So many conundrums exist today that didn’t exist when you were last single that you are going to spend a certain amount of time, tears and tequila navigating rookie mistakes.
Amongst those myriad questions … at what point in your fledgling relationship do you become friends on Facebook?
If it were me, I’d only be handing over the keys to the Zuckerberg kingdom of my digital history after the prenup was inked, the formalities executed and we are tootling off into the sunset with the tin cans and shaving cream indicating we’ve successfully navigated the nuptials.
i.e. once its too late.
So many perils, friends.
Open up your profile to your new flame and you give them access the national gallery of your recent history. Unlike your friends, who have gradually negotiated your many transitions in facebook from:
Some key anniversary with mandatory hashtag #soblessed (just so few consonants away from #sobfest)
Some obscure saying about letting go to find love
Some term about the joys of unhindered single life
Something spiritual that tries to give the impression you are now a grounded, non-intervention-order-requiring individual able to function in regular society.
Seeing it unfold in one hit could be unnerving.
Beware – Just as the vague feelings of embarrassment and instinct-to-apologise fade after a big night out (in about the same timespan as the accompanying hangover) you will forget that there was ever evidence posted by you and your friends on FB. If you do not have a robust policy of reviewing and archiving your weekend’s boozy adventures, you need to bear in mind that they are STILL OUT THERE.
So unless you are going to create an entirely fake FB profile that reads like Gwyneth Paltrow’s insanely organically balanced blog, complete with a convincing number of fake FB friends, you do not want someone trawling your entire history. Especially not the one male who was game enough to move on from your carefully chosen online dating pics, handcrafted profile and witty online repartee and thinks you are an extraordinarily grounded and accomplished female. They’ll figure out that you are human eventually, no need to reveal it in one click.
Although you will, as soon as digitally possible, have stalked to the ends of the interwebs your new squeeze, there are certain things that even the most thorough digital exhumation of publicly available information will not reveal. From the entry-level view presented by Linked-in right through the depths of your trawl through the first 25 pages of google search results, you are unlikely to reveal anything near as illuminating as the chardonnay-fuelled scan of the first five albums you have access to if you two become facebook buds.
- a predilection for posting pics of tattoo models that indicates an obsession with something to which you have no insight, having never approached artificial coloring anything more permanent than having your eyelashes tinted.
- an ex that has either arms/abs/cheekbones/ankles so perfect that you feel obliged to bury your head under a pillow and sob at your poor form by comparison
- a collection of mates that indicates he is part of a rebel outlaw motorcycle gang the subject of a current police crackdown
A new and unnerving source of paranoia
As sure as the fact that Lindsay Lohan will again make a mugshot appearance is the fact that once you become FB buddies, you will monitor every new female friend addition with microscopic scrutiny,
If he dare go on a work trip and run into a second cousin, cementing the family reunion via a FB pairing with the noble intent of bringing lost family connections together, you will note this on your daily scan. Following this you will secretly subject her name to CSI style internet forensics to determine WHO ON EARTH IS THIS NEW FEMALE. This will continue to the point you will be executing a drive by of every location evidenced by her blatantly unprotected FB check-ins before your partner even has his car out of the airport car park.
The conunudrum of declaring your relationship on FB
From the moment you link up, you’ll hear a ticking that sounds like low chime of the doomsday bell. Its not your biological clock or throb of the vein on your left ring finger yearning for a Kardashian style rock to crush it into silence.
It’s the heartbeat of facebook waiting for this first of the two of you to falter in the gigantic game of chicken that is updating your relationship status on FB.
I’ve never done this, so I don’t know if someone goes first in saying xxx is in a relationship with yyy and if there is any element of consensus required as there is in the friend request step (or in fact in your generally accepted marriage proposal process).
Perhaps it is a matter of the most digitally-adventurous going first with the declaration and the absence of any objection by the other being accepted as a ‘yerr, alright’
But if you do this, its there forever, until such time as you FBily disentangle yourself and restore yourself to single. Although this is less expensive and requires far less paperwork and judicial intervention than a divorce, it does place a gigantic heartbreak symbol update in the newsfeed of yours and every one of your friends.
FB is democratic in this scenario, caring not which party created the digital disconnection and therefore never knowing whether you feel heartrbroken or not. This will cause all your friends to offer you pitying comments, the unedifying digital version of the cheezels, wine and DVDs that real friends brought over last time your heart was in jeopardy.
It also allows your less charitable acquaintances to pore over your history and declare that they saw the seeds of doom were sown from the beginning and be infuriatingly smug – but in this case at least you can unfriend them
In short, your FB friendship is gold, don’t just give it up.
If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.