#Love & Sex

DOs and DON’Ts for Facebook Romance

by Molly Mann

DOs and DON’Ts for Facebook Romance

When one of your Facebook friends becomes more than a friend in real life, navigating the social media space as a couple can pose challenges. Questions like when do you update your relationship status and should you friend all of your new boyfriend’s friends (Hint: no.) become a social media disaster zone. The following tips will help you establish healthy boundaries both on and offline.

Friend These Habits…
Update your relationship status with caution.
Before you tell all of Facebook, “Wooo! I have a boyfriend! Woooo!” consider the pros and cons of doing so. Yes it feels good, and yes, it’s important to let other people know that you’re off the market, but it also really, really sucks to have to change that status back to “single.” If your relationship is a fairly recent development, maybe wait a while to update, because a public announcement often means an equally public breakup. It’s not like Facebook makes a great relationship any more real.

Understand the terms of your own relationship.
All couples have different ways of interacting with each other, and the same goes for their interaction through social media. Some love to leave little messages on each other’s walls, and comment on each other’s posts frequently, whereas others prefer to let each other have his or her own space on Facebook. Take silent note of how active or inactive your partner is on Facebook and don’t, for example, bombard his wall with posts if he’s only in the habit of checking it once a week.

Spend virtual time together.
Maintaining a relationship is very hard, especially when the two of you have crazy schedules that keep you away from each other. Facebook is your friend in this endeavor, making it possible for couples to be involved with each other even when they can’t actually be together. Keep in mind, though, that it’s easy to overdo this. You wouldn’t call your boyfriend every five minutes all day long, right? Constantly posting on his Facebook is no more acceptable, nor is getting upset if he doesn’t respond to you right away.

…But Block These
“I <3 U Thunder Buns”
Remember that other people can read what you write on your significant other’s wall, so Facebook isn’t a good place to share intimate details and pet names. Keep the private stuff private, and be wary of grossing out your entire network with gag-worthy PDAs. They may be sweet to you, but they may come across as saccharine and nauseating to others.

Be a lover, not a stalker.
There’s a fine line between being involved with your partner’s life on Facebook and just plain stalking him. Yes, everything on Facebook is technically public, but choose discretion over snooping. Think about it this way: If your guy left his journal on the counter and you could read it, you still shouldn’t, and nor should you dig through all of his photos with his ex-girlfriend. Definitely don’t go poking around if he happens to leave himself signed onto Facebook on your computer. It’s totally understandable to be curious, but that curiosity can send you to a really, really bad place called Stalkerville.

“My boyfriend is such a zit-bearded manballoon!”
Every couple has fights sometimes, but whatever’s going on between the two of you, don’t air your dirty laundry on Facebook. Again, remember: everyone can read this stuff, and you can’t make people un-see what you’ve posted on your wall. (Even if you have second thoughts and delete it five seconds later, at least ten people have already seen it anyway.) If you’re having problems, talk to each other or vent to a friend privately, but don’t bring your entire social media following into the fight. It will just get uglier and embarrassing for all parties concerned.