How Do You Use Facebook’s Relationship Status?

An investigation into how we actually use this basic function in 2015.

Most of us have been on Facebook for long enough now that we’ve gone through some sort of relationship status change (or many) at some point. Facebook even gives us options for those “it’s complicated” situations, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships (but seriously, what kind of douche actually uses “it’s complicated”?).

Facebook knows that changes in your friends’ relationship status is usually important, so it promotes those to the top of your News Feed. That’s why it seems like you’re always seeing people getting engaged on Facebook. It knows we think relationship changes are literally the most interesting part of the Facebook experience.

But do we really use the status the way Facebook intends? It showing your status cheesy? Is becoming “Facebook official” still an important step in a relationship? Are people doing ironic marriages to their friends?

This poll aims to get to the bottom of how in 2015 we’re actually using the most classic and basic feature of a Facebook profile: your relationship status.

  1. 1. How long into a relationship do you become "Facebook official"?
    1. As soon as you know it’s real — could be as soon as the first kiss.
    2. A few weeks — when it seems like we’re really together.
    3. A few months — after we’ve discussed it and agree we’re a serious couple.
    4. Ew, never.
  1. 2. Have you ever had a fight with your partner over your Facebook relationship status?
    1. Yes.
    2. No.
  1. 3. Have you ever lied about your relationship status?
    1. No.
    2. Yes, but it was just joking, not really lying (e.g., I fake-married a friend).
    3. Yes, but I had my reasons.
  1. 4. If you're single, do you:
    1. Display my single status on my profile. Hey, someone might be wondering.
    2. Don’t show any status. I like to be mysterious.
  1. 5. The privacy setting of your relationship status is:
    1. Public.
    2. Friends only. I don’t need randos looking at my business.
    3. I hide it from my family.
    4. I hide it from certain people, like exes.
    5. Visible only to my “close friends” group.
    6. I use some other privacy setting.
  1. 6. Changing your status to "in a relationship" on Facebook is:
    1. An important step in a healthy relationship.
    2. Something cheesy I’d never do.
    3. Something I’d like to do if anyone would ever date me, ever.
  1. 7. If you're in a serious relationship:
    1. My profile says “in a relationship”.
    2. I put “in a relationship” but set it only so my closest friends can see my relationship status.
    3. I don’t put any relationship status.
  1. 8. Do you link your relationship status to your partner's (i.e. "Jack is in a relationship with Jill")
    1. Yes. Our statuses link to each other’s profiles.
    2. I say I’m in a relationship but we don’t link it to each other.
    3. I say I’m in a relationship, but my partner isn’t on Facebook.
    4. Neither. We keep our love on the down low.
  1. 9. Would you be offended if your partner didn't want to make his or her relationship status public?
    1. Yes.
    2. No, putting your relationship status is nerdy anyway.
  1. 10. Why don't you show your relationship status?
    1. Facebook relationship statuses are cheesy.
    2. I don’t want certain people to know about my relationship.
    3. My partner doesn’t want to.
    4. I’m up to something ~shady~.
    5. N/A. I proudly list my relationship status.
  1. 11. Have you ever put "married" or "in a relationship" with your BFF just to be ironic?
    1. Yes, my friend and I said we were married/in a relationship at one time.
    2. Yes, my friend and I did that but we “broke up”.
    3. No, I would never deface the sanctity of Facebook marriage with irony.
  1. 12. Were you aware if you fake-married your BFF at some point and then remove it, your profile says you're "divorced" now?
    1. WHAT???
    2. Yes, I knew that and I changed my status back from “divorced”.
    3. I’ve never fake-married someone.
  1. 13. The last time you changed your status, did you have:
    1. A bunch of people you forgot even existed “liking” it.
    2. A bunch of people sending their condolences (if it was a breakup).
    3. Someone saying something rude in the comments.
    4. I’ve never changed/don’t display my status.
  1. 14. If someone you know don't know well gets married/engaged/in a new relationship, do you:
    1. “Like” the status, but don’t comment.
    2. “Like” and comment.
    3. “Like” or comment only for marriage/engagement. It feels weird doing it just for a relationship.
    4. Nothing. Who cares, not my business.
  1. 15. Facebook now has a function where you can "ask" someone who doesn't display a relationship status. Is this:
    1. Helpful.
    2. Creepy.
  1. 16. To help this poll make sense, your age is:
    1. 14–18
    2. 19–22
    3. 23–29
    4. 30+

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Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at
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