Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Facebook Ex Factor

My name is Josh, and I'm a Facebook addict. There. I said it. I feel better. I don't know that it's going to change, but it's nice getting it into the open. I think that Facebook is a wonderful invention. For the most part. Unfortunately, I catch myself checking back way too often if I feel that I've said something witty in my status, just to see if I get reactions. Or to see if my response to someone got a response. It's a little sad, I think...

The major benefit is that it's allowed me the opportunity to re-connect with people from my past that I wouldn't have had the chance to "see" again or don't see very often due to distance (not to mention the people closer geographically that I just don't have time to see). Hometown friends from as far back as kindergarten, extended family, college friends, even pen pals who I've never met in person. Re-connecting with some old friends has been a short back-and-forth conversation, a realization that we've changed and really have nothing in common any more, and no further discussion. Some, however, have been much more lasting. There's something nice about reminiscing with someone, but I can only do it for so long. It's nice to find the people with whom you have a history, but can talk about things other than the past.

Looking at the "suggestions" list on Facebook recently, I came across a name that gave me pause. It was a girlfriend from a number of years ago. Definitely my most serious relationship, and probably the first woman that I dated where I could legitimately use the word "love". The relationship did not end well. I was devastated when it was all over, and it took quite a while to get over her. Looking back at it now, her ending it was best in the long run because I don't think the relationship could have survived based on a number of factors. She's moved on, gotten married (six months after we broke up...not that I hold onto that fact at all), has a child, and I'm mostly happy for her.

Seeing her name again, though, my stomach clenched and I had a feeling of....well...I'm still not sure. Anger? Lingering loving feelings? Flashes of the emotions I had when things ended? Annoyance that she dared come to my territory (hey--I was here first!!)? The feeling passed very quickly, but I do wonder a bit about my initial reaction. I chalk it up to the fact that I'm unfortunately very human, and those types of feelings for someone don't die completely, even at the passing of the years. And fortunately, I have the option to choose not to be her Facebook friend. But there's still the part of me that's curious about her life. I hope deep down it's to re-connect with someone that I obviously cared about and to find out how she's doing--not to check into her life and see if I can find and pick at the flaws since she hurt me. I know which option I want to believe, but I'm honestly not sure. I don't like holding grudges, but I know I allow myself to do it far too often. For the time being, I think avoiding the "add as friend" button is my best option.


  1. Gutsy post. I like it.

    Sounds like you've got the right idea re: the ex. Trust your gut. It usually won't lead you wrong.

  2. Thanks--that's nice to hear. It took a couple days and some thinking....and rethinking....and rethinking again...before I posted this.

  3. I'm glad to hear that you went with your gut on this one. Sadly I go back to a line from a movie (I know shocking!) that I've used in the past for break-ups. "Everything ends badly, otherwise it doesn't end." I'm always in awe of your ability to stay friends with exes. But this instance it might be best to not hit the friend request button.

  4. My gut is usually right...there are just times I don't *want* to believe it. I need to listen to it more often.