Megan Shepherd
December 12, 2014 11:58 am

Although our timelines might make everything look like sunshine and roses, there are some relationship milestones that fly under the radar—and maybe because we like to keep them there. After lots of qualitative surveying and observational research (aka scrolling), we’ve pulled together a timeline of all the social media relationship milestones that nobody talks about.

Establishing an online dating profile. Maybe you’re on the rebound. Maybe you’ve been curious for a while. Maybe you’re too swamped at work to go on a bunch of unsuccessful first dates with random people you’ve met at da club. Maybe you live in a big city where casually running into the love of your life on a street corner à la Carrie Bradshaw simply doesn’t happen anymore (but did it ever?). Whatever the reason, you take that first step and slide into the rabbit hole of online dating.

When your Tinder match asks for your Instagram. Aye yay yay! Thinks are heating up.

Following on Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat. Maybe you casually add your love interest right away, or maybe you wait for a request to folla’ back. Either way, these channels give you a sneak peek into a person’s true personality and lifestyle.

Moving your messages from OkCupid to G-Chat. This is a pivotal step. If you’re a modern dater, feel free to reach out to that fox first and initiate some flirtatious banter. Playing hard to get? Let the fly come to you, grasshopper.

The initial Google search. As soon as you lock down that last name, get on it. Time to dig up the dirt. Not quite FBI-level, but a pretty tried and true indicator of what you’re getting yourself into.

Befriending someone on Facebook. After a few friendly conversation volleys—maybe even a few dates—you move things to Facebook. This unlocks everything you ever wanted to know about this person’s past, interests, and politics.

Photo scouring. A natural extension of the previous step. Possibly creep other people in their photos so you can get a handle on the competition and past players.

‘Liking’ a photo. Think of this as a little wink. Yah, I see you over there. . . and I like what I see. 😉

Posting to someone’s wall. A very major step. Maybe you share an article. If you’re feeling confident, maybe you leave a message. The key here is to craft something that is simultaneously witty, flirty, cool, and casual. You know—simple stuff.

Using the winking/blushing/kissy-face emoji. Next level e-flirting. Maybe you throw in the wine emoji if you’re planning a romantic date at home.

#MCM #WCW #TBT #Blessed. You’re in deep now, friend. A tagged status signifies an introduction of your new match to your online social networks—aka, some super flashy relationship-hinting. At this point, you’re most likely only talking to this person, and aren’t still playing the field or surfing the dating inter-webs. But in case you’re not. . .

Taking down your online dating profile. Some say it’s time to shut ‘er down after things get physical. Others say Tinder is way too fun to ever leave! Whatever your style, this usually suggests some type of offline conversation about exclusivity—also known as a ‘DTR’ (define the relationship) talk.

Changing your profile picture to one of you two together. A nice alternative to making it “Facebook Official” and the perfect way to say, “I’m taken,” without the stress of setting it in virtual stone. Although. . .

Becoming “Facebook Official.” Still a thing for some folks. “So 2010″  for others. For those that still observe the ritual, it’s the piece de resistance of romantic social media interaction, for sure.

The happy anniversary/happy birthday/merry Christmas/celebratory/what I’m thankful for post. Cheers to a great year with this gal! Can’t wait for many more! <3 <3 <3 is basically planning for the future, one “no filter” post at a time.

Creating a wedding board on Pinterest. Hopefully this happens after some solid time spent dating. If not, it could be a clue to abort the mission. Picture it: they see the two of you trading vows and picking out china patterns. You see your partner texting your mother and watching you sleep. Run for the hills! But, if this comes right on schedule and all is well, rejoice! Sounds like wedding bells are right around the corner. (You’re also, obviously, welcome to have a just-for-fun wedding board if that’s your thing. No judgements zone.)

Announcing your engagement. When to do it—right away? Whenever you find time? Whenever you figure out how to “add a life event”? Whatever you choose, post that photo with pride. You’ve mastered dating and have graduated to the big leagues.

Terminating a relationship on Facebook. Yikes. Back to Tinder! Just kidding (kinda). Well, look at it this way: getting engaged on social media is one life decision you actually can erase.

Removing photos of you two together after breaking up. Best to do this as soon as the talk happens. Or, if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t mind the reminder, likes to be mature about break-ups (or at least likes to appear mature), or enjoys taking virtual trips down memory lane, you can just leave them up and revisit them when you’re feeling curious, stable, bored, lonely, or any combination of all four.

Unfollowing, unfriending, or blocking. Is it a petty step? Probably. Is it a necessary step? Sometimes.

Creating a new online persona altogether. One of the most severe steps in an online relationship history, but believe it or not, it’s not always a bad thing! Consider it a rebirth of sorts; a phoenix rising from the social media ashes. Keep on keepin’ on, friend—the best is yet to come.

(Images via, via, via, viavia, viaviavia, via, via.)

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