Facebook Files: the relationship megaphone

Why Valentine’s Day is the only appropriate time to go public with your relationship

By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor

So you’re in your first college relationship. Or maybe it’s your second. Or maybe your 15th (good for you)! Either way, you’re in a relationship and now it’s time to make some decisions. Serious matters flow through your brain, like, “What are some good cheap date ideas?” “When will I have to meet her mother?” and, possibly the most important, “When do we make this Facebook-official?”

“Facebook-official” is slang for “We’re so in love we want the whole world to know—on Facebook.” You probably don’t notice it too much with your stable or married friends, but everyone has a few friends whose relationship status is in constant flux. These people probably just enjoy the positive attention when they put their new relationship on blast, and then, conversely, enjoy the pity when they are suddenly #ForeverAlone.

Similar to the vaguebooker, the relationship ping-ponger likely just wants your precious clicks and views in order to validate a deep-seated emptiness in their souls, an all-consuming emotional pain that is dark like the ocean’s floor and hungry like the fiery, molten core at the Earth’s centre. But what about the rest of us?

Say you’re not the meaningless husk of a person described above; say you’re just a regular person who has found themselves in a good relationship with a strong, loving foundation. Say the relationship is going well. You’ve met (and been approved by) each other’s friends and you’ve already started using cutesy nicknames. Things seem to be going really well! But how do you know when it’s time to make it Facebook official by changing your relationship status?

You want the world to know that you’ve found someone who doesn’t make you want to go down to the petting zoo and stab goats, and that’s fine—that’s a perfectly normal human reaction. (The liking someone bit, not the goat-stabbing bit.) And you’re pretty sure that this time it’s not going to end two weeks later in gin-soaked tears. Well, you should be happy to know that I’ve designated February 14, or Valentine’s Day in layman’s terms, the international day of expressing your love on Facebook.

So if you’re in a relationship, February 14 is officially your window of opportunity to make that public. You have a little over a week to discuss this with your partner, but don’t snooze on this opportunity: it’s a long way around the calendar until your next chance to go public with your new relationship. Because on any day that isn’t February 14, Facebook is all about Grumpy Cat, advice animals, and Candy Crush Saga: I don’t want to hear anything about your love!