’s on Facebook. “Basically, it means you’re official,” explains Ashley Henson, age 19. “The relationship means virtually nothing unless it’s on Facebook.”
However, that’s where the problem lies for many young people who don’t yet know where they stand. Being ‘Facebook official’ means going public, which calls for check-ins on dates, cheesy status updates, and a plethora of pictures. That means letting the whole world know where you stand with your significant other; something the two of you both have to agree on, which undeniably means having the ‘DTR‘ talk— to define the relationship.
Blogger and Geekomancy author Michael R. Underwood says that making a relationship Facebook official “communicates a level of commitment and seriousness in the relationship.” In short, it requires a lot of talking, as most relationships do. “It’s a parallel rhetorical shift to switching between calling someone ‘the guy/girl I’m seeing’ to ‘my boy/girlfriend.’ The rhetoric you use to discuss a romantic partner signals to your friends what is going on and how serious something is.”
Photo by Kittikun Atsawintarangkul
Not only does an online status let your friends see whom you’re dating, but it stops any single ladies from trying to reel in your partner. “What people don’t realize is that they do have control over what people see on your profile,” Hensen agrees. “And if two people are that serious about being together publicly, it shouldn’t matter what others think. They should be able to openly talk about it. If there’s any doubts about being ‘official,’ you might want to stop and think how serious you are about your guy—and how serious he is about you.”
So whether you’re ‘Single/Ready to Mingle‘, ‘Domestic & Happy‘, or ‘Ridiculously in Love…he just doesn’t know yet‘, don’t stress; it is ultimately just a status. Your happiness (and your partner’s!) is more important than any amount of likes on Facebook. Realize what you truly want, whether that’s a committed relationship or a solid buh-bye. Be honest with them and, most importantly, with yourself—because you deserve it, and remember, it never hurts to DTR…so you won’t ever have to declare “It’s Complicated.”
Feauture Photo By Photostock