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It's (Way Too) Complicated!

Close up of friends texting with cell phones at table
Close up of friends texting with cell phones at table

Ah, the analogue era.

That dusty, sepia-tinged land where official changes in relationship status were conducted upon ring fingers, at church altars or - if that didn't go as well as the brochure suggested - in the divorce courts.

Then Facebook revamped the game by introducing their status option, an easy way to tell the world whether you were taken, part-taken, previously-taken-officially, previously-taken-unofficially, previously-taken-but-the-slimeball-bonked-my-best-mate-and-then... hold on, this isn't social media.

This is online relationship Twister.

Facebook currently has 11 choices. I don't get that many options at Subway.

The most fabled selection on their relationship fast-food menu is 'It's Complicated', an achingly modern phrase designed to neatly cover, as the Urban Dictionary describes it, "the ambiguous state between friends and in a relationship".

Two words that, in a world that isn't black and white, offer the required shade of greyness.

The 'It's Complicated' disciples I meet love to tell me all this. There's one tiny problem with their argument. It's rubbish. 'It's Complicated' has done zip for simplifying relationships.

Because what I sense is a confused soul who's clearly in some kind of relationship, but doesn't want to be seen as being in some kind of relationship. There used to be a phrase for that. Hedging your bets.

Sitting on the sex fence. 'It's Complicated' is really just an option door that leads to more option doors: Hi. I'm open to offers. See you on Tinder in five minutes.

Or does it mean you're unhappy with your latest squeeze? Are you that couple who are so on-off, you should be in The Bold And The Beautiful? Or are YOU complicated, not the relationship? Should I worry about being alone in room with you? And lo and behold, here we are again, back in a state of confusion.

Imagine for a minute the anarchy if we took the 'It's Complicated' spirit into other areas of our lives. Recruitment agent: What's your job title? You: Sorry, It's Complicated. Pub doorman: How much have you had to drink? You: Sorry, It's Complicated.

Picture the bedlam that would follow if your Out of Office simply read: It's Complicated. Or the look on cops' faces if P-plates were replaced with 'It's Complicated' stickers.

The phrase might make sense in your own head but, in case you hadn't noticed, seven billion other brains out there need clarity.

At the risk of sounding too life coach-y, life really is more peachy when things are kept simple, when the path you tread is clear, not forked with diversions.

You're healthier when following a straightforward diet rather than chasing this week's eating fad. Finances are rosier when you devise a savings plan rather than live hand-to-mouth. Work is a better place when you broadcast clear, unfuzzy messages to your colleagues.

Still, if 'It's Complicated' is where you're most comfortable online, so be it.

Good luck. But, commitment-phobes, be careful what you wish for.

If the gatekeepers at Zuckerberg Castle can cook up 71 gender options - as they've done for Facebook users in the UK - chances are your relationship-status drama is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Brought to you by ahm health insurance. Helping you keep things uncomplicated.

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