Recently a friend of mine shared that her ex sent her a friend request on Facebook. Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal but in this case, this was the third time he’d requested her after his wife had “unfriended” her from his account two previous times. She wondered if she should accept his request yet again or just leave it alone.
Now, my friend has no feelings for him, but clearly his wife clearly takes an issue with him being Facebook friends with exes. I don’t know if she just considers it inconsiderate, or if she suspects that her husband would cross a line if he had regular “interactions” with an ex. While I don’t really have an issue with exes being friends on Facebook or other social media platforms, many men and women consider it a “no-no” for their significant other to befriend an ex. Some just feel that social media can be a breeding ground for cheating, whether their partners were considered “cheaters” or not.
I always thought that people who are deceitful will always find a way to cheat, no matter the circumstances, and that technology will only make it easier for them. Before social media, cheaters were caught when their partners checked their pagers or emails, which evolved into checking text messages. Now they can see it in full view on social media. It’s really no different. New technology just means new ways to catch a cheater.
But now I wonder if people who have never considered cheating before are now lured unexpectedly into the dangers of infidelity because of the seemingly innocent interaction that can take place across a computer screen. The appeal of Facebook is that you can reconnect with old friends and lovers that you haven’t seen in years; but, that can also be your downfall. Renewing a friendship with an ex may seem harmless at first, especially because there is a degree of distance. But after a while, any relationship troubles that begin at home can easily spill over into social media if you’re sharing details of your relationship with an ex who has a sympathetic ear. If you’re not careful, the seemingly innocent interaction between you and your ex can quickly evolve into near infidelity, over the top flirtations or into an emotional affair – and you never saw it coming.
So what should the rules be for “friending” an ex on Facebook? Well, there are no set rules for everyone to follow, but it should be an open and honest discussion with your partner as far as boundaries are concerned. If your partner is uncomfortable with you being friends with an ex on Facebook, ask why there’s a problem with it and truly listen to the concerns. Is it because this is an ex that broke your heart or who you considered “the one who got away?” Is this a crazy ex who has the potential to cause trouble in your current relationship? Or is it because you have trust issues from a previous indiscretion that you’re both trying to move past and your partner feels “friending” an ex would be too much temptation? There are many reasons why your partner wouldn’t be happy with you following an ex on social media, and if you truly value your relationship, those reasons should trump any ex who wants to come back into the picture. However, if you find that you or your partner dismisses the other person’s feelings on the matter, or that one of you can’t seem to stay off of social media, you might need to reevaluate your relationship. You both should always be putting more time and energy into your REAL relationships rather than your cyber ones. If you or your partners are unable to stick to the set parameters, you may want to rethink that relationship .
What’s your opinion? Does Facebook get people in trouble or do people just bring trouble on themselves?