Ah,the eminent Facebook relationship status ever changing and exciting. Let’s be honest, we all know these stereotypical couples: the ones that break up and get back together depending on the weather, the ones that rub their recently changed “in a relationship” status in your face, the friends that joke about being a couple even though they are not but deep down wish they were, and lastly the most awkward of them all the “its complicated” crew (unless your joking around this is just weird and uncomfortable for everyone so please stop). Although we singletons cringe at the relationship status,there is no better way to show the world(and your exes) that you are taken and have moved on. These days however, the status is simply not enough .You need more solid evidence of your love and this is where fully documenting your relationship is key. Here, the proof truly is in the pictures. We will now examine this phenomenon through phases.
Phase 1- The Awkward Phase otherwise known as the “Call me maybe?” Phase
You meet some guy at a bar, work or school and you realize he or she is THE one (for now at least). The relationship progresses; numbers are exchanged, texts are sent and you see each other out a few times. Facebook stalking is essential during this phase, ensuring that your potential significant other has a decent amount of friends, is photogenic, and passes the not a serial killer test. In this phase there should not be any pictures of you together unless its within a group. Make sure you save at least one of these for later just in case you guys get married. Most of you are probably thinking that is a bit creepy, but I would argue its practical. You can tell your friends, “ Do you see the way his arm is draped over me in a protective rather then friendly way? He is SO the one .” Remember, its all about the proof.
Phase 2- Casually Dating otherwise known as “The Butterflies Phase”
Congratulations! You have successfully passed the one- time hook up phase and your relationship is booming with potential. You have now moved on to casual dates such as lunch and are exchanging flirty emoticons in your texts(HUGE deal). Careful though because while the potential is heating up it could also quickly simmer. Make sure you keep your Facebook activity up during this time to remind them that while yes you are ridiculously good looking , you are also artsy(Instagram!), cultured(“Me at the Met!”), and classy(“Wine Night!”). Pictures of the two of you alone can now surface with captions such as “Day at the Park” or “Dave Matthews Concert”. But make sure to not reveal too much in order to keep the public guessing, “Are they together or not?”
Phase 3- The Honeymoon Phase otherwise known as “The Nauseatingly Romantic Phase”
It’s official, you guys are together! As proven by your changed relationship status, the profile picture of you two, your romantic lyric statuses, and that sappy smile you just can’t seem to wipe off your face. Everything you do screams LOVE, loudly. You excessively upload pictures of you two at the beach, movies, dinner, weddings etc as if to tell the world how disgustingly happy you are. We would like to remind you that these pictures are torture for your single friends because as happy as we are for you we do not care that you and Matt bought groceries or even more seriously a dog together(OMG are you guys married or something?”). So please for the sake of others restrain yourselves from the selfies, photo booth selfies, and the worst of all the kissing selfies(ew) that plaque many other couples during this time. Warning:when you guys break up these photos will serve as collateral for all those people that never thought the relationship would work.
Phase 4- The New Beginnings Phase otherwise known as “The Wed or Dead Phase”
This Final phase is the test. You have been together for several months or years now and its time to decide: Is this a fling or the real thing?
If its a fling:
The honeymoon is officially over. You have either lost interest, drifted apart, or have had to move away because of a job or other commitments. You are more of an “in the moment” person so the skype/phone relationship is not working. Or in most cases it has turned into an “open relationship” aka commitment with no commitment. The relationship is doomed and it’s time to say goodbye. It’s time to change your status to “single” (must you accompany it with a breaking heart Zuckerberg?). But as sad(or happy) as you are, this must be a strategic effort. This is not the 1970′s. People will know immediately its over so you have to put yourself in the best position. Make sure you are the one who changes your relationship status to single first, to give the perception that you were the one that made the decision. Your status will soon be flooded with comments like, “OMG, I am so sorry” or “Ben and Jerrys Time” or the occasional idiots who post “what happened?” as if you would tell them. Next, you must make the decision whether to defriend your ex. The best strategy at this point is for your first few single weeks to mupload tons of pictures of you out and smiling so they know your doing well and looking good! Then it is your choice to cut them off or keep them around. No need to detag all the pictures of you guys, just the nauseatingly romantic ones(we told you so). The key here is to make sure you play up the “single” more than the no longer “in a relationship”.
If its the real thing:
Cheers to you for surviving the war and exposure that is a 21st century relationship! We salute you. Now its time for the engagement. This is your only chance to overdue it without people criticizing you for it. So go ahead change your status, put up videos of the romantic beach proposal, upload pictures of you with your new ring, dramatically overuse your hands to show off your new bling, post pictures of the pre-wedding frenzy including a bachelor/bachelerotte party album circa The Hangover. Once the wedding has happened you can rinse and repeat the cycle. Again, this besides pictures of your baby(awww) is your only opportunity, so hit us with your best shot!
Nothing captures a moment like a picture. So pose, smile and say love because these days nothing is official unless its Facebook official.