Back in the day (and by that, we mean "Happy Days"), a gal would announce her relationship status to the world by strutting around the sock hop in her saddle shoes and poodle skirt with her boyfriend's letter jacket draped jauntily over her shoulders. What simple times: sharing malts, necking at the drive-in, ferreting out Commies together ... those were the days.
Today, asking yourself "What would Pinky Tuscadero do?" is not apt to yield fruitful results. With the explosion of social networking sites like Facebook, suddenly the status of your relationship becomes fodder for 1,001 "friends."
If you're dating someone but don't mention it on your profile, people (including Loverboy) may start wondering just how serious you guys are. On the other hand, if you update your status to "in a relationship" too soon, your guy will think you're either psychotic or creepin' on the side. So, what's a woman who's interested in handling a potentially complicated situation with some courtesy and class to do?
First of all, says dating expert Tristan Coopersmith, author of the provocatively titled "Menu Dating: Taste-Test Your Way to the Main Course," you need to decide, along with your man, whether you are, in fact, in a relationship. Sounds pretty basic, but "if you do [blab about being in a relationship on Facebook] without giving him a heads-up, you run the risk of him commenting on your status update, 'With who?'" Ouch.
Once that's established, she says, "deciding to update this status should be mutually agreed to or at least understood by both -- just like if wedding bands are worn by a husband and a wife." Believe it or not, there are some people in this age of posting and tweeting one's every passing thought and bodily function (we're looking at you, John Mayer
) who aren't into sharing every detail of their private lives with the world. Hear that, you unholy trio of Kardashians?
Make sure your sweetie's on board if you want to include your relationship status with him on your online profile. Coopersmith also advocates updating sparingly if you're the love-'em-and-leave-'em type. "If your tendency is to relationship rotate a lot, you may want to hold off on clicking, since dealing with the aftermath of changing it back to 'single' can be wildly unpleasant for women," she cautions. "Girls get bombarded with questions [and] condolences whereas guys get high-fives."
So what do you think? Should you even mention your relationship status on Facebook if you're not actively on the prowl? Are you guilty of changing your relationship status more often than Michelle Duggar changes diapers?