Facebook and Old Boyfriends: To Friend or Not to Friend?

In 2004 Facebook was launched, revolutionizing how we communicate and keep in touch with one another. While it’s fun to reconnect with our friends from the past, getting back in touch with old flames sometimes carries an additional layer of complexity. In fact, Facebook has been cited as an emerging catalyst for infidelity and divorce. While most intentions are innocent, it’s a slippery slope when you’re sharing personal stories with someone you cared about, and they happen to be emotionally available too.

A question that I often hear is whether or not to friend request old boyfriends. The answer depends on several factors that should be considered prior to sending that friend request:

  • What are your motives for reaching out? Are they strictly platonic or do you have an underlying goal?
  • How did the relationship end?
  • Do you need closure?
  • Was this the “love of your life” or a more casual relationship?
  • Are you able to be respectful of your old flame in their current relationship (including their partner and children) if you do reconnect?
  • If you reconnect, will you be able to respect the boundaries of your own relationship?
  • Do you feel the need to hide or minimize your intentions from your current partner?

And the last and more important questions:

  • Are you satisfied with your current relationship?
  • Are your emotional needs being met within your current relationship?

If you answer no or sometimes to either of these questions, you should redirect your energy into improving your current relationship rather than reaching out to that old boyfriend. Although your intentions are innocent, getting your emotional needs met from conversing with your old flame on Facebook, rather than your current partner, indicates there might be some deficiencies in your relationship.

So, your old flame has popped up in your potential friend list for a while, but they haven’t initiated contact with you.

What should you do? I would love to hear your opinion, so please leave a comment below!

Millie Cordaro, PhD, LPC

www.goodlifepsychotherapy.com

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4 Responses

  1. […] mentioned in a previous post, social media sites such as Facebook are quickly becoming a catalyst for […]

  2. Great post!
    I often find myself looking at old flames’ photos trying to decipher what their lives are like now or what certain comments from other women mean. I know it’s ridiculous and the whole act of it makes me feel depressed. As much as I know I shouldn’t, it’s hard to keep from doing it. Any suggestions?

    • If ur single and they are and can be sure then not much danger in it. Otherwise it is very difficult to not go further no matter the situation of both parties are in. Why. If u are having issues spouse u should really explore those issues and work on those problems. Its a disservice to ur whole family to go outside marriage for emotional support with another man. Vice versa. If u think its wrong it is and distance urself from those situations no matter how exciting they seem. Think about ur spouse. Mine didn’t think of me at time. I am a loving caring husband and she didn’t come to me for help she had an affair. We are close so I picked up on it and found out in time thank god. She was in a cloud. A great mother tho. And is a great wife other than her affair. Hmm. I love her more thananyone can imagine. Think before u sink.

  3. Like to here this. About 4 months ago, my wife had an ea which escalated to nude pics over cell mms convos with her first love. He contacted her she friended then went from there. Took 3 months to get to sexting. Thw whole thing was crazy. We have a good marriage are close but she was stressed and bored being stay hm mom. We have been working on rebuild sucessfully. We are lucky this was outed and she confessed. Stopped contact and is remorseful. Me too and I am improving my comms with her as well. Scarry. Have 2 kids 7 and 12, and would have got worse if I hadn’t seen her phone texts.

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