Till Defriending Do Us Part
The Dos and Don'ts of Facebook for Couples
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Being in a committed relationship isn't that much different than being part of a social network: You have to agree to terms and conditions, you have to "like" stuff you otherwise wouldn't and, sometimes, you and your partner may have to deal with people from your pasts trying to poke you. While the following do's and don'ts may not prevent your high school sweetheart from creepily wall-posting you, they may help you better handle such correspondence, as well as other awkward social networking situations, with grace.
DO: Be a friend, not just a lover
This one's easy: Make sure you add your spouse as a friend. This doesn't mean you have to say goodnight to each other via wall posts (more on this later). Just let the world know that you think highly enough of this person you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with to allow him or her access to your info page. Of course, not every couple will feel the need to communicate with each other on Facebook. "There are two kinds of couples," says Ben Agger, professor of sociology and humanities at University of Texas at Arlington. "Couples who wear his-and-hers bathrobes might be very couple-y on Facebook. Then there are more independent couples who would never friend each other, preferring to keep their relationship private."
DON'T: Share a Facebook page—it's just weird
Sure, there are people who share Facebook pages. But there are also people who share toothbrushes. Being of one flesh doesn't mean you have to be of one profile. Online dating and "netiquette" expert Julie Spira, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating, encourages couples to keep their own Facebook profiles. "We're individuals, we're also couples, but each person has a unique history, especially when you look at Facebook's recent changes with the timeline," she says. "So merging Facebook accounts, I don't think it's a good idea." Exceptions to this might be if your relationship is part of your business, or if a couple shares a page because neither one really cares that much about being on Facebook. But outside these sorts of situations, sharing a Facebook page is as awkward as when a guy tags along on girls' night out.