Privacy is hard to come by in a world dominated by social media and status updates that range from random mood swings and food cravings to travel plans and party invites. Still, the Mrs. and I pride ourselves on keeping our personal life to ourselves, which can be challenging when you pen a blog about your marriage. That’s why we live by a simple rule: We share what we want, when we want.
When my wife and I first began dating exclusively, all that mattered was that we both understood our commitment to each other. There was no need or desire for us to go online to make a public declaration about us dating. Of course we spoke about it, but as a relationship blogger writing about the single life I needed my online persona to maintain an air of eligibility even if that wasn’t my reality. While some women might scoff at the idea of being in a relationship that’s not “Facebook official,” she understood that dating in the real world carries much more weight than the cyber world and we opted to keep our online relationship statuses hidden from the public timeline.
That mind state carried over as we evolved from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife. After saying, “I do,” we collectively decided to say, “We won’t,” to changing our Facebook statuses to the highly-coveted status of “married.” It’s not that either of us is ashamed of our union or trying to creep on the side, it’s just that in the grand scheme of things that’s a trivial step neither of us was worried about taking. The people who are most important to us already know we’re married and the remaining random folks taking up residence on our respective friends lists can figure it out on their own. (The profile pics from the wedding on our respective pages should be a major clue.)
I’ll never hide the fact that I’m married and will gladly sing my wife’s praises at every opportunity but I refuse to let our union be defined by a social network. Honestly, I’m too grown for that. I could care less about what my relationship status says online if my actual relationship wasn’t in order in the real world.
My biggest issue with updating my relationship status is Facebook can be too intrusive. For example, after I proposed during summer vacation in the Caribbean, the Mrs. posted a status update that alluded to her saying, “Yes!” It seemed innocent enough but by time we got back in the country there were dozens of comments and likes, and some people took the liberty of taking the unconfirmed news and posting it to other social media platforms. In a matter of hours the news became a trending topic among our network of friends as we were still frolicking in the tropics. While I appreciated everyone’s excitement, the overzealousness took a little bit of the thrill out of the moment. Instead of having the opportunity to tell folks at my own pace, people I hadn’t even spoken to since elementary school were hitting me up with congratulations. The whole experience just turned me off.
People take Facebook way too seriously. Whenever the Mrs. and I reveal that we haven’t changed our relationship status and don’t plan to, people respond as if we’ve confessed to killing 2Pac and Biggie. Somehow clicking a button on a social network has become the litmus test for the health of a relationship. It’s like back in the days when a girl would wear her man’s letterman jacket as visible sign of her being spoken for. Well, we have wedding bands for that because our marriage is not a Mark Zuckerberg production. It’s our life and we’ll share what we want about it when we want.
Do you only consider a relationship official after it’s on Facebook? Would you be concerned if your spouse didn’t want to update his/her relationship status to married? Sound off!
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.