Many, many posts ago I wrote about updating your status on Facebook and how broadcasting your every date, crush, and disappointment is harmful to your health. Well, so are your rants. A friend of mine who I’ll call Lisa was divorced about 3 years ago and has consistently updated her relationship status since then with every boyfriend she quickly entered into a relationship with, posted about them in her Newsfeed, and then subsequently reverting her status and ranting about each guy and why the relationship met its demise.
When Lisa’s most recent boyfriend proposed after 6 months she elatedly posted a photo of her ring and changed her status. One friend of hers couldn’t hold back and commented that she hoped Lisa would be cautious. Granted, it wasn’t this woman’s place to comment on a public forum, she was wrong and she was rude, but Lisa responded by ranting that she wished people would be happy for her or keep their mouths shut and that she was going to delete people who couldn’t be happy for her — which put a damper on what should have been her special day.
I sent Lisa a private message and told her that I strongly recommend that in the future she simply delete negative comments and possibly delete those people as well. I also congratulated her and silently prayed that this engagement was going to be successful (and would minimize her dramatic posts). But Lisa set herself up for part of it as well by constantly narrating her love life as well as her heartbreaks more often than she changed her profile picture.
Just like no one really wants or needs to know what you ate for dinner, no one wants or needs to know about every date, every new prospect, every rejection, or every kiss. Keep some intimate items to yourself or share them with your closest friends. Not only is it no one’s business but new JDate prospects who are on Facebook or will eventually be your Facebook friend will be able to look back and see all of thee dramatic posts and may think differently about you because of it.
under Date Night
Social Media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs — has given people a false sense of self-worth. Post a pic and 98 of your closest friends and acquaintances will instantly “LIKE” it. Add an event to your timeline and people whom you haven’t seen in more than a decade will comment about your dog dying when you run into them on the street tomorrow. But check out this real-life scenario:
You’re on JDate, you are following my advice by poly-dating, and after a few dates with a few different prospects, you add or accept invitations to add these prospects on Facebook.
Then one of the more promising prospects stands you up on a date and what do you do? Well, naturally (enter sarcasm here) you take to Facebook to rant about being stood up. You use word like “rejection” and “desperate” and “soul mate” and “self-worth” and other extremely exaggerated terms to describe how you’re feeling right at that very moment about something that, in the long run, will end up being just a memory among millions… less than a drop of water in the ocean.
Except… all the other prospects now see that “Status Update” and are totally turned off. Not only is it clear that you are more into someone else, but you are now outed as a poly-dater (there’s nothing wrong with poly-dating, just don’t go around promoting it), and as an unnecessarily emotional single who likes to broadcast their baggage.
- Bottom line: all these social media sites are public. Unless you block certain people from seeing your updates, then all your friends — and possibly their friends, and possibly the whole world — can see everything. Keep your crazy to yourself and call a friend to vent rather than hashtagging your emotions.
A picture is worth a thousand words… especially when you post a photo of yourself scantily clad, drunk or provocatively posed (or all 3!) on Facebook, Instagram and other social media websites. When you’re single and are looking for a mate, is this really how you want to portray yourself to potential suitors? Summertime means less clothing and more opportunity for partying which means more chances to snap and post. Hold off. Those photos can be saved to someone’s device forever, they never completely go away. Have fun, sure, but not every action each day needs to be documented online. Are you representing yourself well? People you meet on JDate tend to do some background checking via social media sites so make sure you don’t ruin your reputation because of one crazy night.
So much response to “Stalker Tendencies: 5 Things NOT to do with a New Love Interest” made me realize that people don’t think this type of behavior exists. Unfortunately, it does. Sometimes with scary repercussions, other times it’s just benign. But ALL of the items I listed happened. One comment mentioned a boyfriend who actually got a job at the Post Office to find her new address. That is extreme. Kind of like the sneaking-into-his-apartment-and-redecorating stint I mentioned. But Facebook stalking has become the norm. A weird norm, but it happens the vast majority of the time. It’s not just psychos doing it either, nearly everyone I know Google’s their date’s name and search him or her on Facebook. One comment said she found out her significant other was dating another woman — she could have dumped him but instead managed to get him to dump the other woman. Regardless of the outcome, her Facebook-ing allowed her to see the truth. Of course, most people aren’t so dumb as to post pictures of themselves doing something they aren’t supposed to and if it’s out there for the world to see then it’s not necessarily “stalking.” But even if you just know the names of their friends, the last few places they visited and their dog’s name all before a 1st date, then you are officially a stalker. Embrace it, it’s a part of our lives now with the influx of technology. Just don’t take it too far because if you get caught it could ruin what would have otherwise been a very good thing.
Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez’s on again/off again/on again/off again relationship has the celebrity gossip mills buzzing. Post break-up Bieber was seen with a Victoria’s Secret model, then he picked up Gomez from the airport, the two reportedly spent the weekend together and paparazzi caught them leaving a restaurant after 10 minutes where his car was seen leaving her house, returning to her house, and leaving her house again. Due to Twitter and TMZ, we have a play-by-play of their every move as these two young people are trying to figure out their relationship troubles. Sucks for them. Luckily, you are not Bieber or Gomez. And you do not need your love life played out for the world to see.
That means not posting or Tweeting your every fleeting thought, post-date synopses, feelings on being single/dating/desperate/breaking up/making up and so on. There is no need to broadcast your every meal, movement, sleeping pattern, or outfit. Don’t air your dirty laundry in public and save the drama for your mama. Literally, ask your mom for relationship advice before posting your equivalent of the Bieber and Gomez drama on your Facebook page.
And here’s why (if you actually need rationalization): say you’re in a relationship, you break up and post all about it on Facebook. Then you decide to get back together, but now everyone knows your business and you’re going to have to answer lots of questions, including people doubting if you should reconcile. It’s none of their business, right? So don’t make it theirs.
Sometimes when you meet a new prospect on JDate you feel compelled to do a little digging and put on your Private Investigator cap. My immediate reaction is to tell you NOT to Google! But I’ve recently heard some horror stories that have made me change my mind. You shouldn’t research someone to the point where you know more than they would have shared on the first date, because if you already know the answer why would you ask the question? It’s normal to ask someone if they were ever married but it’s not normal to already know they were married at 21 years old for 6 months. Conversely, if someone tells you they are divorced and your relationship is getting a bit serious, it is not abnormal to check the county’s website for confirmation that their divorce is indeed official. Not knowing someone’s name on JDate is kind of nice because you can’t look them up on Facebook. It’s kind of like forgetting your cell phone at home because you feel kind of free – it’s all out of your hands and you have no control and you just need to see where you end up. It’s okay to maybe get an approval from a mutual friend, but try not to ask for too much information. With JDate, you have been delivered so much information via the profile questions that you are already lacking in the mystery department and a first date ends up really being more like a second date. Don’t dampen the excitement by finding out too much!
Birthdays were just the best up to the year 2003. Then Facebook got invented. Birthdays then became something else. Something dark. Each year gets progressively worse. On my first Facebook birthday, I got maybe ten posts, or whatever ‘posts’ were back in like 2004, wishing me a ‘Happy Birthday’. People that I didn’t even realize existed, much less liked me, were suddenly very much invested in the campaign for me to have a great day.
Each year, as Facebook grew, and Facebook birthday notification systems became increasingly more self-aware, I would get more posts. However, all good things must end, and eventually I plateaued at about fifty. I initially thought that this was a lot, until I started noticing other people’s posts during their birthdays. I would have been perfectly okay with other people receiving more posts. However, people receiving more posts than me were terrible. Childhood bullies, people who unironically wear visors, ex-girlfriends, etc. Maybe people post on these assholes’ walls because they’re scared they’ll get murdered if they don’t. Either way, this made my birthday somewhat of a bummer. Also, I never post on other people’s walls on their birthdays, which not only makes me undeserving of any birthday praise, but also a hypocritical ass like my other friends who get so much more birthday love.
Now, I realize that birthday notifications don’t mean anything. Sure, a few good friends will post on your wall, and that’s great. However, the majority of your birthday posts are from people you haven’t seen in twenty years who write the same thing on every one of their friends’ walls during every one of their birthdays. I realize that writing this post is going to cost me like 30 Facebook birthday notifications next year. I also realize that it won’t at all because nobody reads this, and if people do, it’s damn sure not people I haven’t seen for the vast majority of my life. To all of my Facebook friends who have a birthday on October 2, Happy Birthday!
It’s official. I’m hitting that age when everyone I know on Facebook is moving in with their significant other, getting engaged, married, procreating. It’s all right on time I suppose, considering I’ve finally hit the mid-20s checkpoint. I realize that I’m young and I’m meant to be in the mix of it all at this stage in my life. Still, I think I’m experiencing a minor case of FOMO. Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely happy to see these good things happen to my friends. But at the same time, it’s causing a total shift in how I look at dating and my future. Their life events are the real thing: the beginning of their future. The beginning of life beyond the 20s. Nothing quite that big is happening to me right now. In fact, it’s safe to say that the highlight of my week was when my TiVo recorded a couple of Gilmore Girls episodes because it thought I might like it…and I did.
I’m not yet at the point where I’m bitter. I’m a little too young and naive for that. The problem is that the more I look at what is going on in other people’s lives, the more I start judging my own. I fixate on what others have that I don’t. I try to justify why I’m still single and they are not. I look inward to see if I can make sense of everything, as if I can really change things that I know will naturally happen. I have little to zero control over it. It will all happen eventually… or at least that is what I keep telling myself. But until that day comes, I’m going to really try and not let it drive me nuts. Instead I will see that I get my butt out of my apartment and out into the full-speed world of NYC and live my own life instead of sitting on my laptop looking at the lives of others. That should solve everything, or at least just keep myself from standing too still. And if not, there is at least some comfort in knowing who I come home to each and every night. My new boyfriend TiVo, and maybe an episode or two of Gilmore Girls.
There is a drawback to losing weight that is even worse than all of the positive attention, lack of heartburn, general overall wellness, self-control, ability to consistently sleep, a reason to wake up in the morning, an increase in energy, and a less-sensitive Pavlovian response telling my body to throw blunt objects at mirrors.
Losing weight also comes with the very real possibility that you will acquire crazy eyes. In photos, while large people may not like the way they look as much, they generally seem level-headed, and their eyes are often nice and human-like. Before I lost the weight, and after Facebook was invented, I noticed a trend among photographs of my friends. My larger friends all seemed relatively normal, while a lot of my thin friends looked absolutely crazy. I think I need to clarify that thin people do not have crazy eyes in real life. They only look crazy in pictures. This, of course, is not applicable to all people. But try to stay attuned to this when looking at pictures of people.
Actually, the prevalence of crazy eyes in photos of thin people seems to be higher in thin people that have lost a lot of weight. I can think of several examples of this off the top of my head, myself included. When I look at pictures of myself now, I think ‘Wow, I look great. I’ve really come a long way.’ and then my eyes move up to my face and I think, ‘Gahhh what the hell is wrong with me? Good lord, give me some food.’ I bet at least five people that have never met me, but seen photos of me on Facebook or something think that I sleep in my bathroom and own 25 cats that are all named ‘Lucille’, without realizing that only half of that is true.
I’ve become what I hate the most. I hate crazy eyes. Once I realize that a friend has crazy eyes, it makes it very difficult to maintain the friendship. Maybe that’s why I have no friends. I hope I haven’t ruined your life with this theory of mine, but I haven’t, because you’re probably not reading this.
He poked me on Facebook. Twice. Was one poke just not enough? We had only gone on one date, and it was just a cup of coffee in Gramercy on a Saturday afternoon. And immediately after he texted me that he had a good time. That’s it. And then a week later, when I had not texted back, he thinks about all the ways he could get in touch with me – phone, email, text, singing telegram, fax – and decides after much consideration I imagine, nope let’s go with a poke. That’ll get her heart. So when I didn’t answer him back, hoping he’d get the point, this guy throws the Hail Mary of Facebook communication and pokes me again.
Now that we were two pokes in, I knew I had to officially let him down. This might come as a surprise, but up until this moment I’ve only had the experience of telling guys I’m not interested after very ordinary interactions. None of my mother’s lessons in etiquette even remotely prepared me for post-JDate Facebook poking. I never even dreamed Facebook poking would be something I’d have to deal with. So I was completely on my own when I sat down to write him back and convey that I wasn’t interested and while I know he meant well, Facebook poking after a date is just wrong. So, so wrong.
I really was hoping I didn’t have to write this message. I think you’re a great guy, however, I don’t think we clicked when we met for coffee. I don’t know how to say what I am about to tell you without sounding harsh. I’ve thought of a ZILLION ways to say this nicely, and this is the best I can come up with: Poking someone on Facebook, especially after an interaction like ours, doesn’t come off charming. It was really awkward – both times – and I didn’t know how to react. I’m only saying this because I think other girls might have the same reaction as I did. A message is much nicer and more upfront than a poke (I’m sorry if that sounded as mean as I think it does. I just really wanted to let you know for the future).
I thought about this recently when I told a guy I wasn’t interested in him after 3 dates. I was shocked when he asked me where he went wrong. He said I could think of it as a favor, as he wanted to learn from this experience. I gave him a little feedback, and I think he genuinely appreciated my honesty. You know, maybe it wasn’t my place to tell the Facebook poker that poking is creepy, but part of me wanted to save him. What if no girl ever had the chutzpah to break it to him that poking is socially unacceptable? Would he still be Facebook poking girls innocently thinking that he was flirting? I really believe that all of the guys I’ve gone out with – well, at least for the most of them – deserve a fair shot. And besides, if you can’t learn from your dating mistakes after a JDate, when can you?