Relationship Status

3 Oct

‘I’m free’ – John Inman’s status declaration in the BBC’s Are You Being Served?

Dating again after some years in the wilderness I find myself faced with all manner of new problems. Not least is the dreaded social media. 

How quickly do you add your new squeeze, and just how ready are you for the inevitable cyber stalking and Catfish style investigation of your prior life? You know that your every photo will be scrutinised for glimpses of exes, a survey of family for genetic possibilities should offspring ever become an option. A check that you weren’t on a stag weekend in Ibiza that time you said you were at home working.

On that last line at least I am not guilty. But my past is inescapable and I’m pretty open about it, warts and all. And I refuse to sugar coat it for anyone. I’ve been here before. If I am going to delete material relating to the past then it’ll be on my terms and when I decide.

Once you’ve decided it’s a good idea to add your object d’amour, is there an appropriate time to declare one’s relationship status as changed? Surely it’s not wrong to date and still declare oneself as single? How many dates does it take before one is in a ‘relationship’? And even if you are in one, do you want every stranger to know its details?

I’ve had former partners and girlfriends cyber-stalked and  trolled in the past, and it’s been detrimental to friendships that had extended beyond our time together. As a result I’m now vary wary about saying too much about those I’m entangling with on a regular basis. While we’re still getting to know each other I don’t really want to risk them subjected to that sort of scrutiny. And nor do I wish myself to become a target either, for as it turns out, I’m not the only one with cyber stalkers.

I think unless one is secure that one is in for a long haul, some objective distance is required. If one is treading water, unstable, or likely to be switching partners during the dating process then the declarations are unnecessary. It becomes quite irritating seeing a chum’s Facebook constantly displaying a revolving rota of relationship failures.

But we as fragile humans seek reassurance. We want to know that those we give our time, minds and bodies to, are worthy of it – that they reciprocate our commitment. We want affirmation of our place with others – proudly displayed. We want to know that right now we mean as much as those who have gone before us – that we might be recalled as fondly. Where are the photos, saccharine statuses, and hormonal hashtags? Who cares if next week we aren’t together – we want the world to know now.

Just remember,  we curate our social media. The tweaks and filters and judiciously pruned lists of friends allow us to project an image or ourselves that we want. We can be the biggest assholes in private but be affable and inclusive on Twitter. Whether our hundreds of online friends know who we get up with isn’t important. What we did in the past isn’t important. Only what we do now and how we treat each other.

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One Response to “Relationship Status”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tin Man | The Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular - November 14, 2016

    […] respect. And, just as I readied myself to out us publicly, it came crashing down. I talked of relationship status, framing it all within my fears, and the relationship died. And I’m still struggling to come […]

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