08/21/2011 03:39 pm ET | Updated Oct 21, 2011

Ask Michael Cohen: Why You Shouldn't Mix Dating and Facebook

I recently have been, as I like to say, "hitting the town" in my efforts to vamp up my single life. And I've gone to many dinner parties where friends have wanted to set me up with potential suitors. In a majority of occasions, these men don't ask me for my phone number and a day or two, later send me a Facebook friend request. Am I old-fashioned in thinking this is not how to be courted or is this the new dating protocol? Elizabeth W, New York City

You have barked up the right tree because I have a lot of the experience with this subject much to my chagrin. Friend requests have become part and parcel of how singles prefer to connect with each other. This doesn't mean, at all, that I agree with this method and here's why.

The art of dating involves courtship and that doesn't mean instant access to our lives, which is what Facebook provides. I have accepted friend requests from gentlemen (and I use that term loosely) that have wanted to pursue something with me -- what that was, I am still unsure.

What I do know is that I have allowed them the opportunity to learn, watch and, ultimately, judge my life and person from afar. "Big mistake. Huge," as Juliet Roberts told the shop clerk in Pretty Woman.

If a man is truly interested in you, and anyone worth thinking about, he will ask for your number and call you. And, by the way, a text message is not acceptable either. That form of communication should be reserved for directions.

I started a new job about six months ago and shortly after, fell in love with one of my coworkers. Here is the problem: no one knows we are dating as we decided to keep this very low key, but I really want him to change his Facebook relationship status to something other than single. Since we all keep our Facebook profiles public (it's a media company) am I asking for trouble or am I expecting too much? I just feel it's very important that he shows the world, his friends and all the other girls that he is no longer single. Brittany Y, Chicago

You suffer from the syndrome of wanting your cake and eating it too. If you are really confident about your love, it should not make a difference what your boyfriend's Facebook profile reads.

The more appropriate question you need to ask yourself is why you are so worried about what everyone else thinks. You should be more concerned about what's going on in your own backyard. That said, this should be nothing more than a brief conversation you have with your boyfriend.

Because of the work situation, it doesn't make sense to ask him, or for you, to change the relationship status to your name, or that he is "in a relationship," which will only spark up office gossip. Instead, both of you can remove that section all together, which is an option, and then rejoice in the fact that you have a job and love in your pocket -- two things most people only dream of having at the same time.

You're like my "Dear Abby." Just needed to tell you that. Anyway, I recently got dumped by a guy after dating for only three months. We were friends on Facebook and a few weeks ago I de-friended him. I know, how mature of a 40-year-old successful woman? Do you think it was a good idea or does this send the message that you really still care? Michelle Sims, Washington, DC

Here's the only message I am receiving: You got dumped. I know, I just got really blunt with you, but it's over, and so goes your Facebook relationship.

I am sure as can be because this has happened to me and, like friend requests instead of phone calls, defriending exes is part of this new way of voyeuristic dating. I'm sure he has been peeping on your wall and watching your every move since the breakup.

So my answer to you is good job and my advice is don't accept friend requests from people you are dating. That way defriending won't be an issue again.

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