Let me confirm that the world conjured the term ‘social media' at the brink of my years as a Singleton. Circa 2010 I imagined the fad of posting lewd/intimate photos on digital media would wear thin a few months later. I couldn’t have been more wrong as I keep expecting this to happen even now, seven years later.
For someone who had been single for a long, long time, I can imagine what it feels like to see a continued flurry of posts of couples. The season of Valentines doesn’t make it easier for someone who depends on a stable Wi-Fi connection and cupcakes for happiness like I did.
I thought I’d list down a few occasions and the appropriate reaction for people like me – who have been unearthed by a relationship and have no clue on how contemporary romance operates.
By sometimes being the first to add him, it may be interpreted as you liking him by making ‘the first move’. As a rule of thumb, it’s safer not to be adding just yet.
There's much pressure when you are dating someone who is socially active and prefers to check-in to places. I used to do this – when I was 23; not at 30. As a Singleton, you reason that no one besides you must know what you've been up to, but it's considered ‘good manners' in a relationship to accept the tag when checking-in and reciprocating the deed. For the clueless person, this is to be interpreted as him wanting to show you that his intentions are clear and he's making way to bigger things.
You know how when you are scrolling through your Facebook feed and you find couples that tag each other on posts and post stuff on each others’ timelines. There’s no way to know for sure, but I could maybe reason out that this is a couple’s way of saying ‘You’re constantly on my mind’. Your guess is as good as mine.
Text? WhatsApp? Phones? You may ask – but we live in questionable times.
Happy Birthday, The World:
I recall stumbling upon a brilliant meme of a couple a few months ago; one person wished the other a Happy Birthday – the couple was facing an audience, using a blow horn, expressing what may not necessarily need to be published on social media. While I fully appreciate that this would mean that you are grateful to have a wonderful soulmate, you needn’t create collages of the one mid-priced perfume and card he got you. Remember, there’s such as thing as ‘over promotion’.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. In all my instances of advising them on the Dos and Don'ts of a relationship is to not let it go live on social media. It's mainly because it will kill you to remove those pictures once he’s left you or you’ve broken up. How miserable is it to go from ‘Relationship’ to ‘Single’ – Ick.
However, it's considered a sign of commitment by contemporary lovers. I would laugh before and claim that not even being pulled by wild horses in different directions would make me do it, but when ‘The Boyfriend’ updated his relationship status, I knew it was his way of saying, ‘I’m telling the world about you’. I naturally obliged in reciprocity.
If you've had a good holiday, you need to have 347 pictures to prove it and 98% of them have to be selfies where either of the partners is missing most of their apparel.
Now, this takes place when you've been together for a while and he uploads a profile picture of the both of you. Do not panic. Do not panic. I repeat. Do not panic. He means well. He may not have specifically run it past you – but he means well. In his mind, this is the biggest move he can make in professing his commitment to you. Like his testicles, he has decided that two are better than one. You may want to feign being ‘swept away'.
If you’re like me, your phone stays in your bag the whole night. Do not be miffed when your partner wants to take pictures and documents you during the course of the night. You prefer actual company without having to pause those deep intellectual conversations to figure out which side you dimple better. They think it’s funny how you dig into their desserts and eat yours with trails of cream cheese on your upper lip. It’s their way of saying, ‘You’re cute. I want memories of this’. As for you, you just want the cake.
It’s strange to be in a relationship during such times – you grow up with belief that it’s what’s on the inside that matters only to be told as an adult that you will be judged by everything you put out. Be determined to guard your stance on what you want out there, and speak to your partner about your reservations. Remember, peanut butter is applied on the inside of the sandwich – picking it up after a fall is far less messy that way.
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