Dating in college, part 8: What makes Facebook official?

Chris Slattery

Guess who’s back? Back again?

Yes, it’s Chris Slattery, love guru. But, unlike the Mike Myers movie, I won’t set your expectations too high. And, unlike the Michael Myers movie, I won’t murder you on Halloween (I’m more of a Friday the 13th guy anyways).

The reason I wanted to reexamine this crazy little thing called college relationships was to tackle a very important issue (because tackling anything else would require some kind of athletic ability, which I lack). It’s a subject you are familiar with if you’ve been in any kind of relationship: Are we Facebook official?

First of all, we should really define what that means because it’s hard to tell if you’re in something if you don’t know what it is. It’s like the opposite of a surprise party in that respect.

Committing to a relationship on Facebook can seem like that step before the promise ring. It means yeah, I dig you in a way that the Internet should know about. Sandwiched in between a YouTube video of a toddler and a “Like” for “That face Spongebob makes when he realizes Squidward like Krabby Patties” is my declaration to you — nay, the world — that I have probably made out with this person. It’s getting pretty serious.

But how serious? What does that “In a Relationship” step mean for the couple and the parties involved (usually just the two)? We have all hear the adage, “It’s not official until it’s on Facebook,” similar to the one around my apartment: “It’s not a movie if it’s not on Netflix.” The notion that a relationship isn’t legitimate until it’s announced on one website seems rather silly at a glance. We’re like selfish honeymakers that way; it’s none of their beeswax.

Although, when you think about it, how stable is a relationship that refuses to go public? It’s a conflicting message coming from a person who despises celebrity gossip (honestly, unless it’s me, I don’t care who Elisha Cuthbert is dating), but if you truly feel something for someone else and they feel the same way (you assume), letting other people in on it seems like the best way to show you’re ready for commitment. If you two break up, you’re no longer simply letting the other person down, but all of the people who rooted for this relationship to work. You’re in for a tractor trailer, the long haul.

See, becoming Facebook official isn’t really about the voyeurs out there as much as it’s about how much you’re willing to go all in (which is a poker metaphor and not a euphemism). There is a certain confidence when you decide to tell other people, and chicks dig confidence.

Too bad you just became Facebook official.

So, what about it? Are we “In a Relationship?” To be fair, there are plenty of social factors that need to be taken into consideration first.

For now, It’s Complicated.

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