Social networking sites, email, Facebook, MySpace…you name it and you have to identify your relationship on your profile. Unfortunately though, many of these websites only have a few options that you can choose from to “define” your relationship, and most relationships today don’t even fall into these categories. Do you even need to “define” your relationship, or your past relationships if you were divorced or widowed? Here’s our thoughts.
Married, Single, Divorced, and Widowed – are those really the only options for relationhip status? Why does it even matter what your past relationship status was (divorced, widowed) or what you future status will be (engaged?)
Defining Your Current Relationships
Most social networking websites or other sites require you to define your current relationship with “status” choices such as married or single. Many relationships don’t fall into those two categories. For example, what if you are in an open relationship, an exclusive relationship (but not married) or in a complicated relationship that you don’t want to discuss or be required to define? How many of us have been in or are in a complicated relationship that we can’t simply define as “married” or “single?” What if you choose to be in a committed relationship but are not religious and choose not to be blessed by the church or married in the eyes of the church? Should you be bound by religious doctrines if they don’t apply to you? The vast majority of people these days often end up falling into a category other than “married” or “single” and there aren’t many status options for them to choose from.
Defining Your Past Relationships
Many websites – and even government paperwork, bank accounts, etc. – have options for you to define your past relationships. For example, if you are not “married” or “single,” your other options are “divorced” or “widowed.” Should it really be necessary to define your past relationships on a social networking site or on a piece of paperwork? Divorces and deaths are painful and many people do their best to put this behind them. In addition, does a past relationship that ended in divorce or death really define you as a person, and who you are now?
Definining Your Future Relationships
Some networking websites have relationship status options such as “engaged.” Is it truly necessary to define your future relationships in that way? What if you are in a serious, monogomous relationship but you and your partner have chosen not to be married or wear engagement jewelry, but also have no plans to end the relationship? What “category” does that fall under? Is it necessary to tell the world that you are “engaged” and plan on being married?
How We Should Be Able To Define Our Relationships Online
There really are only a few relationship status options that need to be available on social networking sites. “In an exclusive relationship” would imply that you are in a relationship with someone and are exclusive, whether you are gay, bisexual, straight, married, engaged, committed, or what have you. “In an open relationship” would imply that you are with someone but you are open to the idea of flirting or dating others, or bringing others into the relationship with you. “It’s complicated” would cover those in relationships who don’t fall into these categories. “Single” would be an option for single people who either are or aren’t looking for a relationship or dating, and an additional option could even be “I prefer not to disclose.” If you don’t want to “define” your relationship status, no matter what it is, you shouldn’t have to!