Breaking 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.
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.
Dear Cyber-Dating Expert,
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about two months. We met online and decided to become exclusive. I took your advice and we both took down our online dating profiles at the same time.
Everything seems to be going well so far, except for one thing. I’ve changed my status on Facebook to “In a Relationship” and he refuses to do so. He tells me he loves me and I know he’s not looking for someone else, but it makes me uncomfortable.
Why won’t he change his facebook status if he’s proud and excited about our relationship? Should I worry about us, or does it really matter?
In today’s busy connected world, becoming “Facebook official” means a lot to some people, but not to everyone. If your boyfriend is connected on Facebook with his boss, clients, or other work associates, it’s likely he doesn’t want to mix business with pleasure. There may not be reason to be alarmed.
More often than not, women change their relationship status on Facebook before men do, or if they even the do it at all. Considering he’s your boyfriend and not your fiance or spouse, changing his status shouldn’t really matter. If he has no status at all and isn’t listed as “Single” I wouldn’t be focusing on this one aspect of your relationship.
Everyone’s feelings about social media and digital dating vary. Women tend to post more lovey-lovey couple photos on Facebook than men do. It’s how women tick.
Enjoy the beginning of your new committed relationship and if it continues to bother you, change your status late at night from “In a Relationship” to no relationship. When the timing is right, perhaps you’ll have a digital celebration together.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Over 25 years ago, Patience had a serious crush on Sam.
She knew him the class clown and the wildly popular senior who always found new ways to be in the spotlight.
By contrast, Patience was quiet and considered more of a wallflower. She thought that Sam was “out of her league.” They two never dated and barely acknowledged each other in the halls. During a formal dance, after her date had ditched her, Patience was shocked when Sam asked her to dance and pulled her into a random picture. They still have that picture.
Twenty-six years went by. Sam got married and then divorced. He lived in Israel, where he was teaching college and high school French. Meanwhile in New York,? Patience had gone into publishing and had serial-dated for two decades. She was 41-yeats-old and thought she was completely over the New York dating scene, which she jokingly refers to as “buffet dating.”
In August 2009, in the ‘Suggested Friends’ section on Facebook, Sam noticed the little redhead as one of his options and “friended” Patience immediately. For Patience, it was a no-brainer to be in contact with such a popular person from high school. She started flirting on Facebook by ‘liking’ his morose status updates. Finally, Sam picked up the phone and called her. Their first phone conversation lasted for over two hours.
One Facebook friendship and three months of Skype dates later convinced them there was something there. He asked if he could visit and possibly marry and father her children. Patience said all of her girlfriends thought she was crazy, but she knew there was a connection between them.
On December 17, 2009, Sam uprooted himself to go west and saw Patience for the first time in twenty-six years. He ended up staying in New York. On their first visit to his father’s house in Miami, Sam dug out the original picture of them, which he’d kept all these years. They were married on January 16, 2011 and live in New York.
Congratulations to Patience and Sam, our featured couple in Facebook Love Stories.
Do you know someone who fell in love on Facebook?
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com and FacebookLoveStories.com. For online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert. For Facebook dating advice, follow @FBLoveStories on Twitter and their Facebook Page
Finding love on Facebook. Why not? The dating pool there is as large as many countries. Read my latest story on?Huffington Post about two happy couples who found love on the largest social networking site in the world. My personal search led me to a chocolate bar with my namesake.
Listen to Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show where my guest, Alan Roger Currie, talked about his book, Mode One: Let the Women Know What You’re REALLY Thinking.
Currie provided dating advice for men with his four modes of verbal communication from his book. Listen and find out which mode you may fall into and how to make changes to successfully end up in MODE ONE.
We also heard from Alan’s girlfriend, Tyler. The couple met in true social networking style on facebook where he took action on his own personal crush and became a facebook dating success story.
Find out what Alan Roger Currie thinks about online dating by listening to the radio show.
Listen to Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show, with my guest, Clara Shih, best-selling author of The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff.
You will hear Clara’s expert advice on Love and Dating in The Facebook Era, as well as the learn some important guidelines for successful posting on Facebook and other social networking sites. Are you confused about your privacy issues on Facebook? ?Listen to this week’s radio show before posting that next entry.