A lot of people feel like when they’re in a relationship (or out of one), that it’s important to update their relationship status on Facebook. And there’s a saying that I’ve heard used numerous times where people will say “If it’s not Facebook official, then it’s not really official.”
I beg to differ on this one and here is why.
I have a history of being a serial monogamist, where in the past I’d jump from relationship to relationship. After a while, it’s hard for people to keep up. Are you together? Are you not together? What’s going on here? That’s what people really want to know. And after a while when you’ve been in and out of failed relationships, people start to talk about your love life (or lack thereof), like they have some sort of vested interest in it.
And after a while when you’ve been in and out of failed relationships, people start to talk about your love life (or lack thereof), like they have some sort of vested interest in it or another regard that entitles them to know the details and/or talk about them. Part of me wants to believe this is a human curiosity to try and piece together parts of the puzzle but deep down, it really serves no purpose to anyone else. Why do people feel like they need to know every waking detail or play by play of another person’s relationship status?
First of all, not every relationship that you go into is going to work out. While we’d initially like to believe that it will, it often doesn’t for one reason or another. Not every person we date we’re going to marry. You can be with someone a week, a year, ten years (so on and so forth) and never truly know if it’s going to last. You want to believe it will, but you can’t force it to if both people aren’t on the same page.
Secondly, think about all the people that follow one another on facebook. Many of us have our close friends (who are probably only a handful), acquaintances, people we haven’t seen or talked to in years, family and coworkers. Do we really want ALL of these people gazing into the intimate details of our personal lives at every waking moment that we decide to update something?
Furthermore, it’s just another way for people to try and stalk you or cause problems. I know that there have been times where facebook has allowed people to look up information on exes or their new partners, just to see what they’re up to. I’m sure people have a variety of motives when doing so, but why give them any information to find? Is it really anyone’s business?
Relationships are supposed to be between two people. I think the most important thing is that those two people are on the same page and agree with one another that there will be trust, communication and love/commitment to one another. And commitment doesn’t need to be “Facebook official” to be official.
People will say, “Oh, if they’re not updating their status, they must be keeping their options open or trying to cheat.” Do you honestly think that updating your status is going to deter cheating in any way? If someone wants to cheat, they’ll figure out a way to do it, regardless of whether or not their facebook status says they’re in a relationship or single. Hell, married people wear rings on their fingers and still cheat all the time. The ring is just a symbol that announces to others that there’s a commitment. It doesn’t force people to hold true to it or honor it. So why would a facebook status be any different?
If someone wants to be faithful to you, they’ll be faithful. If someone wants to cheat, they’ll cheat. There is nothing that can get in the way of either if someone has their mind made up. So trying to force someone to do something to show everyone else that they’re committed is almost insulting and initially, starts to breed distrust. And if you don’t have trust, why are you even in the relationship, to begin with?
When things are new, you’re not even sure if they’re going to work out initially. There’s always that underlying nervousness, wondering if the other person is going to freak out or change their mind. That’s always a risk.
I used to self-sabotage and look for reasons to push people away so I wouldn’t get close enough to someone to get hurt. That was the idea. But what I’ve found is that you don’t have to be in a relationship with someone to get hurt or have feelings. I’ve been hurt plenty of times by people that didn’t want relationships so, at this point, I really have nothing to lose. I’m just going to approach things differently and hope for the best.
And the first step to that is not allowing other people to dictate what is right or wrong.
You don’t need a facebook status to officialize your relationship status. People survived for years without doing so. The only two people it should matter to are you and your partner. It’s really nobody else’s business when the relationship begins or ends. It’s okay to keep things off social media.