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Trustinglife's avatar

Ladies, do you ever post your status as "in a relationship" on Facebook, when you're really not?

Asked by Trustinglife (6589 points ) January 26th, 2009

I just met this amazing woman this weekend. We were in a small workshop together, and had a really nice conversation over lunch.

I friended her on Facebook today, and I see that her profile says she’s in a relationship. Any chance it’s not true? I don’t want to just disregard that and ask her out, so I’m not sure how to approach this situation. Any advice for how to proceed?

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15 Answers

figbash's avatar

I don’t personally know any women who do. Facebook/Myspace relationship statuses are really complicated and come with a lot of questions, so people are more likely to be conservative. The likelihood that she’s in a relationship is really, really high.

That being said, the same rule applies when you end a relationship. Sometimes, women let the “in a relationship” status linger for awhile after the relationship has ended, so there aren’t a lot of painful questions to answer.

The next time you talk with her, just bring up her relationship casually, as if you’re aware that she’s in one, and you’ll get your definite answer then.

Allie's avatar

No, I don’t lie about that. My friends would know it’s not true anyway.

girlofscience's avatar

If it simply says “In a Relationship,” but no person is listed, she is likely actually in a relationship, unless she does not use facebook frequently and simply hasn’t updated that she is single again after a breakup.

IF, however, she is listed as in a relationship with a specific person, there is a reasonable chance that the relationship is not legitimate. For instance, my facebook profile actually says that I am “Engaged” to my friend Julie, and we’ve been facebook engaged for about four years now. In reality, I am a straight woman in a serious relationship with a man. My facebook engagement with Julie is simply a reflection of a fun, girly friendship.

A large portion of my facebook friends are in these type of jokey facebook relationships with their good friends. Many straight women are “in a relationship with,” “engaged to,” or “married to” one of their good female friends. I also have a number of female friends who are in a facebook relationship with one of their gay male friends. And, perhaps strangest yet, there are even straight female women who are in jokey facebook-only relationships with straight men! These pairs may be simply good friends who wanted to make a silly facebook relationship with each other that isn’t actually reflected in their true romantic lives.

As for how to proceed, my number one piece of advice would be to not say something corny and stupid about her facebook status like, “So… are you still in a relationship?” or “Who’s the lucky guy?” Ugh. Horrible.

Just take it easy, continue talking to her, and let things unfold naturally. Don’t mention the facebook relationship status either way. Don’t flirt with her too overtly until you get a sign from her that flirting would be okay. Continue being friendly, and you should naturally find out whether she is actually in a relationship through your conversations.

Trustinglife's avatar

This is good feedback to get. And…

If you knew that another guy felt like I do, how would you want him to handle it? Would you want him to let you know of his feelings for you, with respect for your current relationship? Would you want him to just keep it to himself until your status changed?

When I friended her, I was as gushing as I could be within tact, saying how much I enjoyed our conversation and wanted to connect more. I don’t know how to get to know each other better and becoming friends. We just met at a workshop and had lunch, you know?

So I was considering being more bold, but I’m thinking I may be out of line, and ruining my chances. Would love some feedback on that – on what you would most appreciate.

She doesn’t list who she is in a relationship with.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@girlofscience – Co-signing with you on the last 2 paragraphs of advice. I had no idea about those jokey statuses! How cute.

figbash's avatar

@girlofscience: I agree with your advice as well – I haven’t really seen the jokey statuses at all so that’s kind of new to me.

As for TL mentioning it, I should clarify that you shouldn’t bring up the Facebook status per se, just behave as if you assume she’s in one and let it come out in the wash.

Trustinglife's avatar

Good point. This is all helpful.

girlofscience's avatar

@Trustinglife: As a woman in a serious relationship, if I knew that another guy felt like you do, I would absolutely want him to keep the information to himself. Receiving the information that someone likes you when you’re already committed to someone is never pleasant. It makes for an extremely uncomfortable situation. If you like her, why do that to her?

A good number of men have made these types of admissions to me while I’ve been in a relationship, and they have never been met with a positive outcome. I have usually responded by saying something like, “I’m flattered, and I really enjoy our friendship, but I am in a committed relationship already…” (Of course, this line is usually just to be nice and reduce the already awkward situation.) With all but one of them, I would never have been interested in dating them, even if I were single.

There was only one person who ever made this type of admission to me while I was in a relationship that I would have been interested in dating if I had been single. The knowledge was extremely difficult to handle, emotionally. It made my friendship with that person quite uncomfortable because the feelings were probably somewhat mutual, and to a minor extent, I suppose it may have even made me doubt my relationship. Nothing ever came of it except emotional confusion and awkwardness.

If you like her, you do not want to do that to her. Respect her relationship. Be her friend. Don’t push for anything more. If it’s meant to be more, it will work out on its own.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@trustinglife, I would ask her out for a business lunch, ostensibly to talk about the workshop, and find out. Her wall post and photos, if she has any on her page, could give you a clue as well.

blondie411's avatar

I have friends that have joking relationships with each other. I agree with Alfreda the best indication is by looking at pictures, is the same guy showing up in “boyfriendy” pictures. However that is also not always a way to assume that is a boyfriend as well, they could be “really good friends”. Even if she has an attachments I think girls assume that a guy is looking for good friends and conversation, even though deep down thats not true. Ask her to go to lunch again, she should come clean then.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yes. Most of the people I went to school with were “married” or “engaged” to their roommates. I was “it’s complicated” with a good friend all senior year because he wanted to appear taken (he didn’t want to start anything his senior year of college). After he “dumped” me, I was “married” to Thor, Son of Odin until I actually started dating someone and he wanted to be dating me on Facebook.

I don’t think those statuses really mean anything.

nebule's avatar

you could always just well, ask me out instead ;-) I am single

although…

living in the UK…bummer

:-(

cwilbur's avatar

The best solution to this, I think, is honesty. You’re not head-over-heels in love with her (which is good, because you don’t know her that well), you’re just aware of a spark and interested in seeing more of her if she’s single. If you’re polite and tactful in the inquiry, and you behave appropriately afterwards regardless of the answer, I don’t see a problem with asking.

I think @girlofscience‘s idea is the right one only if you know she’s in a relationship. As noted, facebook statuses are variable, so the only way you’re going to know for certain is if you bring it up with her.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I’m with girlofscience on everything she’s said. I would just try to be her friend right now, and when you figure out what her status actually is, you can take it from there.

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