Dating with Dignity founder and CEO Marni Battista is back with some thoughts about Facebook — and how to unveil your changing relationship status to online friends.
With social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram alerting your friends and family to a new relationship status, becoming a “nosey parker” is now easier than ever. In fact, for some posting a status update or a picture quote, or even tweeting feelings of rejection or disgust with love itself, has essentially become a regular part of the breakup process.
However, it’s critical that you handle this process with care. It’s so easy to let social media sites (particularly Facebook) become a forum for trash talking your ex or simply letting people know you’re single and ready to mingle. Whatever your objective, even in the digital age, Dating with Dignity maintains that those conversations should really be kept offline.
So how do you deal with when to change your relationship status to “single” on Facebook? If you change your relationship status using the normal default settings, it will let everyone on your friends list know about your recent break up, including friends and family who will probably comment, like, and attempt to dislike your status. There is, however, a way to do it while keeping your dignity intact.
Here are some important tips for dealing with your newly “ single” status on Facebook.
Handle with care. It’s so easy to let Facebook become a forum for conversations that simply shouldn’t be online for the world to see. If you break up with someone whom you at one point cared about, you shouldn’t want to hang them or yourself out to dry. If you’re using Facebook to update your relationship status to let people know that you’re single and ready to mingle, great! But don’t forget to be gracious.
Also, allow a certain period of time to pass before you update your profile. Doing it to “get back at him” or get instant closure only creates a moment of temporary satisfaction. Changing your status is not a form of manipulation to let him know you’re serious or to make him jealous with worry that your old high school flame now has the go-ahead to IM you. Instead, take a breath. Let it sink in privately, and choose to update your status when much of the emotional dust has settled.
For another thing, it shouldn’t change every five minutes. If your relationship status has changed to “single” more than two times in the past two weeks, you probably need to lay off the keyboard. Changing your relationship status, albeit a personal choice, is one you should do only when you feel it’s important for the social media world to know about it.
Maybe you have been in a long-term relationship since college? In the event that you and your guy or girl recently parted ways, changing your relationship status to “single” is an easy way to let people from different parts of your life know that you’re moving on. If you’re constantly breaking up and getting back together, repeated adjustment to your relationship status is NOT recommended.
Don’t use Facebook as a place to bash your ex, no matter how tempting/easy it is. When you break up with someone, you’re likely going to get family and friends on “Team You” commenting on your post with things like “You deserve better!” or “ What happened???” They really should reserve those comments and exclamations (and emoticons) for personal conversations with you.
In their defense, you did post your current relationship status (or lack thereof) for all the world to see, so they probably think you want them to be involved. If there was a way to disable comments on specific posts, we’d recommend you go that route. If not, you may want to consider disabling wall posting in the days following the switch so people can send you their thoughts on the matter in PERSON or through a direct message.
Don’t Facebook, Twitter or Instagram Stalk after the breakup. Once you and your partner have made the split, it’s time to unfriend, block and stop following him AND his friends. There’s nothing worse than your best girlfriend texting you all day reporting that your ex “liked” her Instagram post. Or, conversely, maybe you’re stalking him and his friends on social media to see “how he’s doing,” which ultimately translates into you playing detective to see if he’s truly moved on.
In reality, a breakup needs to be exactly what it says: a break. Completely. Give yourself time to heal, focus on yourself, and stay away from negative thinking like bashing him and beating yourself up for still thinking about him even though the breakup was the “right” thing for both of you. The only way you can completely re-engage so that the next right person can come along is to keep your side of the street, online and off, clean and clear.