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The True Meaning Behind Facebook Relationship Status Updates

Let's decode those statuses!

Let's decode those statuses!

Facebook Relationship Status Meanings

In the world of dating, the internet has helped improve dating in some ways. After all, many couples found each other using websites like OKCupid or Plenty of Fish. However, in some ways, the internet has only caused complications for couples. One major complication is Facebook. Not only can you find the person you are dating on Facebook, but you can also stare at photos, look at all that person's friends, see what the ex wrote on the Facebook profile in 2009, and basically become a total obsessed stalker. Another complication that involves Facebook and dating is the relationship status update.

Wow, this is a tough one. So many questions revolve around the infamous relationship status on Facebook. When is it the right time to change it? What should that change be? Will people comment when you switch it from In A Relationship to Single? Will people judge you? What embarrassing comments will people post if you change it from Single to In A Relationship? Did you already let everyone know you are engaged or are some people learning it for the first time when you switch the status to Engaged? So many questions and so little time! Didn't there use to be a Swinger option? Wouldn't that just confuse people and get everyone out of your business once and for all, or was that only an option on MySpace?

At any rate, there is often a lot of thought and debate that goes into a relationship status switch on Facebook. Honestly, there is probably too much thought, and debate put into it, but that is not the point. Unless you are 12 years old, there shouldn't be so much drama behind it, but yet there is in the world of dating. So basically, what are the true meanings behind Facebook relationship status updates? Let's discuss what each relationship status actually means.


Single is a very basic relationship status on Facebook. You would think it would be as easy as "I am single," but honestly, it usually isn't.

What Single really means on Facebook is:

  1. I am angry at my significant other, and I've changed my status to Single to make him mad.
  2. I am really single. Don't make a big deal over it.
  3. I am dating someone, but since she is not on Facebook, I don't have to admit it, and I can fool everyone.
  4. I have been married for two years, but I am too lazy to change my relationship status.

In a Relationship

The In a Relationship option is actually the most complicated of all the Facebook status options. Yes, it is really more complex than the It's Complicated status. Who knew?

Some of the many real meanings behind it are:

  1. I am dating a new guy and switched my relationship status to In a Relationship to see how he responds. Wish me luck!
  2. I am trying to make my ex-girlfriend jealous. I am really not dating anyone.
  3. I am actually dating several guys, but I won't link any names to the In a Relationship status because I don't want them to know about each other.
  4. I have been talking to someone on for 2 days and I am in love!
  5. I am tired of my friends that are in relationships looking down on me. I am going to have a fake relationship for a few weeks, so I feel better about myself. I might even buy myself flowers.
  6. I am so annoyed with guys hitting on me all the time. Maybe if I am unavailable, it will stop.


Oh, the Engaged relationship status on Facebook. Chances are, Engaged actually means you are engaged.

However, there are a couple of other options:

  1. I am hoping that changing my status to Engaged will encourage my boyfriend to finally propose.
  2. I think this will fool my friends and family members long enough to have a peaceful holiday meal this year.


Married is another one of the relationship status options on Facebook that seems pretty cut and dry. However, depending on how special your friends can be, it could have other meanings, such as:

  1. I am going to pretend I am married to Edward Cullen. I seriously need to seek help.
  2. I am tired of dudes hitting on me. I will pretend I am Married for a while since In a Relationship didn't seem to work.

It's Complicated

Oh, the infamous melodramatic It's Complicated Facebook relationship status. Woo-hoo!

Let's break the meaning down for you:

  1. I've broken up with my boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc., several times this year. I've actually lost count. I need counseling, but instead, I air my dirty laundry on Facebook. It is therapeutic for me.
  2. In my head, I am in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable. In that special someone's head, a relationship really doesn't exist.
  3. I am still waiting for my mail order bride to arrive.
  4. I am in the middle of a love triangle. The excitement never ends in my life!
Should you hit the like button?

Should you hit the like button?

In an Open Relationship

In an Open Relationship is a pretty easy one. The two meanings behind this are:

  1. I am posting In an Open Relationship as my relationship status on Facebook in the hopes that my girlfriend will go along with it. Chances are, I will be changing the status back to In a Relationship or possibly Single by tomorrow.
  2. I am kind of sleazy, and I don't care who knows it. Hi Grandma!


Widowed is the saddest of all the Facebook relationship status options. Widowed can only pretty much have two meanings:

  1. I am sincerely widowed. Stop asking me about it.
  2. I am so angry at my husband, and I will be widowed by tomorrow. Beware!


The dreaded Separated Facebook status update rears its ugly head! This could also technically go under It's Complicated, in my opinion, but it does have its own status.

So basically, the meanings for Separated are:

  1. I finally dumped that no-good loser of a husband!
  2. I want to dump my wife, but this is my passive-aggressive way of letting her know!
  3. I am legally separated but didn't feel like telling any of you on my friend list. Don't ask!


Of course, Divorced typically just means you are divorced. I can't really think of anything exciting to go along with this one other than you might just get invited to an awesome divorce party if you read this on one of your friend's Facebook profiles.

In a Civil Union

In a Civil Union is a recent addition to Facebook's relationship status options.

Basically, this only has two meanings:

  1. I am gay and decided to use the In a Civil Union status since I can't legally get married in my state.
  2. I am an insensitive idiot who is not gay but thought it would be funny to change my relationship status to In a Civil Union. I wonder why my friend list is going down in numbers?

In a Domestic Partnership

In a Domestic Partnership is another recent addition by Facebook. This also has only two meanings:

  1. I am gay and felt more comfortable using the In a Domestic Partnership option rather than the In a Relationship option.
  2. I am an insensitive idiot who is not gay but thought it would be funny to change my relationship status to In a Domestic Partnership. Why do my friends keep unfriending me?