I’m technically single, but due to Facebook’s algorithm, I’m seeing a lot of the person I’m sort of seeing. It’s taking the mystery out of the whole thing.
As someone who is both current single and old, the latter has a lot to do with apparently solving the former. The faces of those who know me invariably ask the same question: are you dating anyone?
Save for my infrequent Tindering and the friends made from it, the answer is a decent no. Singledom, at this juncture in life, is the life for me. Yo, ho ho. However, it seems that I have a shotgun dug into my bum cheek prodding me down the aisle to coupledom, as Facebook has kind of taken the decision out of my hands.
You see, there is someone I like very much. However, through the cut and thrust of modern romance, we operate at the generally accepted arm’s length. We met on a dating app, so the pace is slowly slowly. The method of our woo is the meme, the article, the Facebook tag. We send not flowers, nor appear at each other’s doorsteps brandishing chocolate trumpets, because that would be abnormal. Call it the price of being woke.
Despite this, we’ve been Shanghaied into a relationship of sorts. Due to the sheer volume of woo, it seems that the Facebook algorithm thinks we’d be excellent together (and that we already are), and has taken it upon itself to paint my Facebook wall with her (admittedly) lovely face, replete with all those arguments, thoughts and 3am Youtube desolations that come with it, as now I’m fairly sure that whatever is stopping her from sleeping is somewhere in the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack.
Suddenly, there’s a lot of her in a lot of my life.
This seems like a millennial non-problem, but an important part of getting to know someone is personal discovery. Finding out in moments shared, not files robbed like some sort of lovelorn Watergate burglar. The expanse of this algorithm relationship also risks another thing, a too soon reveal of the post Honeymoon phase us. You know, that person we all are, and all hide. The unreasonable one. The one who is reactive, and is actually a bit dense. I’d imagine she’s facing the same problem as I am. In fact, it has already been raised in passing conversation, kept in the harmless statements of …Hey, I saw you zing that idiot on Facebook. Nice one. Her eyes found the floor, mine found the window. It’s awkward.
The phase we’re in is important. Dating without dating. We’re both making an effort to do all the ridiculous things we might not have the stamina for later, if there is to be a later. We’re filling the pages of an unrealistic period of time we’ll recall when we’re both bored and miserable. Most of us are lucky to experience that disappointment, when there’s nothing new to know, and the familiar bed you lie in is rather boring.
At those moments you look back. Back to accidentally discovering you enjoyed the same weird whatever, or that time you both very publically boinked in a rowboat. You did it, because you didn’t know each other enough to care.
Innocence is beautiful, and mystery is sexy.
Stop pushing us, Facebook.