In the olden days, sneaking a peek at someone’s ring finger was how people snooped whether someone was married or single. Now, it’s Facebook. The relationship status section gives this information away easily and freely.
Unsurprisingly, the info is not always reliable.
A study1 examined the difference between people who are actually in a relationship and declare they’re in some sort of a relationship as opposed to ones who leave the box empty or indicate they’re “single”.
This study took place in Hungary. The authors found 292 people who were dating or living together with a partner. Then they divided them into individuals with the following displays in Facebook:
1) “in a relationship” (61%)
2) “engaged” (4%)
3) “married” (9%)
4) nothing in the relationship box (23%)
5) “single” (3%)
The first three displays (in blue) are of individuals who display “togetherness” with their partner. The last two displays (in orange) are of individuals who do not show “togetherness” with their partner.
The results show that people who advertise their togetherness (i.e., 1, 2, & 3) compared to those who did not (i.e., #4 and 5) had a deepened love for their partner. They reported more attachment, caring, and intimacy. So – it seems that declaring one’s relationship on Facebook may reflect the depth of a couple’s relationship.
1 Orosz, G., Szekeres, A., Kiss, Z. G., Farkas, & Roland-Lévy, C. (2015). Elevated romantic love and jealousy if relationship status is declared on Facebook. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1-6.