When Is It Too Early To Change Your Facebook Relationship Status?
Written by Debby Herbenick
You go out, you like each other, then you blow it by attempting to change your relationship status too soon. A resident love doctor explains how soon is too soon, and what other freaky behavior might ruin your good thing.
One week is way too soon to add the "in a relationship with" phrase that is simultaneously coveted and feared by Facebook users everywhere. So is one month unless you're already uber-committed in some love story kind of way. But that doesn't mean you have to play it so cool that you look like you're out on the Facebook prowl while spending your nights on date after date (or video chat after video chat).
If you find someone you can't resist, why not remove your "single" status? Or remove the Interested in men/women/men&women listing so that it doesn't appear to others that you're interested and available. And definitely switch out "what you're looking for" away from "random play" or "whatever you can get" to something like "friendship." Just please don't put "networking."
There are plenty of ways to use Facebook to signal that you are done looking—at least for now—while you give the relationship a chance. Just do not change your profile picture to a lovey dovey photo of you two. At least not until you know the other person is on board, too. Otherwise it is like the virtual equivalent of putting a framed photo of you two on your desk, even though you've only been out a few times.
If you're absolutely itching to become an official Facebook couple, talk to your like/love/lust interest about it first. Thank goodness the "in a relationship with" tool requires the other person to approve you first, but there's nothing to stop an over eager, OK creepy, person from uploading photos or writing elaborate notes about their dates. Heck, I even wound up recently with my profile photo on some dude's calendar of birthdays, even though we have never met or talked! Not cool.
If it's a relationship you hope will have any chance of working out, please tread carefully. Facebook is here to help not hurt, but it does take some pacing—and a little self-control.
Read more of Dr. Debby's love advice here (http://gizmodo.com/tag/drdebbysloveadvice/) during Gizmodo's Bad Valentine celebration.
Debby Herbenick, PhD is a Research Scientist and Associate Director of The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. She blogs at MySexProfessor.com.