My eighth grade boyfriend and I had been dating for exactly nineteen minutes before we announced it to the world via our internet personalities. It’s been a long time since I was in eighth grade. It was a time before Facebook. It was a time before MySpace. But I was a 13-year-old girl, and I had to announce to the world that I. HAD. A BOYFRIEND. I logged into AOL Instant Messenger, and in Bradley font (obv), added the following to my profile.
Oh, I can’t believe it’s happening to me.
Some people wait a lifetime…
*~*~*Ben xoxo 1.27.03*~*~*
It lasted one month. To let people know we’d broken up, I deleted my entire AIM profile (except for the initials of my best friends at the bottom, of course — besties over testes), and replaced it with a giant broken heart: </3. That was ridiculous, and I know it. I’d be humiliated, but I was 13. I forgive myself. Kids don’t know better. I’ve learned from it. We all have. Except…that we all haven’t.
The obsession with becoming Facebook Official is overwhelming, and more importantly, fucking weird. My current relationship status on Facebook is “___.” I don’t have one, because I like to put people to work when they’re stalking me. Come to your own conclusion when you see 0.0 pictures of me embracing a boy that I am single. I’m not putting it on display for your judgment. Okay, mostly, I don’t want to ever have to worry about changing it from single, when I do start dating someone. That, my friends, is something I don’t look forward to.
Facebook should be a reflection of your life, not an announcement of it. If you change your hair, or get your boobs done, or grow a beard (if you’re a guy, I hope), you don’t (or shouldn’t) upload a selfie to let people know about it — pictures will just naturally be taken, and your new look will be featured in them, because that’s what you look like now. The same thing applies in your relationship status (barring an engagement announcement).
You don’t make announcements in real life when you’ve started dating a new person. The girl who gathers her friends around to say, “Ladies, I have something important to tell you. I am no longer on the market! A gentleman decided to tolerate me outside of the hours of 2am-11am! Can you believe it! I’m somebody’s girlfriend now!” is the girl who doesn’t have any friends to gather. Normal girls tell their close friends when they’ve started dating someone new, and then as time goes on, people figure it out. They see you together. Introductions are made. And gradually, everyone learns that this guy is your
At a certain point, you don’t need to tell people any more. At a certain point, everyone just knows. At that point, and that point only, it is appropriate to become Facebook Official. Because NO ONE, not a soul on planet Earth, should find out that you’re dating over Facebook. It’s weird. You’re like the relationship equivalent of a 12-year-old boy getting his first hand job. You were way too excited, and now everyone’s talking about it — and trust me, when people are talking about that, the last thing you want them to be saying is “It was so fast. Like way too soon.”
If you just allow your relationship to progress naturally — if you one day find yourself saying, “Hey babe. Did you know we’re not in a relationship on Facebook? I’m adding you,” without fear of it being weird — you’ll be much better off. You won’t have to wonder if any of the people who liked your updated relationship status did so in a fit of passive aggression. The comments won’t make you feel childlike for caring, and you won’t have to answer any of those awkward “How’d you meet,” “When did this happen” questions online. Everyone will jokingly say “I give it three weeks,” and “Were you really not in a relationship until now? Haha, I love you two.” And it’s like BOOM. You just won coupledom. Congratulations, and good fortune to you both.