What Your Facebook Status Says About You

Women's Dating

What Your Facebook Status Says About You

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh is the author of "The 30-Day Love Detox"" (April 2013).

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg added the relationship status to the personal profiles, he probably didn’t envision the cultural convention he was laying the foundation for.

Today, that pesky Facebook relationship status, the one that announces to the world you are single, in a relationship, married or in a situation too complicated for words, has become something for people to obsess about.

The truth is many people fall into categories somewhere in between single and in a relationship.

If you struggle with how to complete your Facebook status, here’s a cheat sheet with some friendly guidance.

1. Single.

This status signals to the world you are not married, not living with anyone and not in a committed sexual relationship.

Be aware that if you use this status, your private message box will be swamped with friends of friends who think Facebook’s primary function is that of a dating site.

You might also anger anyone who still thinks he is your boyfriend.

2. In a relationship.

This status is best reserved for people who are married or living with a romantic partner. It should also be used if one is in an exclusive sexual relationship with someone.

Please note: Some people who are in multiple sexual relationships use this status when they want one of the partners to believe they are the only one.

This status should not be used if you have been dating someone and have not had a clear conversation about changing your status. Both parties should agree about your status.

“The worst part of this status is

it fails to explain all the stages.”

3. Married.

The best part about this status is it can be linked to the profile of the actual person you are married to, showcasing to the world (at least online) you are a unified front and privy to each other’s social networks.

The worst part of this status is it fails to explain all the stages between the alter and alimony.

Some couples are legally married but ensconced in separate bedrooms for financial reasons or until the divorce papers come through.

Others are happily “undivorced,” living in separate homes and leading separate lives for years without dividing those precious assets. Others are divorced but keep up appearances for the kids, maintaining the illusion of a happy family.

For these people and others, the category of “It’s Complicated” becomes important.

4. It’s complicated.

This is the category for the rest of us. It always involves a story that is best told verbally when someone asks about it. In this catch-all category, you will find:

  • Single people who don’t want to date
  • Married people who want to date outside their marriage
  • Divorced people whose divorce isn’t finalized yet
  • Gay and bisexual people who live two lives
  • Single parents who don’t really feel single because they are so attached to their kids
  • Boyfriends and girlfriends who expose their bloodstreams but not their hearts to each other, and thus don’t have the nerve to ask for relationship definition
  • People who are having sex with multiple partners and want to keep their options open
  • People who are in relationships with their pets
  • People who live alone, have no sex and are happy to stay that way.

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