Facebook Friends With Your Ex? Good Idea or Possibly Torture2comments
We all know Facebook keeps us connected to people we knew years ago, but may never cross our minds these days. Recently an old friend texted me that I should check out the page of a fellow classmate (we’ll call him Guy). Guy was very popular and well-liked. Every girl had a crush on him. I know I did. He was a handsome, smart, awesome guy. We should have known he was gay. I guess he came out years ago. Cool. That’s not what got my friend’s attention. Guy was currently paying tribute on Facebook to all the men he’s ever loved, with accompanying pictures posted. It seemed to be Guy’s personal stroll down memory lane of the great loves of his life via Facebook. I guess it’s one thing to remain friend with your ex’s, but another thing entirely to catalog each of them, upload photos and link to their profiles. This seems a little scandalous, hence an old friend texting me to check out his profile.
Guy expressed that he wanted to use Facebook to talk about love and friendship rather than the mundane ramblings of dinner, dogs, traffic, and work. I think Guy’s intentions were totally admirable. He listed a guy for each month of the year, wrote a brief bio of their relationship, spoke glowingly of the guy (what he loved about each/what he learned from the relationship), and posted it for all of his 1,000+ friends to see. I have to admit, I was shocked. First, that anyone would post a photo of an ex and link to their page (repeatedly) and second, that anyone is on great terms with that many exes!
I can look back on the guys I dated – and maybe one or two I actually still speak to. Rarely. There are some I have no idea where they are or what they are doing, some I wouldn’t want to speak or see again, and a couple I don’t want to admit publicly that I dated. Obviously, that’s my history (and why I know a lot of Zeros). Luckily, I’m not Facebook friends with all of them. I’m old (and lucky enough) to have a dating past that pre-dates Facebook. However, it is hard to know if you should delete a guy as a friend after a breakup. According to scientists, you should delete them. In a study of almost 500 Facebook users, they concluded, “that ongoing online contact — even in the complete absence of offline contact — does indeed disrupt the recovery process.” However, were all of those studied straight? There are lots of Jerry and Elaines out there that are good friends with an ex. I went to a wedding and sat at a table with the groom’s ex-girlfriend. She was there with her husband and the two couples were great friends. I know some women who have a good friendship with an ex, but that’s the minority and it’s usually only one. But being on good terms and Facebook friends with ten of them? That is both impressive and weird to me at the same time.
I wondered…do gays breakup more amicably than straights? I’m in no way lessening love, heartbreak or the pain of ending a relationship, or feel that those experiences are different for anyone. Love is love. But it did cross my mind that women tend to be more dramatic, emotional, and possibly harder to be friends with after a breakup than a guy. But Guy had a pretty impressive track record of positive relationships with ex-boyfriends – a track record (when I polled my girlfriends) that none of us came close to having. The other issue was what would most of us think if an ex from years ago posted about our relationship with a photo and linked to our page? This to me is a huge deal. Personally, I think of new friends, my husband’s friends, in-laws, co-workers, etc. that it opens the door to part of your past that they may have no idea about. I would be mortified, most likely hate the photo, untag and delete the post. And in talking to some girlfriends this weekend, they would do the same. Am I the only one who when a relationship door shuts, likes it to stay that way? It just feels icky/odd/strange to post pictures and tributes to past loves, gay or straight.
I’ve dated some guys that nothing really happened, no big blowup, but in NO WAY would I want them to post an old picture and wax on about the good old days. Hell no. I’d hate if I was randomly on the receiving end of some old school Facebook trip down memory love lane (and I’d probably hate whatever picture they chose, but I’m vain like that). I will say Guy is still really handsome, and all of his exes were pretty hot (half of them looked like Abercrombie models). Nice going Guy. However, I found the entire endeavor a little unsettling. So…
The question today is two-fold. Are you friends with an ex on Facebook? If so, would you want him/her to share your relationship on Facebook (with an accompanying photo and link to your page? (Even if what he said was glowing and the photo was gorgeous?)