21-year-old Zuckerberg riffs on his "complicated" love life

@CNNMoneyTech May 17, 2012: 12:05 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney) -- Most of Mark Zuckerberg's attention right now is focused on his company's imminent IPO. But back in 2005 -- before the Oscar-nominated movie, before almost a billion people used Facebook -- Zuck grappled with a different problem: how to define his complicated love life.

CNN excavated some Zuckerberg footage from a 2005 visit to the company's first Palo Alto office. Our cameras were rolling as Chris Hughes -- an early Facebook (FB) employee and now the owner of The New Republic -- and a 21-year-old Zuckerberg riffed about the etiquette of breaking up on Facebook and what to call relationships stuck somewhere on the spectrum between hooking up and being exclusive.

It's a problem most twenty-somethings run into at some point, and Zuckerberg was no exception.

"I don't know, I just spent the last week in a relationship with a girl who I broke up with a week before," he said, musing aloud about how to define a "complicated" relationship. (Zuckerberg is now in a long-term relationship with his college girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, but the pair had a few time-outs along the way. David Kirkpatrick's book The Facebook Effect, a chronicle of Facebook's early days, refers to "a student at Berkeley" whom Zuckerberg dated during his first summer in California.)

Zuckerberg and Hughes' chatter about dating quickly turned into product brainstorming -- and the birth of Facebook's famous "it's complicated" status setting.

CNN's video also offers a peek at Facebook's graffiti-style murals by the now-famous David Choe, the artist who agreed to be paid in Facebook stock rather than cash for his work. Smart move: The $60,000 stake he got for his work is now worth an estimated $200 million.

-Additional reporting by CNN photojournalist Jeff King To top of page

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