I just read a facebook discussion board about facebook relationship statuses. After taking into consideration the guy’s view on things (read this to find out) here is the girl’s perspective. And ladies, as always, please correct me if I am wrong.
Women care more about “status” whether it’s in the real-world or on facebook. Historically, women have been defined by men. Although that’s not completely true anymore, it still is to a large degree. And we are also particularly concerned with what others think of us- especially women. And to be involved with someone but not have an official status (mistress doesn’t count), is looked upon by a lot of women as “classless, slutty,” etc., while men don’t have to go through such shaming because bachelorhood is accepted by society, whereas the life of a single woman, let’s call it bachelorettehood, or better yet, babehood, is not.
Just like a girl will pester a guy about putting their relationship up on facebook, she will also pester him about getting the label girlfriend in real life. I’ve done it.
There’s something about having the title “girlfriend” that makes us girls feel secure. We can breathe deeply, stop man-hunting, and relish the security of the words boyfriend and girlfriend. To us, when you are our boyfriend, it means there are certain responsibilities you have to fulfill- returning our calls, making us feel better when we are sad, making an effort to spend time with us, coming to family stuff, fulfilling our sex drives, etc. And we can let our nurturing selves thrive without feeling like at any moment you might drop us like a piece of candy onto the sidewalk, unwrapped, sucked on, and right in the middle of things where we can get crushed by a car. Because this is what men do.
Even if you might do stuff like meeting the family when you are not “official” there is still not that security- without the girlfriend title, the girl is always thinking, What if? What if the phone call he didn’t return means he doesn’t like me anymore? Or the text, or email, or bbm? What if when he didn’t call me on Friday night he was hooking up with another girl? What if when he told me he couldn’t hang out on Wednesday he actually could and was just making excuses? And the list goes on and on…
Yes, I know we girls are neurotic. But in order for us to do all the things that women are supposed to do-and typically like doing- for men, such as being nurturing, listening, cooking, giving advice, giving massages, engaging in intercourse, etc., there is one simple thing that we ask in return: Security. Which encompasses loyalty.
Security only comes not only when the title arrives but also when the introduction becomes, “Hi, this is my girlfriend _______.”
And that includes on facebook.
Even if you legitimately are a “private person”, unfortunately the internet has made privacy virtually obsolete, and has made public announcements of things like relationships, the norm.
So when you won’t put “In a relationship” up on facebook, you are saying to the girl one of several things: I don’t actually care about you. I’m extremely stubborn, particularly about stupid things. Or: I’m hooking up with other girls when you are not around. Not “I’m just a private person.”
Because unfortunately for the “private” guys who are sweet and loyal to their girlfriends, the “private” guys who keep things private just so they can hook up with the world have ruined things for you- just like the obnoxious kids in school did Recess. It may not be your fault, but you have to endure the consequences.
Which means changing your facebook, if that’s what she cares about.
So my advice- if you are willing to acknowledge the girl as your girlfriend in real life, then that means you care about her, and caring about her means caring about the things that she cares about, which obviously includes your facebook status. So just do it.
Ian, your idea, while it initially had appeal to me, ultimately won’t pan out- Because girls care so much about what other people think, if her friend Suzy is on her facebook profile page in the cubicle next to her and she sees that on Suzy’s network, your profile just says “in a relationship” and not “In a relationship with so-and-so,” as Michelle says on Full-House, “You’re in biiiiig trouble, mister.”