This question comes up time and time again… When should you change your relationship status on Facebook?
We all know how important it is to show our family and friends on the interwebs what’s happening in our lives. Any time we change our relationship status on Facebook it is bound to get interest, especially the “it’s complicated” one! When I announced that “John Powers is in a relationship” the first thing my friends asked was “what’s his name?”
Here’s my guide to when you should make it Facebook official…
1. The Soft Launch
The first step toward announcing your new relationship is dipping a toe in the water by getting rid of the “single” label. This move often goes unnoticed but it feels good when you do it. You’re being coy with your friends and leaving some mystery out there for anyone who checks your page once a month to see if you’re still single. You’re not telling people you’re off the market, but you are telling them you’re not on the market. This step typically coincides with “hiding” your OkCupid profile. It’s still there but it’s no longer going to come up in search results.
2. Stop Leading People On
The biggest hazard of going from “single” to “in a relationship” is the unfinished business aspect of Facebook. There may be one or two people surprised (and/or upset) with this new status, and you should give yourself time to alert these possible risk factors that a change may be coming. That girl from karaoke or that guy from the ping pong place may be just burned enough to leave a shitty reply to your new relationship. You appreciate their friendship and would like to see how their life turns out, but you don’t need them running interference on your new gig. Shoot them a text or a Facebook message and let them know you’re seeing someone. It’s not a necessity but it’s a courtesy that could spare you the need to quickly delete a reply (or block them altogether!)
3. In a Relationship
The next landmark is changing your status to “In a Relationship.” This one is serious. People are going to see this and you should be certain this is going to last a few months before hitting “ok.” Those of you who are serial-daters (maybe you wait a week between new relationships), may want to hold off a bit longer on changing your status. Give it 6 months before making it Facebook official. As good as it feels, it will feel just as bad if you change it back to single in two weeks. Your friends’ laughter would be so loud you could hear it through Firefox.
4. In a Relationship With…
This is the real deal. No joke, this is something you should discuss with your person before changing your status. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than dating someone for a few months, changing your status, and then getting notified that they rejected the tag. I’d suggest a general 2-3 month wait before discussing this topic. You should be at the “planning trips together” stage before doing the tag. Suddenly everyone you know sees the person you are dating. Exes are judging and cousins are looking forward to meeting them. Make sure you both have solid profile pictures at this point. Nothing looks worse than a new relationship between a girl on a flowery meadow and a guy outside of Fenway in a Sox cap giving the finger to Yankees fans… clearly she can do better. The best plan is to coordinate your cover photos so together they complete a larger picture, much like together you two will create a bigger picture for yourselves.
– John Powers