On Facebook, Your Boyfriend, And You

At any given point in time, I have two boyfriends. The first is a guy that I’m convincing myself is my boyfriend/is actually my boyfriend. The second is Facebook. And, to put it bluntly, Facebook is a slut.

If you think it’s bad that I have two boyfriends, then get a load of this: Facebook has 1.11 billion sexually active partners. They say that it takes two to tango. Exactly–it takes a medium of social media and a real-life guy to turn our lives from a cute sushi date into a swarming dance full of Instragrammed spicy tuna rolls, muploaded selfies, an infinite amount of “are you a thing?” texts post-mupload, a nervously sweating Jewish girl, and a boy who isn’t sure if all of this attention is worth the amount of ass he’ll get later that night.

After hearing one too many witness account of relationships gone awry both on and because of Facebook, I realized that the inevitable would have to take place. We need to lay down some laws before this town ain’t big enough for the both of us–err, all three of us. Facebook, Boyfriend: it’s time we have a little chat.

It all starts with a mupload. That single, blurry picture from some Saturday night not too long ago. Here’s how this works: if a girl is with a guy and she wants people to know about it, she’ll make sure people know about it. Hence, one picture is added and tagged. The unspoken rule: you can never mupload the first photo of you and Boyfriend. Then, everyone knows how hard you’re trying, and even though everyone knows how hard you’re trying no matter who posts that photo, it’s still the sheer principle of it that causes your best friend to be the one to mup. Obviously the best friend will do the first mup, because you told her to. You probably even sent her the photo from your phone to mupload. Right?

Time passes, and things aren’t what you’d call serious, but things are… things. This is where the tension between you and Facebook builds high enough to split the fibers of a Louis Vuitton bag. You have so many questions you want to ask Facebook, but you don’t know how they’ll make Boyfriend feel. When/is it socially acceptable to make your profile picture one of you and Boyfriend? What about your “relationship status?”

When we were younger–like, middle school younger–I thought that “relationship status” meant everything. Whenever a friend would tell me about a guy, the first question was always the same: “Is it Facebook official?” Facebook was like the evil eye of relationships. It saw everything, all the time, yet acted as a source of protection from insecurities about labels. As I’ve grown to accept the hook up culture that I live in, I learned that no, two girls “in a relationship” on Facebook are not lesbians (99% of the time), I don’t need to publicly list to “friends of friends” that I’m “interested in men” in order to feel “normal,” and, generally, labels on relationships no longer exist. I used to think that labeled relationships made things more mature and valid. Ironically for me, I had it all backwards. If your feelings say it all, then you no longer have a need to prove your relationship to yourself or to anyone else. It exists, and suddenly, that becomes enough.

Should you make your relationship Facebook official? If you want to, go ahead. But if you break up, it effing sucks because it’s public as hell (been there, done that).

Next topic: Facebook offers you a single private space to be yourself–alas, the profile picture. Are you willing to share that space with someone else? In this verse of the Love Triangle Bible, I say go right ahead. However, there are guidelines. If you’re more into the relationship than he is: DON’T. If you’re definitely a thing, basically boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever, and people approve of you as a couple, AND you look amaze in the photo: DO. If you’re been together for a really long time and everyone is rooting for you to get married and have minimum five kids: DO, but with caution. Because if you break up… SGA (shit got awk).

I have a friend that is going through a mutual break up in the upcoming month. In addition, her current profile photo is one of her and her boyfriend. At a recent dinner she told me that she needed to take a ton of pictures in hopes of finding a new profile photo–one that she could change now so that when she and Boyfriend broke up, things wouldn’t be as obvious and public.

I appreciate the depth of her social media cues and I respect her break up intelligence. At the same time, this makes me sad that we feel the need to balance Facebook with Boyfriend 24/7. We should be grieving over lost love, not worrying about what Facebook will make of it. When she goes through her split, things will suck. And no matter how much they do, Facebook will still be there. While we’ve done away with the bullshit from Boyfriend, we are not through with Facebook. We will never be. We could never break up with him, no matter how we tried.



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