How To Deal If You’re Dating Someone Listed As ‘Single’ On Facebook

listed as single on Facebook

This is part of our occasional Dear Dude series in which my real-life friend, The Dude, answers your questions about the hairier sex.  When he’s not on the internet, The Dude is playing bike polo (yes, that’s a thing), cooking, running with his dog and driving entirely too fast (my personal opinion.)

Dear Dude,
I’m seeing a guy in a not-very-serious-but-exclusive-way. His Facebook status is listed as ‘single’ which I’m not comfortable with. I’m not really in a place where I want to have a Relationship, but it bums be out that he’s telling the Internet he’s totally available. Input please?

Dear FB,
Part of me wants you to out him in a Facebook post and start some drama so you could maybe get onto Failbook. But the rest of me thinks he deserves slack because you are “seeing a guy in a not-very-serious-but-exclusive-way” which could maybe be interpreted as single…? Single-ish?

How important is a Facebook status to you? How important is it to him? Maybe he just didn’t bother. Maybe he isn’t as avid a FaceBooker. Maybe he isn’t as excited about it as you are… There probably isn’t a setting for the “casually dating (your name).”

That said, maybe there isn’t an excuse, maybe he is keeping it on “single” to continue prowling. Either way, if he hasn’t done it yet say something to him, not me – or let it go and deal with it. He can’t read your mind no matter how hard you will him to. Have a talk with him, let him know that you feel strongly about it.

Maybe he wants to see other people and is too chicken to say something. Maybe he wants you to break up with him. Or again, maybe he just hasn’t bothered/noticed.  A few months ago I realized I still had my status as “married” even though my divorce has been final for over a year.  Doh!

xoxo,
Dude

Side note from Sarah:  I think being actively listed as single then changing your relationship status from ‘single’ to not listed or ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship with ________’ are two very different things.  I feel like posting your relationship on Facebook has become tantamount to meeting the parents or announcing your engagement! I turned off my relationship status two years ago and I don’t plan to turn it back on until I move in with someone.

Do you guys get hung up on Facebook relationship statuses?

photo by Johan Larsson // cc

18 Comments

Rita ♥

This is actually quite funny!! xD
People care so much about facebook status it´s actually ridiculous! I speak for myself in this one, I mean do I even have a life beyond facebook? 🙂 We should take it easy and make facebook a good thing instead of always spying on others and try to interpret every single thing that "he" posts. The truth is we must learn to relax…how in the world can we do that?? 🙂

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1000000ShadeGrey

Well.. I am a guy.. I have been in a relationship with a girl for over a year.. All our friends and family know we are a couple.
I am not a suspicious person at all – to the extent that I did not know until today that her status read “single”. I am not a big user of Facebook, so I never bothered to fill out this information at all.. After all I am not really comfortable with Facebook sharing/selling my private statistics anyway and I don’t really share personal shit on Facebook anyway.. I use it strictly to keep track of some friends and upcoming events – thus I don’t really have a public personae on my FB.

But my GF does: she posts selfies, partypics, food she eats etc.. She also posts pics and news about me/us, so anyone who have “friend-access” to her Facebook will obviously see she is with me… But: For the strangers/acquaintances who comes by her more limitied open-to-all online content, it would appear as she is “available” .

How do I feel??
I must say I found it kind of sad. I mean, she could have left the space empty, right? Why publically announce you are something that you are not? I really don’t get that.

I have not confronted her with it yet, because I wanted to find out if this was some kind of a “thing”.. some social grammar I missed out on, for some reason – and that asking her about it would be a bad idea..

I will bring it up, but I can’t deny that I worry it would cause a somewhat awkward situation.. I mean, what if she still wants to come of as single on Facebook? Should I escalate and become “single” too? I wish someone could explain this.

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Jenni jones

Not when a guy lies to his family and friends that he is single but he’s not at all.

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Magatha-May

When I broke up with my boyfriend of five years I just found it was much easier to take down my status instead of changing it to single. I don't ever intend to put it back up on my page. It just causes a lot of confusion and worries.

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Peta

When my now boyfriend and I first started dating I removed my relationship status from facebook entirely and I plan on keeping it that way. It was slightly awkward because the boy had changed his to 'in a relationship', but really, that's just an example of the exact kind of silliness I wanted to avoid by removing it. Those awkward in-between periods at the beginning or end of a relationship are just made messier when you feel compelled to label the relationship so publicly. Not to mention when friends feel like they can comment publicly on changes to your status which frankly, don't concern them.

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Kristina

I honestly dont think it matters much if it s on facebook. Your friends you care about likely already know your in a relationship and if you are that bothered by it I would think there are some trust issues

Reply
poet

Clear and honest communication is absolutely important! Too often we women are taught that we don't have a right to express our needs and concerns and that "the right one" will know how to address them simply by magic, which is bogus and makes countless couples suffer from misunderstandings and discontent – not good.

Also, if the guy concedes to announcing his relationship with you on Facebook but then you find out that he's mentioned to others offline that he finds this silly and is only doing it to indulge you, you should consider the possibility of him being a condescending a**hole.

Reply
Little redhead

I removed my facebook relationship status as well. I had it before when in a long relationship, but the pain of having my heart broken and then seeing the guy immediately change his status to single was just too much and I don't want to experience it again, nor the "aww what happened, sorry to hear" comments from everyone I know or barely know that's on facebook. No more facebook relationship statuses for me.

Reply
Maureen

I'm married and my Facebook page would let you know that, but my previous relationhip was one of those messy, hard-to-define long distance, no-end-in-sight we-really-like-each-other we-don't-want-to-date-anyone-else what-are-we-even-doing type relationships. We both had nothing listed under relationship but then one day he jokingly changed his to married to a friend or something for an afternoon, and when he went to take it off, he unwittingly changed it back to single. I know it's so dorky because who cares, right? But it really bothered me. I didn't need him to say online that he was in a relationship with me, I just didn't want it to say single, because really he wasn't and it made me feel invisible. So I mentioned it to him and he hadn't realized it and just took single off and went back to nothing. That's probably the best solution for this question-asker. Just mention it to him and see if he'll take it down and have it say nothing. That's my two cents!

Reply
Kristen

silly drama like this made me delete my facebook account and never look back. the great keeping-in-touch qualities just no longer outweighed ALL of the annoyances.

Reply
Melanie

I'm also married and Facebook says as much.

But I do remember back in my college days, when Facebook was still a new thing, one of the guys I "dated" never changed his status from single even though he called me his "girlfriend." I was definitely annoyed.

But then, this was the guy who, out of the blue, broke up with me. On LiveJournal. And I didn't notice it for a week. And called him once or twice before I found it (and couldn't figure out why he was acting weird – he didn't even mention it!). So, in this case, it MAY have been a sign that this guy was not for me. 🙂

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Steph

When I started dating my guy, we were both listed on Facebook as single despite being mutually exclusive. He eventually asked me if I wanted to "officially" be his girlfriend. I jokingly asked if that meant we had to change our Facebook statuses.

Now even though neither of us really use Facebook, it's still nice to sometimes see something proclaiming that I'm in a relationship with this great guy.

Reply
SP

I have joined the "no relationship status" club on Facebook. When I broke up with a long-term boyfriend, he IMMEDIATELY changed his facebook status to single. It seemed entirely unnecessary and even rude. I didn't even have a chance to process what had happened before I was receiving text and calls from friends asking what had happened. Why should such a personal event be made public? On the other hand, I do plan on putting a status once I am engaged or married.

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Sarah

Changing my status from 'in a relationship' to 'single' and having it posted for everyone to see was almost worse than the breakups themselves. So I decided a while ago to remove my relationship status all together. If someone is so concerned who I'm dating, they can surely ask.

I've gotten hung up on boyfriends not changing their status before. The dude is right – tell him what you want, he might not even realize.

Though I don't recommend putting him as your bf on Facebook without mentioning it – someone did that to me once and the status didn't last for long >_<

Reply
Kaitlin

I agree, Sarah. I turned my off because I didn't want the stress of having to mess around with it and announce to all of Facebook when I got in (and out) of relationships. I just didn't really think it was EVERYone's business. I didn't turn it back on until I got married. Then, you know, I figured it was serious….

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Amanda

I've got to admit this has been an issue for me in the past (except on Myspace back when it was fashionable- shows how old I am). I'd been seeing this man for over a year and yet his profile still read "single." When I finally, jokingly, brought it up, he stammered and said it was because he never visited his Myspace page (a total lie- he logged in fairly frequently to tinker with his background image and song choice). I felt not only snubbed but patronized so that definitely added some fuel to the eventual decline of the relationship.

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short presents

I turned mine off about 3 years ago, and I have no intentions of turning it back on. I feel like my drama is my drama and mine only. Personally I think the whole status thing is a teeny bopper thing.

I think the big issue here isn't facebook, but the ambiguity of your actual relationship status. Have a chat with him, and just discuss whether you are exclusive or not. Then casually bring up the status thing. Like hey did you know you fb still says your single? I'm not sure you know the guy better than me, but I would have the convo because obviously it's bothering you emotionally.

All the best,
shortpresents.blogspot.com

Reply
Chelle Lynn

It seems like something that should be so cut and dry…in a relationship…not in a relationship.

The problem is that relationships aren't cut and dry! They are complicated! Sometimes you're not IN a relationship, but you're not exactly OUT of one. Sometimes you just don't want people knowing that you are dating someone. It seems so funny that now there not only has to be the "exclusivity talk", but the "facebook status" talk as well!

Reply

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