When we're blissfully in love, it's tempting to let our friends and family in on the happy news via Facebook or Twitter. But just like in the real world, social networks have their own set of relationship etiquette and not everything about your love life should be published for the whole world to see.
It boils down to knowing what's socially acceptable to post on your Wall. Lisa Daily, dating coach and author of the bestselling book Stop Getting Dumped, offers advice on how to use Facebook responsibly around relationships. Don't be guilty of these -- or you could find yourself being unfriended or unfollowed.
Do post appropriate couple photos
Uploading your couple pics are perfectly fine -- as long as you don't publish photos showing steamy PDA (public display of affection). "Never post a photo you wouldn't want your mom, minister, or future employer to see, because that's who's looking," says Daily.
A general rule of thumb is no kissing with your mouth open, no hands above mid thigh or anywhere near your boobs. Keep those for private viewing, otherwise you'd risk coming across as an attention seeker.
Do keep your lovey-dovey messages private
There's nothing more cringe-worthy than seeing loved-up friends constantly posting mushy "babyyy miss you soooo much" comments and declarations of undying love. If you must use social networking sites to let your other half know how you feel, stick to private messages.
"First, your friends don't really want to read your pet names and inside jokes. Second, think about why you'd want to make something personal between you and your guy so public -- are you involved in a relationship or putting on a show? Usually when someone spends a lot of time trying to convince other people what a great relationship she has, it's because she doesn't believe it herself," adds Daily.
Don't update your relationship status too early
And then there's the tricky relationship status. When should you let your friends know you're "in a relationship"? Daily thinks it's wise to wait until you've mutually decided to be exclusive before you change your Facebook status to reflect that -- for two reasons.
One: "Nothing kills a relationship faster than jumping the gun," warns Daily, so you don't want to scare your new date off with too much too soon. And two: If you announce your new relationship prematurely and should it not work out, everyone from your colleague to your first-grade ex-classmate will know about it.
Don't pretend to be single if you're not
However, if you're in a serious relationship, engaged or married, never imply you're single and available -- it can seem as though you're looking to keep your options open. "It's disrespectful to your sweetie, and unfair to anybody who gathers up the nerve to flirt with you. It's a mark of insecurity to need that constant reassurance that people are attracted to you," says Daily.
Don't be too showy
Do you know a friend in real life who can't stop gushing about how her beau got her this diamond necklace, booked that surprise romantic vacation, and how he's got the cutest accent? Well, don't be her clone in the cyber world -- or you'd be seen as though you are trying to make others jealous. "Yes, your friends, even the single ones, are happy you've found someone you really like. They just don't want to talk/hear about it 24 hours a day," says Daily.
Don't post snide comments about exes
You'll only come across as petty and immature if you use your social networking profiles to ridicule your ex -- and leave others wondering if you've really moved on. "And you just know, it's going to be forwarded. You just don't know to whom," adds Daily.