Your Facebook Relationship Status

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          Monday is a drag but also an opportunity to seize the reigns of a new week. Last week we talked about getting the person of your dream and this week we get to talk about defining it. You know what we mean, right? What do you say now? Are you off the market? What is your Facebook relationship status?

          Lee says: Leave it to Facebook to be the definer of relationships. This isn’t a snarky comment. Facebook is forcing people to define their relationships by asking the simple question, ‘Relationship Status’ with a handy drop down menu to choose from. You can choose from ‘single’, ‘in a relationship’, ‘in an open relationship’, ‘engaged’, ‘married’, ‘divorced’, ‘widowed’, ‘separated’, ‘civil union’ and ‘in a domestic partnership’. Apparently, the only type of relationships Mark Zuckerberg does not condone is plural.

          This may not seem like a big deal but it is. A lot of people try to avoid defining their relationship. Even saying you’re in a relationship is difficult for some. We somehow believe defining something is akin to committing to something. They wouldn’t be wrong.

          The Facebook Relationship Status button is as important to a couple as vows. People check to see if the object of their affection has upgraded their status to reflect their union. Is my relationship status the same as my boyfriends? What the hell does he mean by ‘It’s complicated’? When should you decide that you have officially reached relationship status? When does ‘single’ become ‘in a relationship’? And what do you do when your snugglebunny has a different status than you?

          All of these issues are new to the world of relationship. Emily Post has not tackled this magilla and I doubt that your Mom can help you with this one. Defining a relationship is an age-old issue but the problem takes on a different tone when that definition comes with a public proclamation. Some people actually question if someone is in a relationship if it is not listed on their Facebook. And what kind of complications does it take to define your relationship as having difficulties? Are you separated but still fucking?       

          I believe the Facebook Relationship Status is one of best things to hit relationships since the Pill. It forces us to make a decision. Society has hijacked the natural progression of relationship in the last 30 years. We are no longer swept up in love but weighed down with cynicism. Marriage is a bad bet and love is an illusion and a fabrication sponsored by Hallmark and Jared’s. We are no longer eloping or believing in happily ever after. We would rather play fast and loose. Let’s take it easy. We don’t decide to ‘go steady’ anymore. There was something important about that step and we have totally eliminated it from the equation. If we are dating, exclusivity is decided in a vacuum.

          Facebook is telling you to put it out there. Be honest. Be proud. Are you with somebody? Good for you! Are you single? Fantastic! The reality is that that is part of who you are aside from your education, job and favorite quote. When in relationship, speak in declarative sentences and avoid stupid euphemisms. Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, we need to put our big girl panties on and tell it like it is.

          Paul says: I like the Facebook relationship status for the same reasons that I like weddings. They both allow you to announce that you are with this person. Of course, the Facebook status also allows you to announce that you are not with a person any more or that said person is kind of complicated or that you like the person but are really only fucking them. Weddings do not have all of those fine points. It would be fun if they did.

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