“Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.”
~ Nat Turner
You’re dating someone, and it feels great! You think everything is going well, and you’re sure he does, too.
So why doesn’t he change his status on social media?
I hope you’ve had some discussion around the nature of your relationship by this point, that you are actually dating and that you are exclusive with each other or whatever arrangement works for you. I also hope that he has agreed to the terms as you have.
If these are both true, then it might be the time to broach the question of when he will let the world at large know that you’re dating.
To start off, it might be good to recognize that he might have some very good reasons not to go public yet.
- He may feel like he wants to be at a certain level of commitment before he takes that step, and doesn’t feel the two of you are quite there yet.
- He might want to talk to friends or family members before he announces it online.
- He may also be holding off a jealous ex that he can’t seem to get rid of, and is trying to spare you some of that agony.
- It might just be that he’s been busy with other things.
So find a good time to talk when you can be alone and not feel pressured by other people or by the amount of time you have.
Keep the discussion to the question at hand only. If this is part of a bigger question about what the relationship means to each of you, this might not be the right conversation or the right time.
A good place to start might be to find out how much he actually uses his social media accounts.
Just because he has them doesn’t mean he’s checking them daily or even weekly. Many people have neglected Facebook accounts because they started them years ago and haven’t done much other than look at their friends’ pictures since. (It’s possible he doesn’t know there is a relationship status to change!)
Let him know you were checking out his status online and that you noticed he hadn’t changed it yet.
Try not to make this sound like an accusation, but simply a question. Give him time to explain and let you know about his plans. This isn’t something he should feel pressured into doing, but make sure he knows how you feel so he can make his own decision.
Let him know if this has been a problem in past relationships or that it involves you being able to trust him.
These are important things for him to know. And let him make his own decisions about how and when he wants to announce your relationship to the people in his life.
This could be a great way to learn new things about your partner and let him know about you, if done well.
Becky Bringewatt, MA, LPC, NCC –www.mantiscounselingandcoaching.com
Okay, I know this may sound harsh.
But let’s think about Facebook for a moment. It’s this confusing venue where some people air their resentments and grace us with every boring detail of their day (like what they’re having for lunch), while other people curate their personas with only business or wellness or political interests.
Facebook means something different for each of us.
I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. If you read my blog, you know I’ve created a whole new Facebook life to replace my original (childhood friends) one……which involved closing one account and repopulating a new account with only positive, supportive people from my adult life.
I needed to speak comfortably to an audience I felt would listen without automatic judgment.
If you ask your partner to change his Facebook status, you presume to know how he should manage this very public, very modern (he cannot turn to family tradition here) presentation of himself. But he may have an easier time proposing marriage than publishing his love to nine hundred “friends.”
Yes, I know you want him to mark himself as “taken,” because you want to see how much he is willing to commit himself to you.
But he may want to protect his feelings for you from the scrutiny of outsiders, who will, no doubt ask him questions. That little status change could usher in waves of drama from former partners, family members, and well-intentioned friends.
Relationships are hard enough without all that noise.
In fact, your partner’s slowness to flag himself as “in a relationship,” may signal a kind of wisdom and self-protection.
Maybe it’s nobody’s business but yours and his. Maybe we all ought to wait until we’ve been together five years before we click that button.
Trust his timing. Let it go.
Dr. Deborah Cox – www.deborahlcox.com
Dating in the age of social media and electronic communication has made dating more complex.
There seems to be all sorts of unwritten rules about time frame to return texts, phone calls and update Facebook settings. All of these “rules” are nothing more than veiled attempts to control other people, which is a great way to undermine any relationship.
I have witnessed so many people get upset because a text was not returned in 2 – 6 hours; or because they were reading between the lines of harmless text message.
Facebook is yet another venue in which we can get our feelings hurt and try to control another person’s actions.
The status line literally signifies to the world an individual’s relationship status.
While everything is new and exciting in the beginning of a relationship, we want to shout our happiness from the rooftops and Facebook status is akin to taking out a billboard.
But much caution needs to be used when dealing with social media or electronic communication; what seems to be a harmless request is really a control issue in sheep’s clothing.
Whenever we start thinking “he should…”, “I wish he’d see that…” or “I want her to…” we are trying to control someone else’s behavior.
We are attempting to get them to do, or not do, something that we want. That is control; please be clear control will kill a relationship quicker than most other day-to-day issues.
Instead the work becomes exploring why it matters how quickly a text is returned or what their Facebook page says? Stop trying to control the person and/or relationship.
Accepting another person as they are; accepting their faults, flaws and style of being is love.
Love is a behavior. So instead of getting caught up in what “should” be, get caught up in who the person is and let the rest fall into place in its’ own natural time.
Cynthia Pickett, LCSW, LADC – www.cynthiapickett.com
First of all, it is important to determine how important Facebook is to him.
- How important is it to you?
- Are you on Facebook every day?
- Is he on Facebook every day?
- Does he use Facebook to announce every detail of his life or is it a business page?
It is important to remember that some people are just private and do not want to share their personal life online and some people want to share absolutely everything.
Think about how you want him to communicate to you that he would like you to change your Facebook status.
How you communicate is just as important as what you communicate. Remember to be clear about what you want from him.
Remember to keep your expectations regarding this issue in context.
- How often is he on Facebook and what is your deadline regarding when he should change his status?
- Are you mindful about cyber stalking his Facebook page or friends?
- Are you being pushy?
- What makes this issue so important to you?
- Will his relationship status on Facebook determine the status of your relationship?
If he is the kind of person that shares every detail of his life, then the expectation is that at some point he will change and share his relationship status.
A way to approach the subject might be to mention that you are considering changing your Facebook relationship status and would like to know what he thinks about that.
- Have you had a conversation with him about your relationship and what the status of your relationship is?
- Is it still casual or is it serious?
- Have you both agreed that your relationship is committed and exclusive?
- How much do others need to know about your private life and his?
Be mindful that Facebook does not have the same importance to everyone.
It may not be as important to him as it is to you, so be prepared to communicate what makes this important to you.
Another issue to think about is how does Facebook fit into your relationship?
Remember that the focus of your relationship should be each other and not what you share to the rest of the world.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
When you hear him say, “What should WE do this weekend?” you know you have him hooked and he considers you a couple.
- When he continues to voice suggestions about how you both can be part of each other’s lives, you can see a long-term relationship is in your future.
- When you realize your partner is similar enough to you in crucial areas, such as likes, dislikes, beliefs, background, education, age and personality, you can still appreciate his uniqueness and exceptional qualities.
- When you notice that the chemistry you both felt initially is still there, but the connection between you two has deepened. You feel you know each other really well and like what you see.
- Plus, you’ve stopped looking for signs that he’s right for you, because you are finally satisfied you have found “the one.”
- In addition, you think about him all the time and can’t wait to hear from him. You feel you know his heart and mind because you talk and share. He has shown you that he has a lot to offer because he possesses the qualities you admire. He does kind and thoughtful things for you.
You find you have many things to talk about and you discuss issues beyond what’s going on in your relationship.
He reveals his inner thoughts and feelings and you both enjoy sharing these intimate aspects of your lives.
When there are no major dramas in the relationship and you both are honest, attentive and really care about what goes on in each other’s lives, you will know that it’s time to make a commitment and change your Facebook status and he, his.
How do you bring this up?
Just by going over the features discussed above and by clarifying how much you mean to each other, you can move into discussing this important issue of commitment.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
You may not, except with express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.