Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

the online profile status August 13, 2008

Filed under: Life,Personal — Lulu @ 6:00 pm

When it comes to your significant others’ social networking accounts, how important is it that their relationship status be evident? Is it a "must have" that their Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/socnet-du-jour state clearly that they are married, taken, in a relationship, not interested in any way, shape or form in your come-ons, you brazen hussy!??

This is something I’ve thought about in the past and I just thought I would pose the question to you. I ask because I know that to some of my friends, that is an important detail they insist that their other half include in their profiles. Me? I couldn’t care less. As long as my boyfriend’s page doesn’t say "looking for hot babes to fondle in the alley behind Quizno’s between the hours of 12am and 2", it’s all good.

Of course, I’m not saying it’s always been this way for me. Admittedly, in past relationships there was an uneasiness that I felt if my guy’s "not available" status wasn’t clearly and evidently displayed, preferably with a flashing blinkie that said "back off, ho!" For the longest time I felt that it was about me, my insecurities, my low self-esteem, that made me feel that way. It never occurred to me that the unease and insecurity probably had nothing at all to do with me and everything to do with him ("him" being a conglomerate of all the different "hims" over the years). The truth, I came to realize, was that the uneasy feeling was there for a reason: not one of the "hims" was in it for the long haul. Their reluctance to clearly state their, well, STATE on their online profiles was a sure sign that not one of them was ever 100% committed to me, to the now. They practically had one foot out the door, running shoe securely fastened, waiting to bolt at the first sign that something better had come along. Even when it wasn’t so blatantly obvious, there was always an underlying air of disinterest in the relationship. Non-commital, non-labeling, non-confirming. Girlfriend? What girlfriend? Nope, not me, sir.

I’ve had friends whose boyfriends/husbands/baby daddies/whatever HAVE been unfaithful with women they have met online. And it has happened to me, too. Let’s face it – the internet makes it easy to cheat. Whereas before men would have to put a little effort into it – actually shower and get dressed up, go out, find a chick to talk to, buy her drinks – now all they have to do is flip on a computer, post a 10-year-old pic taken from a really good angle, and type a bunch of flirtatious bullshit onto a screen. Done. Easy peasy.

A few days ago I was at the boy’s house and he was online. I noticed that his MySpace profile still shows him as single. And it didn’t even faze me one little bit. Whereas in the past I would have immediately been overwhelmed with paranoia (Why does it say single? He’s not single? WTF?? Is something going on?, etc. ad nauseum…), with the boy it didn’t even register as a blip on my paranoia meter. Because I know it’s not an intentional omission of the facts; it just hasn’t occurred to him to change it. And that’s fine with me. It doesn’t bother me one bit. And I didn’t even realize that it didn’t bother me because of how little it bothered me! And that’s when I had my epiphanous moment that it wasn’t me! Now THAT’S enlightenment, people!

The truth is he was more than happy to initiate the update to his status on Facebook to show we were now "in a relationship." We didn’t think it was that big of a deal when I confirmed the Facebook request, until we realized that it went into ALLLL of our friends’ feeds. Oh. Well… alright. So now everyone knows. Okay. At the time I requested that he remove the part of his profile that said "looking for women, relationships, whatever I can get" because I had this whole icky vision of us being approached by swingers and was so not down with that. But other than that, it didn’t even occur to me to request he change his relationship status on any of his other profiles. And that, I realized, has to do with him. All him.

He instills in me a sense of security in this relationship that I’ve never felt before. It’s not even something that is vocalized; it’s simply in his actions, his treatment of our relationship. He spends a lot of time online; it’s his interest and hobby. He has three running computers at home, subscribes to PC and MAC magazines, and is signed up on 7,349,828,743 websites/social networks/etc. (I might be exaggerating. Slightly.) But even so, I am not at all worried that he may pursue something with some random girl that may come on to him online because, at the end of the day, he has shown me how deeply he cares about what we have and wouldn’t risk losing it. It feels good to know that someone is that committed to you, you know? So what it says in that little box next to his pic? Could not care less!

I wonder how many other women out there feel this way. Is it important that your guy’s online profile clearly state that he is taken, unavailable, verboten… or do you not care about those minor details because the relationship is so strong? I would love to know.

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