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Do Singles Click “Add Friend” on Facebook Before a Date?

I regret to inform you I will not be liking your status.

To friend, or not to friend on Facebook and social media? That question has been brewing for over a decade for singles who are excited about dating someone new.

The 2018 Singles in America Study conducted by Match has revealed some social media etiquette rules on how over 5000 singles prefer to connect when it comes to dating in the digital age.

With so much information available on the Internet, it’s a piece of digital pie to become a cyber-sleuth. From stalking (we mean searching) on public profiles on Instagram or Twitter, to conducting a google image search, there’s so much we can find out in advance.

In their survey, they found nearly 2/3 of singles use social media daily, with both men and women using social media to research their date.

RELATED: To Friend, or Not to Friend on Facebook

Social Media Before the First Date

Match tackled the question in their study with a pop quiz, asking “When do you hit the ‘Add Friend’ button?

While the majority (41%) prefer taking it slow, both online and offline, and say they’d wait until after a few dates, still 19% of singles actually take the leap and ask to become friends before a first date.

Let’s keep in mind there’s so much digital foreplay going on with texting, calling, and chatting online, that by the time many get to a first date, they feel like they’ve been dating for a while.

Prior to the first date, 20% of singles said they would ‘like’ a photo and 23% would strike up a private chat in Facebook messenger or on Instagram.

RELATED: Rules of Netiquette – Dating in a Facebook World

Post-Date Social Media Rules

Similar to those who are quick to click to become friends, 18% say they will only send a friend request once the relationship became serious.

After all, if you’re dating multiple people and playing the field, you really won’t want your date to see your whereabouts when you’re not together.

The survey showed that singles are most comfortable becoming friends on Facebook (75%) after a few good dates, as well as 36% approve of following on Instagram, lagging with 34% adding on SnapChat, and 40% would tag someone in a post.

To Tag, or Not to Tag?

When in doubt about posting and tagging, always ask for permission. Remember some people use social media for business purposes, and others don’t want a relationship that could become complicated appearing in the news feeds of their friends.

Once it gets serious, 66% actually changed their profile photo to a couples picture and say it’s find to become Facebook official. However only 13% of singles surveyed do change their status to “In a Relationship.”

At what point in the dating process would you become friends on social media?

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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years.

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Facebook Eases the Digital Pain When You Break Up

facebook breakup heartBreaking up on Facebook isn’t a piece of digital cake. The amount digital housekeeping and detoxing from your ex can be overwhelming. Add on top of it, your friends who have watched your courtship dissolve as you changed your status from “In a Relationship” to “Single” may have a lot to say about it.

I’ve always said the most powerful status on Facebook is the relationship status. Facebook could be the world’s largest dating site. Couples find love on Facebook and many have been featured in Facebook Love Stories.

People are obsessed with when their friends change their status. They love to cheer you on when you post photos of your romantic journey together.

Since our fascination with the Facebook relationship status will never wane, I was thrilled to see that Facebook just announced a new tool that will help ease the digital pain during a breakup. You no longer have to cut the cord and unfriend or block your ex when it’s time to split up. After all, some people just have a bump on the road and get back together again, so why obliterate your ex completely, especially if it’s just temporary?

According to the Facebook blog, these new Facebook tools allow you to see less of your former flame, by preventing his or her status updates and posts to appear in your feed and help you easily untag yourself from photos of the two of you together.

“.. we are testing tools to help people manage how they interact with their former partners on Facebook after a relationship has ended. When people change their relationship status to indicate they are no longer in a relationship, they will be prompted to try these tools.”

I think these are terrific features, as I know many people instantly block their ex, without the ex even knowing so, and then back-peddle and send a new friend request, out of embarrassment, once they’ve kissed and made up.

The thing is, do we really need to see what our ex is doing, especially if they are in the arms of another man or woman? How can one move on if they don’t digitally detox from their ex on Facebook?

This interim feature is one that I highly recommend and it’s started to roll out on the mobile app. Sure you might hate your ex right away, but if they were important in your life, at some point you and your ex might be able to be friends if both of you have happily moved on with others.

Should You Be Friends with an Ex on Facebook?

I don’t believe in being friends with an ex on Facebook, at least not right away. When a former boyfriend blocked me and unfriended me when we went our separate ways, I thought it was quick and cruel. I did understand that he was trying to heal and that seeing photos of me and us together prevented him from moving on. I actually didn’t really want to see details of his dating life either. We had the talk about what to do on Facebook and mutually decided it was the best way to go. Then one day, he went onto his Facebook page and untagged himself from every photo we had appeared in together and deleted every photo, including group photos. The process took him hours to complete.

Had this Facebook breakup feature been in place, it would have saved him and many others the long arduous and painful task of removing the past on the world’s largest social network.

RELATED: DATING IN A FACEBOOK WORLD

Still, for someone with a failed relationship, when they post that they’re no longer in a relationship on Facebook, their friends instantly jump in and want to know why. They’ll get a bunch of digital sympathy, but when you’re in pain, it can sting both online and offline.

My question to you is, would you use Facebook’s breakup tools or just let the digital chips land where they may?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the creator of FacebookLoveStories.com and helps singles find love on the Internet with her Irresistible Profiles programs and Online Dating BootCamps. For dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

The Power of the Facebook Relationship Status Change

Just how powerful is the relationship status change on Facebook? Read this story from “Facebook Leftover” and feel free to share your own.

Dear Julie,

My ex-boyfriend and I are both on Facebook. While we were still together we became friends on Facebook. After our break up, we decided together that we would remain friends. We both removed our status on Facebook from ?In a Relationship? to no status at all, hoping people wouldn’t make a fuss about it.

The problem is, I can?t help but look at his status updates. I still have strong feelings for him. If I de-friend him, I might hurt his feelings and may never have the chance to get back together with him.

Now, I?m the one who is feeling hurt. He recently changed his status to ?In a Relationship? and I know it?s not with me. He?s moved on and is dating someone else and I haven?t. Why does this hurt so much? What should I do?

Facebook Leftover

Dear Facebook Leftover,

There is nothing more powerful on Facebook than the relationship status change. Friends worldwide are obsessed when you change your status from ?Single? to ?In a Relationship? and then back to ?Single. Most people don?t really want to know why ?It?s Complicated? but they like to provide their comments regardless.

Friends who never comment suddenly want to know who you are in a relationship with when you change your status from ?single? to ?In a Relationship.? Even if you change from ?Single? to eliminating your relationship status entirely, some question whether you have done so because you have met someone.

To get over your former facebook beau, here’s my advice: you MUST de-friend him. You can?t obsess over what is happening with him and his new sweetheart. If he is interested in getting back together with you, he knows how to find you. Every day that you hang on to the memories of your past and look at his life, you are wasting your precious youth.

Sound harsh? I?m sorry, but de-friend him now. Don?t stare at his wall and start thinking about your future. Let?s start with putting your relationship status back on facebook and list yourself as ?Single.? Yes, you open yourself up to questions of ?What happened?? and ?So sorry it didn?t work out? comments, but you also allow the world to know that you are single. Perhaps a secret crush may see you as single on facebook and contact you. This is exactly how one of our Cyber Love Story of the Week featured couples met in real life.

Other friends of yours may now think about fixing you up when they hear about a great single guy in town. I suggest you go from single without status, to announcing to the world that you are happy and available. It’s a free way to let your true friends lend a hand in your matchmaking activities and get over the guy who apparently has gotten over you.

Keep me posted and best of luck.

Julie Spira
Cyber-Dating Expert

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