Just Give Up: Lawrence Love

Dear ECW,
I think I am about to start a new relationship, but there is one major problem. It has been two weeks, and my boyfriend refuses to switch his Facebook relationship status from “single,” so I am refusing to also, so as not to appear overeager. I know it is too early for us to announce our commitment for the Facebook community to see, but when can we begin by removing the offensive word “single” from our profiles? I thought we loved each other, but now I am not sure.
-Lost OnlineDear Lost Online,
The Facebook relationship status has caused genuine stress and speculation after subconscious changes or one-sided hook-ups. It is used as either a direct bearing on reality, or a superficial indication of immaturity, depending on the information it displays. The move into and out of relationships on Facebook has caused several couples I know to break up completely to avoid having to deal with the commitment and status it indicates to the online community. The sudden switch to a “Single” status is the easiest, most callous way to quickly demonstrate the end or the insignificance of a fling or a relationship.
Failure to clearly confirm relationships through Facebook has led to many embarrassing confusions and awkward mistakes that come from assuming that affection must be defined through public online affirmation. Where does love fit into the Facebook relationship status? I regret to inform you that Facebook has no status to indicate the honest extent to which your boyfriend might be interested in dating you.
Still, even in light of the incredibly hopeful and optimistic turn your relationship has taken, I would not ever be so bold to suggest that you switch your Facebook relationship status from “Single.” If you ever reach the point when your new boyfriend is not afraid to invite you to spend the night in his room, even if you are both sober, and must leave a large crowd together, and if he then invites you to enjoy a Downer brunch with him the next morning, or at least accompany him on the way to Downer, you can be confident that it is now safe to suggestively toy with your Facebook relationship status as you see fit.
I would avoid drastic moves, and simply allow your relationship status to disappear from your profile for a while. But make sure you make another conspicuous update at the same time, so no one can pinpoint exactly what’s changed about your online personality. I suggest updating a photo album filled with cute pictures of your dog, or changing your favorite movie from “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” to something that won’t make you sound so … single.
Once the pressure is on and you’ve subtly indicated your interest via Facebook, then it’s completely up to your boyfriend to prove his love for you in front of your 364 closest friends at Lawrence.

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