Nowadays, being in a relationship is much more multi-layered than it has ever been. Of course, back in the day (and in some places this is still the case) there were arranged marriages, dowries and cattle involved, but in present times, social media and various forms of technology have stepped in and become a strong presence within all sorts of connections between people.
Now, when you’re in a relationship, it feels like you’re not just in it with your significant other—but to some extent, you’re also in it with other people. While family has always been involved, recently there has been a shift—and now the biggest audience for your relationship appears to be your “friends” on Facebook.
It’s a show of some sorts—people follow your relationship from its inception when you declare it on Facebook, to the cutesy pictures you post up during dates and anniversaries, to the vacations you take together, your engagement and finally, your wedding. People stalk, like statuses, comment on photos and feel one of two ways: in support of your relationship or critical of it.
That’s why I was hesitant to make my relationship with Wesley Facebook official. I didn’t want people to judge what they didn’t know about.
My uncertainty stemmed from two issues: privacy and purpose. Although I don’t consider myself an extremely private person, I’ve never been one to overshare about my life on social media. If something important was going on in my life, then the people who I cared deeply about would know—did anybody else really matter?
Aside from the privacy aspect, my main question was, what is the purpose of putting up your relationship status anyway? Was it to impress people? To keep creepers away? To show off or genuinely show the rest of the world that you are committed to someone?
I was straddling my digital desire of wanting to share the new relationship I was in and keeping it offline because it wasn’t anybody’s business.
Welsey and I had talked about it before, and we had both agreed that neither of us would put it online until he told his mom, and I told my parents. After we both revealed our relationship to our friends and families, neither of us took the initiative to actually update it.
I began thinking about all of the couples that I know—and how they had all proudly shared their relationship online. Then I thought about my relationship with Wesley—we were only two weeks in, but I felt sure about it and the places it could go. Would not announcing it on FB hinder the future of our relationship? I wasn’t sure, but what I was sure about was that I didn’t want my relationship to be defined by its presence or lack thereof on Facebook.
After going back and forth in my mind, I decided to talk to Wesley about it. As someone who has been in more relationships than I have, he knew the pros and cons of publicizing a relationship: people can get overly-involved, if you break up then it’s super awkward changing your status back to “single,” but at the same time, it’s great to have everyone know that you really care for someone and sharing that part of your life with everyone—regardless of who they are. The list went on and on. But his final answer is what swayed me.
“My mom, brother, best friend and others know. I see this going somewhere great. I do not plan on hurting you and I don’t think you plan on hurting me. I think we both have something we want. I really want to be with you for quite some time. So yes…we can make it FB official.”
Wesley’s confidence in our relationship made me realize that my happiness with him was something that I wanted everyone to know about. That’s how I officialized my status on Facebook and went from being single, to in a relationship with the wonderful, incredible man, that is Wesley Samson.