How many times have you logged onto Facebook only to find 37 pokes from random strangers? Or maybe you are trying to get someone’s attention with your own poking routine and are wondering why your obvious advances aren’t being reciprocated? And we’ve all had that friend who blew up at their partner via Facebook status, immediately catapulting their 500 closest friends and family members into an awkward silence.
Was Mark Zuckerberg aware that his little computer website script would one day change the face of relationships all across the globe forever? Probably not. But this is what has happened. If you don’t know the rules for using Facebook in relationships, you may find yourself committing one of these scandalous errors yourself. Avoid sending your entire inner circle, and your closest partner, into an awkward pause by following these top six rules for including Facebook into your love life.
- Keep your relationship status private until it is permanent. The easiest way to avoid conflict in love where Facebook is concerned is to not change the status of your relationship until it is permanent. Just got divorced, engaged or married? Your people want to know. They don’t want to know why it goes from “In a Relationship,” to “It’s Complicated,” to “Single,” within a 24-hour period.
- Don’t stalk her Facebook profile in order to get her attention. If you are “liking” every single status that she posts, commenting how beautiful she is on every single picture that comes up, it’s not any different than calling her all day to let her know you’re happy she got her laundry done.In the real world when you behave that way, it is called smothering. On Facebook, it’s called profile stalking. It sounds creepy because it kind of is. You think she doesn’t know, but she does.
- If you have exes on Facebook and you have just gone exclusive with someone, you should mention it. You want to be the good guy, right? So in the interest of full disclosure, you should casually let it slip into conversation at some point that you might have maybe dated a few of the girls on your friends list. What happens after that is between you and her; just remember if you chose to go exclusive with someone, that may mean cutting some ties.The notion of should exes be your Facebook friend at all is as Oprah would say, “a whole other show;” that dilemma is between you and her to discuss. That conversation will go a lot easier for you if you disclose everything yourself, rather than leaving it for her to find out on her own, which she will.
- A Facebook chat is not a date. Do not have your entire relationship by Facebook chat or by Facebook messaging. As nice as it is in this day and age of technology to have tools to help make long-distance love a bit easier, Facebook is still just a website and not the real world. Yes, have some catch-up time on Facebook when you can; that’s what it is there for. But a relationship cannot stay alive on digital chat alone.
- Never, ever fight by Facebook status. You know this rule because you’ve been the unsuspecting victim from someone else’s Facebook tirade at least once in your Facebook “life.”It’s awkward, and it makes you look like you can’t communicate effectively with your partner. It also is going to seriously tick her off. If you need a grownup solution to a grownup relationship problem, then blasting your 500 closest friends about your latest beef about her is not the grownup solution you are seeking.
- Never, ever fight by Facebook message. Although this one is not as public as blasting someone by status, it is still as equally ineffective in solving problems. We have all been in that moment where we are so tempted to just blast off a message to someone because it is so much easier to pour out a rant in a fury of typing than to just sit down and talk to someone. Remember what Facebook is for, a social network, not for blasting your partner because he or she left the toothpaste open again.
The Bottom Line:
The bottom line with including Facebook in your relationship is to just use common sense. A little bit of mystery goes a long way, even on a public social network. Always remember that as much as your people want to know how you are and what you are up to, you don’t need to put everything out there for the world to see.
People get so caught up on Facebook that they forget that it is just a website and not the real world. It is very easy for the slightest poke or nudge to get misconstrued on Facebook, and the tiniest thing that you didn’t think anything of could hurt someone’s feelings or upset them. Avoid all of that by showing common courtesy and respect, and don’t do anything to someone else on Facebook that you wouldn’t want to have done to you.