In this social day and age, it seems that more importance is placed on your online profile than how you act in real life. People are just as likely to check up on you online as they are to actually call you and get the scoop on your status straight from your own mouth. And one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how much importance is put on your relationship status on social sites, and the way in which you present them.
First, is it really anyone’s business but yours?
Well, it depends on who you ask, and it depends on how you feel about the whole thing. I’ve already waxed poetic on more than one article about how your online antics can affect your real life situations. So, if you perpetually rely on social networks to stay up to date and to update your friends – then yes, it’s wise to make sure that your online relationship status accurately reflects your offline affiliations.
*Note: if you perpetually waffle between “in a relationship” and “it’s complicated” (and P.S. only 16 year olds should be using “it’s complicated” since it screams red flag) then it’s safe to say no one’s worried about your relationship status except you and the poor sap you somehow suckered into dating you.
Two, how much info should you share about your relationship?
This probably applies more to Facebook than any other social network, but it’s definitely up to your discretion whether or not you tag your SO officially. Personally, I don’t. My Facebook account truly is a personal friend network rather than proof that I can rack up more “faux” friends than anyone else. Seriously, there are people sitting in the “friend request” queue for 2+ years. So, most likely, you know who my amor is if you check who’s tagged in my updates or pictures. I have other professional reasons why I don’t do it, but suffice it to say, I’m confident in my LTR, so I don’t feel like I need to tag my SO on my details page.
Three, what do you do when the relationship goes south?
Okay, truth be told this is why I don’t believe in tagging the people you’re dating in your profile overview. Granted, I’m in an LTR, so this may or may not really apply to me. But I have this thing about tempting fate…hence I don’t tag my SO in my profile overview. However, nothing is messier than having to untag the person you’re dating and then change your status to “single”. This is probably the top reason I advise people against tagging an SO on their profile overview. Sure, a break up is already a messy thing, but now it’s extra messy.
The reality is breaking up is neither easy nor simple – no matter how amicably it occurs. And to add to that, by publicizing the change in your relationship status, social media makes an already tenuous situation more visible, embarrassing and stressful. Obviously, there’s no easy way to handle a break up, and everyone must decide for themselves whether or not they want to make their relationship visible to the world.
But my suggestion to those who are curious: before you change the status on your social site (regardless of whether you tag your SO or not), make sure you’ve passed the three month mark. Seriously, every relationship is hot and heavy in the honeymoon period. But, if you can pass three months and still look at your SO without wondering “what was I thinking”, then by all means, click and tap your way to new relationship status.