“Moving from a casual to a committed relationship can often be tricky," Ikka offers, "and opening up that relationship to an online audience, which is presumably broader than one’s immediate social circle, opens the relationship up to commentary—some of which could be damaging, especially if the relationship is new.”
Consider keeping your status quiet for a certain amount of time or until the two of you feel secure in this new arrangement. Like Carlee, you may also want to consider updating your status at that point without sharing it widely through your newsfeed.
3. IF YOU WANT TO EASE SOME OF THE PRESSURE
“If the couple has not discussed how or whether they are going to ‘announce’ their union on Facebook, and one party goes ahead and changes their status, it might make the other party feel uncomfortable or put unnecessary pressure on that person,” Ikka says. “Even if it was a joint decision, it exposes the relationship to scrutiny, observations, and involvement that is not necessarily appropriate during the early phases of a relationship, where the focus should really be on whether attraction, compatibility, common values, and shared interests will survive the long-term.”
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4. IF YOU WANT AN EASIER BREAKUP
Splitting up can be more complicated if a thousand of your Facebook friends can see your status.
“Breakups are painful in the best of times," reminds Ikka. And changing a status from "in a relationship" to "single" or even "it's complicated" can draw attention right in the middle of that pain. "Even if that attention comes in the form of support and sympathy to an already difficult, personal, and emotional experience."
5. IF YOU'RE FED UP WITH JUDGMENT ABOUT YOUR LOVE LIFE
Facebook is not your diary or a private conversation with your best friend. It's a loudspeaker to every one of your coworkers, high-school frenemies, mom's friends, and siblings you are connected with on the social network. Not all of them may get the situation, or you.
“If you are the type of Facebook user who updates your relationship status on a regular basis and that status is changing with a frequency that others may deem abnormal, you are opening yourself up to judgment, ridicule, and the potential for losing credibility amongst your Facebook network," Ikka says bluntly. "So, if you are sensitive to other people’s opinions, think carefully before changing your relationship status and ask yourself why you’re doing it.”
6. IF YOU OFTEN GIVE IN TO PEER PRESSURE
In many relationships, Ikka says, one person is more guarded about their personal life and details. The other person may be more forthcoming and therefore have no issue with listing their relationship status online.