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Friday, June 4, 2010

Dating with Technology - The ONLINE Relationship

This week I got an email from a girlfriend asking me what her ex-boyfriend was up to on Facebook. Seriously. They had done the Facebook "In a Relationship with XX" and now are experiencing the awkward aftermath of their exes being friends with their friends. Quite the Facebook pickle.

Technology is great. Thank God for small cells (although I did rock the Zach Morris cell back in the day and thought I was BAD ASS), pocket-size computers (yay, iPhone!) and texting, but sometimes it would be nice to get a sincere hand-written letter. Yes, I know I'm dreaming - shut up.

Without technology there would be no match.com, eharmony, Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, etc. but then I would also have to dress up and go out every night to meet someone! But, this is where things get tricky. You start with the wink, wink. You move onto the email. Exchange of phone numbers. BBMing and texting and THEN meet for a date.

Once you're finally dating you have the option to become Facebook friends. Girls... this is where I say... back away! Just don't do it. Do you need to be Facebook friends? I think this just opens up an opportunity for crazy online stalking. I.e. When his status reads "Out with friends" doesn't your heart skip a little beat wondering why you weren't invited and are there girls in this group of so-called "friends?"

Then... you have the infamous status change from "single" to "in a relationship." Unless you are sure this is the one, I reco leaving that status blank. Who wants to have to change it back and announce that you have broken up with your boyfriend OVER THE INTERNET? Really isn't a broken heart enough?

My non-boyfriend/online 30-something-year-old-man-friend (Aaron Karo!) wrote this in his latest book I'm Having More Fun Than You...

"The great irony is that these days we're so connected it's easier to end an offline relationship than it is to end an online one. We can break up, but we can't log off."

WORD. I'm glad to see we're on the same page.

Now, don't get me wrong, once I have his real email address I online and Facebook stalk until I know I won't end up dead on the side of the road somewhere after our first date, but after my first online break-up I decided I wasn't going to torture myself anymore and am just not Facebook friends with people I date.

The whole him being friends with your friends thing, is entirely another problem. Sometimes a little background knowledge is good, but your friends should know you well enough to tell you what you need to know like "I just saw on XX's wall that he moved to Guam so you can't run into him anymore, yay!" vs. "I just saw on XX's wall that he is engaged and his fiance is pregnant" (boo. bad friend... not cool).

Technology is only going to keep changing and we need to adapt our dating lives and style to stay sane. My sanity right now remains in check by being statusless.

1 comment:

  1. Yup. I agree. I've only had ONE relationship that I've ever "shown" on FB. I learned my lesson quickly after that ended, even though I dumped him, it was still unpleasant! Now, my status is hidden. :)

    Last fall, when I was dating a guy I met on Match.com, he FB-friended me about 3 weeks into our dating/relationship. I accepted, but we never listed that we were in a relationship. Things were great! Then, all of a sudden, he disappeared. The hardest part? De-friending him on FB. I again learned my lesson. BOO TECHNOLOGY! (And double BOO to disappearing boys!)