The Facebook Relationship

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As far as I’m concerned, Facebook and relationships have always been a recipe for disaster.

The whole ‘in a relationship with xxx’ aspect has added a new convoluted aspect to relationship politics.  First there’s the ‘are we? / aren’t we’ stage of complications – the awkward need for a label which simply never existed in the past.  And then far worse, there’s the whole issue of detangling yourself from a Facebook relationship.  Who will be the brutal one to change their status first?  Once retracted, the relationship cord leaves someone hanging … so that rather than automatically disappearing, the other person will simply be left as ‘in a relationship’ with no one.  A fact which is then broadcast to the world, on the News Feed.  Yet another status that people can comment on, or even ‘like’.  #awkward

But this isn’t my biggest issue with Facebook and relationships colliding.  No, my problem is when people are loved up on Facebook.  At this stage, I should point out, my issue isn’t people being loved up.  This is by no means a bitter single girl blog!  Especially seeing as by all accounts, I’m not really single any more! (Though my Facebook still says I am … 😉 ) No, my issue isn’t with people being loved up.  That’s great.  My problem stems from people needing to express their love for their partner on Facebook.

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Facebook is a public forum.  Unless you set your preferences extremely tightly, a Facebook wall is in the public domain – viewable by all your friends.  Somewhere to gloat about your holidays, moan about work, and post baby photos … (All of those things could probably fuel similar blog posts!)  What I don’t understand, is why someone in a relationship with one other person, would choose to send messages to him or her, via their Facebook wall?!

We live in an age of technology.  You can not only call someone almost anywhere in the world, you can text them, send photos, send videos, Skype.  Failing that, there’s private emails … and if you must use Facebook, there’s even a private message function (shock horror!).  So why do so many couples need to post messages to each other on their public walls?  Often when they live with the person they are Facebook messaging?!

I get that every now and again it’s nice to show the world how proud you are of a relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the odd cute photo, or a wedding photo, or even a significant anniversary announcement.  What I really don’t understand is telling someone ‘I love you’, via a public web page.  Surely if you love them, and you have a properly functioning relationship, they will know that, because you tell them regularly in person, or in private messages?!

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The same goes for overly PDA photos.  I don’t understand the need to go on a couple’s holiday, and then post hundreds of photos of the pair of you together, snogging, or looking overly amorous.  Yes, occasionally others might take a picture of the two of you, and post it online.  Or you might have some pictures in front of landmarks which you want to post.  But if you have a private, couple’s holiday, why do you need to share the details with the world?!

Maybe I’m a cynic … but I don’t think so!  If anything, I think I’m quite a hopeless romantic.  I love a cute coupley photo, and if I’m in love with someone, I will tell him regularly.  But I’ll keep the cute photos between us …. because who else needs to see them?  And if I get a spur of the moment urge to tell him I love him, or how great he is, or that I can’t stop thinking about him … I will find a private way of relaying that message.

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The funny thing is … in my experience, it’s often these overtly amazing, loved up Facebook relationships, which are the most dysfunctional in reality!  The few times I’ve known people having affairs, their Facebook walls suggested anything but, showering their partners with constant praise, and declaring how lucky they were to have such a great relationship.  Hmm …

It’s great to be in love.  It’s great to be so excited about your relationship that you want to sing it from the rooftops.  But next time you get excited and want to express your love, have a think about the best way to do that.  Do others really need to see?  Will the gesture mean more if it’s just between the two of you, than shared with hundreds of people who you haven’t seen for years, or don’t even really know?!

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

2 Comments on The Facebook Relationship

  1. I realise this is stating the obvious, but leaving that relationship status field blank is always an option. I suspect most people’s FB feeds are dominated by posts from attention seekers.

  2. Haha…I read an article once where FB did a survey on their accounts and found out that ,yes, those with the gushiest loveliest coupling announcements are the most dysfunctional with the thought that if you say it enough you begin to believe it and it is true. On the other hand, I do not mind the simple , ‘Happy Anniversary to the best wife ever,’ as long as it is not over done. I love processing my love for someone when it is that strong, but it would probably in the happy anniversary type profession.

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