FBS: What It Means To Be Facebook Official
A new term is creeping into the vernacular of our day. A new term that claims to be the Great Legitifier of all things romantic. That phrase, my friends, is “Facebook Official.”
So what does FBO mean and how do we use it? Obviously these questions have different answers based on who you ask, but due to technical limitations (e.g. my lack of omniscience) I will espouse only my own views for your reading pleasure.
So I might as well come clean right out of the gate and admit that I’ve got a little experience with cheating. I’ve never been the cheater but I’ve been the other woman (I know, I know, it was a long time ago. Cut me some slack) and I’ve been cheated on once that I know of (See? Karma’s a bitch). So I’m well acquainted with all the less-than-savory aspects of dating. And one thing that I believe 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that a person who won’t acknowledge you on Facebook is a person who is – at best – just not that into you and – at worst – cheating on/lying to you.
Cue the defensive people trying desperately to convince themselves this isn’t true. It is. I’m sorry. Just embrace it.
The only exceptions to this rule are as follows:
- If someone’s job won’t allow them to post a relationship status (and it is worth noting that I have never heard of this happening in my entire life).
- If both parties decide not to post a relationship status
Think about it. When you get into a new relationship with someone you really like, don’t you want other people to know about it? Of course you do. You’re what my best friend Christine affectionately refers to as a “proud peacock” regarding your new romantic interest. So what kind of message does it send when your significant other straight up refuses to change their relationship status – or, in some cases, display a relationship status at all – despite your wish that they would?
I’ll tell you what it means in a single, albeit compound, word: Sketch-ball
End of story.
In my experience, things are usually exactly what they appear to be, with very few exceptions. If you’re left with the feeling that your significant other is hiding you, chances are s/he probably is. The refusal to be FBO is a HUGE red flag that this person is not being completely honest with you about something – or someone.
People, especially men, are unbelievably simple. Which means that he isn’t refusing to acknowledge you because he feels insecure about your love for him, feels like he doesn’t deserve you, or some equally complex reason. He’s refusing to acknowledge you because he’s:
- Got someone else on the side (or multiple others)
- Just not that into you in the first place/not willing to fully commit
- Embarrassed that he’s dating you (Oohh harsh, I know. Sorry about this one. But it’s true…)
Which is what leads us back around to the importance of the term “Facebook Official.” In our modern day internet-dependent society, old dating customs sometimes get re-appropriated to suit present day needs. One example of this is the Fb relationship status. In the ‘50s it was a class ring. In the ‘80s it was a letter jacket. And today, it’s whether or not you’re FBO.
With hook-ups becoming increasingly more ‘progressive’ and open-ended, it can sometimes be difficult to know where you stand with a new romantic interest. Are we “Talking?” “Dating?” “Together?”
“What the hell are we!?”
It can get frustrating. You may begin to wonder if you two are both on the same page or not. Does he seem to think you’re “together” when you see it as “casually dating?” Are you assuming that there’s exclusivity when, in fact, there isn’t? And where is the point at which one or the other person should have upped the stakes and tried to move things to the next level? At what point does “taking it slow” become “not caring where it goes”?
These are all questions that didn’t really plague our parents’ generation like they do ours. Back in the day, intentions were much clearer and you always knew who was playing which part. Today we’ve broadened our understanding of what it means to be “together” so much that it’s almost entirely obscured. “Dating” now means so many different things that it ends up meaning nothing at all.
This is where FBO comes in. When you’re lost in the forest of relationship titles and hook-up terminology, the Facebook relationship status is your beacon of clarity. In a sense, it tells you what you are: Part of a couple? Part of a “complicated” romantic entanglement? Part of an open relationship?
Making the decision to go FBO is that proverbial “show of good faith” that’s so vital in romantic relationships. It’s our generation’s statement of intention. Our class ring. Our letter jacket.
Facebook Official. Things really aren’t official without it.
Suzette Elizabeth Lake writes mainly for her personal blog FavoriteBirdSpeaks (affectionately referred to as FBS) and contributes weekly to The Incubator blog Dating in The District (DITD).
To anonymously submit a dating related question to Suzette’s advice column, Ask Suzette, please email her at SLake@theeagleonline.com. All personal information will be kept confidential.
Posted in Dating in the District