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Q: I know some readers are going to find a Facebook quandary boring, but it is my life after all …
I have been dating a great new guy for almost three months. We're both in our late 20s/early 30s. We are definitely still in the honeymoon stage, but things are great and we are "official." We had the talk and are not seeing other people. The problem is that he will not acknowledge me on Facebook. I don’t need him to put "in a relationship with" me yet, but we recently took a weekend trip and the only pictures he posted were ones I took of just him. We have taken photos at several other fun outings and he has never posted the pictures. I changed my profile picture to one of two of us together, but he won't even include pictures with me in them.
Some back story: he dated his last girlfriend for a couple of years, and it was pretty serious. There was talk of rings and wedding dates and locations. He told me this when we first started dating because he wanted to take things slower this time. They had moved really fast in the beginning and he still felt a little burned. They broke up almost a year ago, but they are still friends on Facebook -- and he is also connected to several of her friends and family members. I have a feeling that he doesn't want her to see pictures of him with another girl, though she knows through mutual friends that he is seeing someone.
How do I approach this? I don't want to demand that he de-friend her or start posting pictures of me all over his page, but it still hurts my feelings to not be acknowledged. I think he is trying to spare her feelings, but what about mine?
– Invisible Girlfriend, Brighton
A: IG, you're not invisible. You're only invisible in the Matrix, the world that exists online. In the real world, he's not seeing other people because you're his main squeeze.
Some people love putting pictures of their significant others all over their Facebook pages. Others are more private about their personal lives when they're online. You've only been dating for three months. I understand that it hurts to be ignored on Facebook, but I don't think this is a big deal just yet. He's not ready to boast about you to his virtual friends. If he's a private person who feels weird about labeling himself online, he might never be. If this still bothers you in a few months, talk to him about his internet philosophy. You might discover that it's not about you. Maybe he just doesn't do the Facebook couple thing.
If this is about his ex, well, I don't blame him. If you date someone for years and discuss marriage, it's not easy to let go. It's also not easy to post a picture of your new girlfriend knowing that your ex's mom or sibling will see it. If that's his reason for being shy online, I get it. Don't you? It might be easier for him to show off his new life in a few more months, when the dust has really settled.
Three months. Focus on the real world. Don't panic. Not everyone likes to scrapbook in public.
Readers? Do you post pics of your significant other online? In your profile photo? Is it weird that he's cutting her out of his Facebook life? Do his Facebook choices reflect how he feels about her in reality? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.