Home Featured The Thin Line of Dating Anonymity Online

The Thin Line of Dating Anonymity Online

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relationship statusOn social media platforms across the internet there is a fine line that is walked daily by people who are dating and/or are in relationships. How much should I share with my timeline/feed about whom I’m dating? Should I say anything at all? All my friends ask me why their facebook status stills says “single” but we’ve been exclusive for three years. That chick stays flirting with him on twitter and she wouldn’t if she knew he was in a relationship. People ask these questions about social media everyday. Some people reading this may have asked similar questions.

There was a point and time where I was hesitant to claim any woman I was dating on social media on a good day to downright denying her on a bad day. There were women I used to date and interact with online and I wouldn’t think about mentioning them as far as being in a relationship. I used to date to this woman while I had an active Myspace account. She wasn’t on any social media at the time. One day while I was perusing my page she noticed that I hadn’t listed that I was in a relationship (to my credit I hadn’t listed that I was single either). She claimed that I was trying to hide her while I maintained that I was only trying to avoid the unnecessary questions and drama that was sure to ensue had I listed myself as in a relationship. She immediately called bullsh*t. Looking back, I can see how she would think that I was trying to swindle her.

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I recently had an interesting conversation with a female acquaintance and she happened to mention that she was dating a guy that she stopped interacting with online. She even went as far as to block him on twitter. Her reasoning was that when she first started talking to him there were so many people who would offer their opinion on their relationship. Too many people would watch either his or her interactions with people of the opposite sex and report back like it was any of their business. While I don’t blame her for not wanting random people in her business because that’s the exact reasoning I used in my prior relationship, I realized you cannot live you your life based on how other people might react to what you do.

I’m currently in a relationship and have been for more than a year now. I interact with her online. I follow her on twitter, instagram, facebook and routinely comment on her blog posts so if you follow me on either one of those platforms you probably know who she is. I’ve never had an issue with people trying to get into our business or trying to create drama. This is because there is a limit to what is shared. If you’re worried about what people might say about certain aspects of your relationship then don’t put it out for public consumption. If I were mad at her for whatever reason, I wouldn’t tweet about it because no one needs to know that except for her and I. No one is going to help us work through an argument besides the two of us so why include anyone else?

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I understand that everyone’s relationship or situation doesn’t work the same way and some people’s friends/followers are naturally more inclined to engage in messy behavior. In the case of the latter, I would suggest that perhaps you should watch whom you interact with online more closely.  In the case of the former, as long as both people in the relationship are ok with anonymity then that’s all that matters.

Have you had any issues with how much to share about your dating life on social media? How much do you keep private? Have you seen any horror stories or comedies unfold based on people’s dating lives?

Tunde

Comment(29)

  1. I do think that if your dating someone, you should at least change the relationship status, have a picture of that person or at least post a status about them. At least I know which women are in a relationship so I won't message or comment them at all lol. A lot of insecure guys coming after me for just a simple comment instead of being mad at the women for not mentioning them at all. All in all women love the attention and a woman that appears single is a lot more attractive than a woman that's booed up lol.

    1. i will say that i will probably not change my relationship on facebook until i get married. facebook is for the land of the messy. i don't know why its like that but it is. i get what you're saying tho.

        1. Same here bro. I don't get on FB like that anyways, but when i do make that status change it will definitely say married

    2. seriously seeing someone but our status both say single, it is not anyone's business. That status is like peeing on a tree to mark territory. WE both know what it is and dont need to conform to the needs of everyone else for a "status" and to me THATS REAL! 1+1=1 🙂 its me, him then us

  2. I fashion my philosophy after what I see in celebrity relationships/marriages…the less the public knows the better off your relationship is. Sorry boo, I need you to pull up your big girl panties and not get to feeling some kind of way, because I didn't acknowledge you in social media. I'm not hiding you, I'm protecting our life together, an old antiquated notion called PRIVACY. *shrugs*

    1. I think a lot of women are starting to understand the importance of keeping your relationship private. It does sting to hear that there will be no social media love but overall I think its a good thing.

  3. Have you had any issues with how much to share about your dating life on social media?
    Some, I’ve gotten flack for something i tweeted or blogged about although my defense is usually, i dont say anything on social media or my blog, that you dont or shouldnt already know.

    How much do you keep private?
    i try to keep as much private as possible, i might use an anecdote here or there. I’m not with Social pda, its just a little tacky to me.

    Have you seen any horror stories or comedies unfold based on people’s dating lives?
    Early in the twitter game, i had some real messy slip ups, thats all i’ll say on that. Even those seem light to public facebook breakups, twitpic’d paternity tests, leaked personal photos, social media is the wild west for those who don’t know how to control their emotions or understand discretion

  4. -Have you had any issues with how much to share about your dating life on social media? How much do you keep private?

    No. I keep most of the details of our relationship private mainly because that reflects my personality. Oversharing online can only lead to doom. We interact with each other but we aren’t letting details of our lives slip out.

    -Have you seen any horror stories or comedies unfold based on people’s dating lives?

    I cringe sometimes while on Facebook and Twitter and I see folks spewing info about themselves and their relationship/sex lives then get upset when something goes sideways and their timelines react to it.

    1. "I cringe sometimes while on Facebook and Twitter and I see folks spewing info about themselves and their relationship/sex lives then get upset when something goes sideways and their timelines react to it."

      especially when one of the people in the relationship is scorned. then that's when the fireworks starts. smh

  5. Have you had any issues with how much to share about your dating life on social media? – None at all.

    How much do you keep private? – All of it! I don't show my rela status online. And, even when I was in a relationship, I NEVER posted pics and rarely commented on their pages. I was tagged in pics that other people posted of us from events…but I didn't post pics. If I were married, it'd be different.

    Have you seen any horror stories or comedies unfold based on people’s dating lives? – Uh, yeah. Beefs about cheating, having more children, folks saying "awww…what happened? you were soo happy??" when someone changes their status back to single…craziness, lol.

  6. My stance is and will always be, it is not my job to coddle her insecurities. If she has a problem with that, we probably shouldn't be dating.

    I think keeping things private is essential. The public showing is really a pissing match. If you need to let social media platforms know he's yours, then you're tripping.

  7. Like someone stated above, my relationship status will remain single until I'm married. That going from "in a relationship"to "single"to "its complicated" makes you look silly and unstable. Currently I'm in a relationship, we are friends on fb but there isnt much interaction between us. I may like or comment on a status or pic and vice versa but anything over that is too much. I've done the whole in a relationship on FB and I've learned from my mistake. Every status I would put up, someone would think I was sublimally talking about my man. Why would I address my guy on FB?!—though plenty do.

  8. I am in a relationship and I put a ban on any social media interactions. We don't follow each other on anything. I did put a pic of him on Instagram once – but he aint tagged in it LOL.

    I instituted the rule because of my previous relationship. My last relationship was all over the virtual streets…FB, Twitter, everywhere. We were one of those people tweet me asking where's my him and mention him in it kinda relationships. IT was all fun & games until the breakup…Let me just say I'd be ashamed to look at my twitter from last April…All my personal business in the street, all my emotions, hurt feelings, subtweets, passive aggression, permanently floating around for all to see. It went so far as me blocking and unfriending friends of his etc etc etc. ALL THE WAY MESSY. so yea…since then no need for you to be on mine and I won't be on yours.

  9. There's a difference between keeping your relationship private and acting like you're single. A lot of people like to use the former to justify the latter, knowing d*mn well that they're dancing all over the lines of propriety. While I don't publicize my status unless directly asked, I am of the belief that my behavior on and offline, is not just a reflection of me, but of my partner, and I try to conduct myself as such and expect that from him as well. It's really not that hard to do.

  10. "One day while I was perusing my page she noticed that I hadn’t listed that I was in a relationship (to my credit I hadn’t listed that I was single either). She claimed that I was trying to hide her while I maintained that I was only trying to avoid the unnecessary questions and drama that was sure to ensue had I listed myself as in a relationship. She immediately called bullsh*t. Looking back, I can see how she would think that I was trying to swindle her."

    This EXACT scenario played out to the tee in the last relationship I was in. I ended up putting the status up on my Facebook to address her concerns (and it really didn't bother me too much especially if it helped calm her insecurities), but the damage was already done. She brought it up like every 3-4 months during an argument about other "suspect behavior" she deemed "weird".

    I was actually talking to her a few weeks ago (run into her every now and again) and although we've been broken for over 3 years now brought up the FB thing…again! SMH. Anyway…good post, man. Kudos.

  11. I agree. Me and the person I'm dating do not follow each other on social media. I would likely keep it the same if we got into a relationship. It's just better that way. I'd change it if we were engaged or married, but that's it.
    My recent post Christianity and the Black Church

  12. Amen to that…got to get back to having honor in this world. Relationships are cool, but they inherently come and go, marriages are "supposed" to be for life. So to paraphrase a famous quote: Anything less than an engagement/marriage status would be uncivilized. Stability and standards are the order for today!

  13. I had an ex who was engaged in shady behavior, so I pushed for the relationship status link on FB. Honestly, it doesn't really stop anyone who's going to do anything (I know this from experience now), but it made me a feel a little better. One day, at work, he randomly changes his status to single. I was like "huh"? We hadn't even had a fight. I immediately called and he was like, "I don't want people in my business". I said if that's the case, it would be unlisted, not single. He changed it, but not too long afterwards (well, actually TOO LONG afterwards), single was accurate for both of us.

    IMO social media is only an issue if it's an issue. If you're stepping out or excessively flirting outside of your relationship, I guess it's an issue. If people are meddlesome, I guess it's an issue. If one of you wants to hide but the other wants to tag you in pics, I guess it's an issue. But if you both share similar social media practices and they're fair and responsible, then I don't think it even becomes a conversation.

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  15. I don't indicate ANY relationship status on my facebook page. I don't find it relevant. First and foremost, I'm not on there trying to pick up women and I'm not using it as a dating tool. Its strictly for fun. Granted I know personally a good 70% of my contacts and they know my status. I just don't feel like its an issue for me to even think about.

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