When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I was so ecstatic to request him as a friend on Facebook so I could finally update my social media profiles with cutesy photos and posts of about to show off that we were together. However, when my boyfriend mentioned he was against posting about relationships on social media in general, my heart deflated a bit.
The first thing that popped into my mind was “Is he embarrassed to tell people who I am?” Then my second thought was, “Who is he trying to hide me from?”
When I proceeded to calmly ask him why he was opposed to posting on social media, he responded “Why does it matter?”
I had to really consider that. Why did it matter to me that all of Facebook had to know my new relationship status? Quite frankly, it didn’t. My boyfriend explained to me that it was not a problem that I wanted to post online – it was because I thought I needed to. I was so accustomed to seeing my friends post about their boyfriends that I believed it was something that I needed to do as well.
As sad and embarrassing as that might sound, it has unfortunately become the norm.
After giving myself a reality check, here are four reasons why my boyfriend and I are not friends on social media and why I rarely broadcast my relationship online:
It creates unnecessary problems.
There you have it – I was already hurt and suspicious because I thought he might be embarrassed about me or even cheating on me. While I love to post pictures covering everything from Sunday Brunch to my recent travels, Facebook was just a place for my boyfriend to post memes and troll his friends. I came to accept it was not a big deal whether or not he shared photos or posts about us to inform people we were together because, to the people that mattered most to him, he would actually let them know in real-time, face-to-face conversations.
I didn’t want to become a stalker.
As much as I respect my partner’s privacy, my rationale is if he posts something on his profile, then it is for me and the world to see. I know myself – I would be that girlfriend who won’t be able to resist the urge of checking out who commented on his latest statuses and then I would most likely take it a step further and creep on that person’s page. I did not want to indulge in the temptation of being overly curious and wind up pissed off because maybe he has too many girls as friends or I misinterpreted a comment.
Considering a recent study that illustrates how Facebook has become a leading cause in divorce cases, this shows just how much we rely on technology to re-enforce relationship security instead of actually interacting with our actual partner. The fact my boyfriend and I choose not to be friends allows us to exercise a level of trust where we can go about having our own personal lives online without fear of wondering if the other has something to hide.
I didn’t want to seek validation from a computer screen.
While I wanted to let others know that I was happily dating someone, I have chosen to not list my relationship status because I did not want to fall into the trap of having my relationship labeled as “Facebook official.” Plus, I enjoy being able to keep my private life, private.
When you list your relationship status, you unintentionally invite others into the fold. Something precious that belongs to you has just become a public forum for people to question, judge and probe.
There are the unwelcome questions. For example, if you put “In a relationship,” you’ll encounter that one person who will ask “When did you stop dating [insert name here]?” Or when you break-up and change your status, you might get a flood of “Are you okay?” and “Do you want to talk?” messages from people who have been instantly notified of your new-found single-hood. Even worst might be the people who “Like” your new single status that might make you wonder, “Did they not like my partner?”
At the end of it all, you are left feeling as if everyone seems to know more about your relationship than you do which is totally annoying.
My boyfriend and I are still two individual people.
When I am hanging out with acquaintances and bring up my boyfriend in normal conversation, I think it is funny when people say “I did not know you had a boyfriend! I never see you post stuff about him.” My social media profiles and my blog are spaces meant to represent me and my interests. While my significant other is a part of my life, my social media profiles don’t have to be dedicated to him. Yes, you will find photos of my partner and I on my page every now and but having people “Like” those photos does not impact the value of my relationship. What I share is meant for my own enjoyment and happiness regardless if people “Like” or care about my posts.
What do you think about relationship statuses and social media? Do you find being friends with your significant other on social media has caused issues in your relationship or has actually brought you both closer together? Leave me a comment below!