Should You Friend Exes on Facebook?

Is it best to steer clear of former boyfriends on the internet?
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Should You Friend Exes on Facebook?

Is it best to steer clear of former boyfriends on the internet?

-April Daniels Hussar

Should you friend your exes on facebook

Back in the dark ages (i.e., before Facebook), the only way to spy on ex-boyfriends was to “accidentally” stalk them at work or “run into” them at their favorite watering holes. Not that I ever did anything like that, of course. I never had to because where I come from, a small town in Northern California, it was perfectly normal to stay friends with your exes. Imagine my surprise culture shock when I moved “back east” and fell in love with a Jersey boy whose circle of friends still ostracizes an old pal because he dated one of the group member’s ex-girlfriends… in junior high. Toto, we’re not in California any more.

Needless to say, the subject of exes has always been a touchy one for my dear hubby and me. When we met, he wasn’t “friends” with any of his old girlfriends; I was still “friends” with just about all of my old boyfriends. In the name of domestic bliss, I lost touch with my old flames – moving to a new coast and becoming a mommy made that pretty easy to do – even though there were some friendships I was sad to lose. All the same, when I started my Facebook account I steered clear of anyone who might be considered controversial. I assumed Darling Hubby did the same. But imagine my surprise about a year ago when I discovered a few familiar names on his Facebook page. Why, hello there, Ex-Girlfriend-Right-Before-Me and Ex-Girlfriend-Right-Before-Her! Is there some kind of loophole for an ex-girlfriend on Facebook?

Read Is It OK to Dream About Other Men?

Then again, maybe “friending” exes on Facebook really isn’t quite as threatening as keeping in touch with them in real life? According to a recent news article, quite the contrary is often true: Facebooking exes is just a gateway drug into illicit affairs and broken marriages. The article tells the story of “Ellen,” her husband, and her husband’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he reconnected on Facebook. Old friends catching up quickly progressed into old flames re-igniting, and the rest is a sordid tale that narrowly avoided becoming divorce court history. In fact, the article warns, “Facebook was mentioned in one in five of all divorce petitions filed through an internet service called Divorce Online.”


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27 thoughts on “Should You Friend Exes on Facebook?

  1. deborah says:

    Yeash…not a big fan of hubby or wifeys keeping in touch with old girlfriends. Don’t think it is right or considerate to the other spouse.

  2. Candice says:

    Bad news bears.

  3. danggirl says:

    I say it’s fine as long as everyone involved agrees and is comfortable with it.

  4. FBNYC says:

    I’d say it’s OK if you have no desire to look through all their photos, see who they’re dating now, etc. If not, then it’s probably healthier to just leave that person in the past.

  5. leftygrlac says:

    Nope, not a good idea. What is the point, anyway?

  6. RedAJG says:

    I think it’s fine as long as EVERYTHING is over. I’m friends with several ex-boyfriends/flings on FB and there is less than nothing there – just friendship. They are all married now, and I love seeing how their lives have gone, their kids pics etc. It’s completely innocent.

  7. Chavqueen says:

    Yes, I seriously don’t see the point. Once I’m done, I am DONE. Lately many of my husband’s exes have started to friend him. I’m mostly ok with it, as they were all 20+ years ago, but why bother?

  8. prettygirl945 says:

    One time I asked this guy(complete jerk) why he wouldn’t be my friend on facebook, i mean it was obvious he didn’t want me to see what other girls write on his page…I found that it is a way of getting back into contact with an ex you may or may not be totally over…bad things happen when facebook is involved

  9. Melfunkshn says:

    My exes are exes for a reason. And I honestly don’t care what they’re up to nowdays.

  10. amiableorchid says:

    I wouldn’t accept the friend request if it is sent after we have broken up, but it’s awkward to delete your ex if he is a friend already.

  11. flingthebook says:

    No! Stop! Move away from the friend request!
    Are you crazy? You know that you’re just friend-ing his so that you can see what’s going on in his life. And the truth is that you don’t really want to know! Stop torturing yourself! You’ve got better things to do, hot stuff.

  12. AnnieO says:

    Depends if the ex was a jerk, but if you remain respectful friends why not. Although that’s just giving us a chance to spy on each other…lol

  13. tavobxby says:

    I mean it can go either way. I’m friends with a few of my exes, and my current is ok with it. Of course some of them I gave a nice probationary period (I didn’t add them till well after a year of our relationship) just for the sake of moving on.
    HOWEVER, my boyfriend was also friends with some of his exes, and some were…less than appropriate. One even went so far as to say she’d leave her husband and 2 kids for him… on facebook and told ME I wasn’t good enough. I took personal insult and I did tell her to just back off and go back to her husband (which, surprise surprise, she was having problems with). She told my boyfriend to choose between us, and he chose me without blinking, told her he just wanted a friendship, that he did love and care for her but as a friend and that he didn’t want to hurt her, so he felt it best to just…leave.
    On that same note, friending someone you’re CLEARLY NOT over could HURT you, especially if they have moved on, or appear to have. I mean, I even asked her “what did you want out of this? You have kids, a husband? Would you just drop all that for him?” (yes…omg) But she actually had to think about it, and she realized that she technically couldn’t, and that talking to him would just hurt her A LOT, and, in the end, hurt a LOT more people (her kids, her husband, my boyfriend..me, etc).
    So it works and it doesn’t. You have to be mature enough to know that it’s OVER, and that whatever relationship you do develop with your ex over facebook needs to remain kosher with the life you’ve built up since the break up.
    Personally, I think exes are exes for a reason, so unless you were great friends before, or maybe you guys just had a tiny TINY fling, friending is ok, but talking is just complicated.

  14. Canix2007 says:

    I don’t honestly see an issue with it as long as you feel you’re secure in your current relationship if you’re in one. I’m friends with almost all of my exes, and if they were to find me and send a request, I’d have no issues with adding them. I can’t say that ‘as long as my boyfriend was also okay with it’, because I don’t think he should have any say in who I can and cannot be friends with. If he feels so insecure in our relationship, that my having an ex from 8 years ago on my FB friends list is a threat… well, I’m fairly sure the relationship isn’t going anywhere. I know what I want, and it’s not to try and rekindle anything with an ex. They’re my EX for a reason, but I don’t have an issue remaining friends with them. Heck, I still go to lunch with one from time to time, and we keep up on each others lives. We were friends before we dated and we made a point of remaining friends afterwards. We were each others first love, that kind of bon doesn

  15. bendewees2 says:

    My wife is “friends” with all of her exes on facebook, and she is looking more of them up everyday. She then goes on their profiles, and copies/saves all of their pictures onto the computer.
    She has a huge list of exes phone numbers in her cell phone.
    She never/hardly talks to any of them, but still makes a fuss if I delete them.
    I do have one ex on my friends list, but the wife has more than 6 on hers. I’ve even offered to delete her from my friends list in exchange for her deleting her exes.

  16. kimmiekat says:

    I sent a friend request to my ex and to my surprise he has still never accepted it. He did go into a relationship after me but he cheats on her, he accepts friend requests from girls he doesn’t even know and is on the Zooks dating cite.

  17. Para says:

    I don`t mind having ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends as friends on Facebook,as long as you`re cool with it.If your current partner is jealous it is THEIR problem,not yours!

  18. hodso1ra says:

    After a nasty break-up and nearly 2 years into a new relationship, my ex added me. A year later, I received a very angry message from him stating that he had to defriend me. He claimed that he couldn’t stand to see me so happy with my new boyfriend. He deleted, but has not deleted my boyfriend (they are friends, as well). I feel that adding him as a friend was both a good and bad decision. I regret adding him so he could see into a life I had removed him from, but I also got my revenge on all the times he had hurt me…

  19. mayamarisa says:

    NO for me. Regretted accepting my 2 exes. Apparently, their partners are not satisfying enough and they were literally ‘longing’ for me. In a way, I felt great and relief knowing that they cant get over me. However, to certain extend, im so taken aback my this 2 jerks because – isnt it too late for you to know that I am the girl who stole your heart? In short, “geez guys, told you that I’m good!”

  20. Vickie_1 says:

    My boyfriend friended his ex’s. He said it was nothing. I figured out his password and found out that he met one in a motel for sex and was talking sex with several. Even the married ones. An ex that I friended, a “good Christian” now married man, tried talking sex to me. I unfriended him. My boyfriend is now an unfriended ex because he wouldn’t unfriend his ex’s and denied talking sex or meeting the one for sex when it was all there in his messages. I told him I saw it and for him to leave.

  21. Vickie_1 says:

    My boyfriend and I are in our 40′s. Some of those ex’s were from when he was in high school. That time span doesn’t matter. The flirting and sex talk is NOT harmless. It is a failure to “forsake all others.” It is a red flag that this isn’t the man to marry and I’m glad I found out before I was in an even deeper relationship that was just a lie. If someone is harbaring feelings or even an “I’ll always love you” attitude, then you are only in their life because they can’t have the one they want. Who wants to lay down to bed with that? “Always loving someone” means that that someone is who you really love and the new person is just a friend you are really fond of who is a friend with benefits. I know of a couple who married and she still loves her ex-husband and always will. She does not have as close a relationship with her new husband as she still does with the ex. I wouldn’t want to spend my life pineing away for the ex. Let them go and let yourself love the new person completely and honestly and without shadows of the past hanging around on Facebook or anywhere.

  22. latnsenator says:

    Simple Answer – Friend the ex if you talk to the ex .. If you’re not friends with the ex then you shouldn’t “friend” them on facebook .. Wow .. was that hard? .. Facebook should be used as a way for FRIENDS to share information or to RECONNECT with old friends or to network for business … It shouldn’t be used to spy on people who you wouldn’t talk to normally or who wouldn’t talk to you normally and it shouldn’t be used as a back channel communication method ..

  23. jel_joshonz says:

    my hub’s ex has always been a big issue between us, since i found out he’s been secretly communicating with her. What hurts the most is that i read 1 of his msgs in his trash bin. In his msg, he said that he misses her and that a part of his heart will always belong to her. we’re living in together for 4 1/2 years then. They were together for only 4 months. i’ve never forgiven him.

  24. soulkit11 says:

    My husband lacks boundaries. He likes to drink a few drinks and have late night chats with people. As a result I deleted all of the extraneous females off of his Facebook page (girls he used to have flings with/party with)and I noticed that when his page was filled with old married ladies and guys he no longer spends the time he used to chatting away until all hours. Recently a long time long term ex who has shown up on Facebook and there is NO WAY I would ever condone a “friend-ing”..nothing but trouble there.

  25. tora says:

    I’m friending my ex. I know that he doesnt even add his wife on his friend’s list and I think his wife doesnt know if he’s friending me. We occasionally comment on each other’s posts (status, pics, and links). He admitted that he’s not over me and always contact me directly through facebook chat or Yahoo! messenger when I posted something related to my current relationship. He never admitted that he’s jealous but his behaviour shows that he is. I find this very amusing and pissed me of. Why would he be jealous of my current relationship when he is married? And he was the one who left me for the wife. Honestly I feel sorry for his wife, and I never ’til this moment take his “bullshit” about how he still loves me and this and that seriously. I am madly in love with my current boyfriend and would never leave him for a married ex.
    And as for my boyfriend, he had given up facebook by disactivating his account. He said that he’s too old for this networking thing and perfectly happy to stay in contact with his friends through emails, phone and Blackberry messenger. He doesnt mind me keeping my facebook account and be friend with my ex. He trusts me and I wont take that for granted.

  26. Jessaway says:

    I love the thought put into these personal “confidential” messages on this site. I began a relationship with the most wonderful, sensitive, positive man this past summer. Divorced 7 years, split custody of a child requiring numerous life-saving surgeries, he continued to live w/ ex a few years in the basement to care for the child since he had his own company in the home. I think too much contact with this strange self-centered woman kept him from making a new lasting relationship. So… 16 months ago, an old college “friend” contacts him on FB. They were friends first, had one night stand, back to friends when in college. Hadn’t talked since college. It all starts out very innocently,… to him. My BF is tall, dark, handsome, extremely athletic. She is short, morbidly obese, very intelligent and friendly, very conversational and very married like for 20 years.. She cried on his shoulder about her home business crashing, her boredom with her husband (who by the way is a wonderful man), they can’t have children after trying for years, she’s bipolar, she’s depressed, she’s on 5 medications.. boo hoo hoo. BF is lonely cuz he lost his business and recently lost his next job, never having been unemployed in his life, no GF, living on his own a couple of years now, kids are growing up and don’t need him as much. She taps into his needs, his fears, comforts him. He verbally comforts her. She sets up this innocent meeting w/ college friends, her husband is there… He goes, and it feels good to have that old college chummyness with everyone. She invites him again a month later, and so on. Starts calling him, texting him, FB chats, FB e-mails, now additional e-mails, starts complimenting him, starts telling him how handsome he is and how much she remembers this one night fling (which was basically sex on the floor), she builds it up into this great fantasy … she’s putting him on a pedestal. He’s lonely, depressed, single, very hard to walk away from someone lauding all this attention on him when his ex never did. Where am I going with this?

    Well, he never thought that that was going to go anywhere. She is so unattractive with 200 pounds on a 5′ frame, she’s “married”. He tells her he’s been having problems finding a girlfriend, even on multiple dating sites. I come into the picture. I’m tall, athletic and pretty. He’s smitten with me on first meeting.

    He shares this info with her, his “FB friend”.. I am not a man chaser; I know that if a man is interested, he will chase, and I’ve learned to start relationships slowly and let them unfold. Ours starts off beautifully, unfolding ever so wonderfully with e-mails, phone calls and once a week dates. I learn about her, his “friend”. She invites us over to a party, we invite her to our party. What I didn’t know is that in the middle of one of her boo hoo sessions alone with him after one of those get-togethers with friends, she had asked him for a kiss, and really put one on him passionately. This was before me, when he was really lonely and sad. She had lured him into her car to talk, more tears and fears and boo hoos, then started kissing him and turning him on. It didn’t go very far before she pouted oh me, I’m married, I mustn’t do this. So he thought again, freak incident.

    So, back to our relationship beginning and blooming once a week dates, he tells her how crazy he is about me and how much he wants it to work. The 2nd month, she increases the chats, the e-mails, the texts, the phone calls to such proportions, there are over 200 texts per month. She starts filling his head with compliments, and sexual fantasies. He’s not sure our relationship is for real yet, because I’m taking it slow, like a lady should do.

    She tells him her husband is going to be away for a weekend visiting his sick mother, can she come over? She’s so sexually frustrated with her husband, can’t they play? She needs this “one time” and that’s all. Its something she wants, needs, she describes how sexy he is, and how much it means to her, calls him all these sexy names, sends him poems. What lonely, depressed cuz he’s out of work, single man would reject this kind of over the top sexy, esteem building attention? I don’t think too many would.

    I think quite a few would because the woman is married, and because the woman is obese, unattractive and won’t do ONE thing to improve her health by exercising and eating right. But you see, they were once friends in college, in the days when sex with random collegemates was free and easy and the “norm”. She caused him to remember “those days”, the happiest days of his life, when he felt productive and active in all these student clubs with her, he was much in appeal to the girls because he was always athletic and very sexy and considerate… Because she was an “ex” so-to-speak, even as a “fling”, there was this attachment that he’d completely forgotten, but she brought it back to life.

    Where am I going with this? Well, she felt like this was her last chance to have him, since he was slipping away into a new relationship with me, so she really put the pressure on by overwhelming him and inflating his ego. And the next thing they were in bed for a couple of days doing everything under the sun. He told her this could never happen again, because he was starting this relationship with me. (We’d dated 5 times and were just on the verge of becoming exclusive but hadn’t made that commitment yet.)

    Well, you just know that that wasn’t going to satisfy her, and of course, she kept texting, calling, etc. and showed up at his house again to prove to him and her that they were “meant for each other” that he couldn’t say “no” to her… It was just the sex that he couldn’t say no to, because I wasn’t giving him the full treatment yet because I wanted to make sure things were right between us before I made that kind of commitment. She took advantage of it because he was answering his “best friend” when she pried. He normally isn’t this sharing with anyone, but because she got “into his head” before me, and because they had been “friends in the past”, etc. blah, blah, blah.

    I suspected something was wrong, just that the intimacy wasn’t quite right. I felt like this crazy jealous woman, when I’ve never been jealous in all my life. In fact, I was always on the receiving end of jealous crazy men, because I have a good figure and most people say I should have been a model. So, I was tormented in my head as to how far I could accuse him of something wrong, and whether I should leave this guy, when I could see we were so great together.

    I asked him point-blank if something was going on. Of course, he said no, but he was visibly shaken and worried of losing me and said he’d do anything for me. Then I said, I was going to give him ONE last chance, that was, he was going to open his e-mail account and let me see all. He knew it was time to come clean and take his chances or lose me forever.

    I found all the above stories and more. I wanted to jump off a cliff. But I was glad to know that I wasn’t crazy and wasn’t imagining it all. He volunteered to call and cut total contact off that moment. He’s kept his word ever since, except for I needed more.

    As the months went on, I went crazy checking her FB account, as she had befriended me as well, as ways to get photos of him and find out what we were doing. She’s an obsessive-compulsive nut and she wrote him another e-mail confessing her undying love and inferred that I made him give her up. So, to close this whole mess, I really, really needed for him to send her an e-mail that would make her understand once and for all. He wrote an e-mail that made everything right between us, once and for all, that it was HIS decision to end all contact, and that what went on should never have happened. Life is about choices and he made a bad one, and with that goodbye.

    So, you see folks, friending an “EX” even if it was just a “fling” in h.s. or college is NOT a good idea, if you do not want temptation to enter into your relationship.

    What you have to decide is how much is your relationship worth to you and to the both of you. Why let people who have had intimate relationships with you back into your life? There was a spark once, there was such intimacy once, it could come back when that person feels lonely and unhappy for whatever reason. Do what you choose, but I now feel that you don’t invite potential vampires back in, or you get the trouble they can bring.

    What I see is that most people don’t want to do the work it takes to make new friends. Friends with NEW people that you make knowledgeable choices about their values and morals, and relationships in which the moral boundaries are set from the get-go.

    We have decided we love each other beyond any partner we’ve ever had. My BF’s problem was that he was too sensitive to this woman’s insecurities and he didn’t want to hurt her, he was afraid she’d commit suicide, yes, the sex was alluring after having had none for years, but it was wrong to do it behind her innocent husband’s back and mine and for that he took responsibility.

    Because he is a sincere and considerate person, I’ve read that it can make it harder for that kind of person to break off a relationship on their own. They don’t want to hurt feelings, but by not doing so, he almost lost what was most important to him. He’s a giver who hasn’t learned to be selfish. He thought being selfish was bad. I told him, no, being self-centered is bad — don’t confuse selfish with self-centered.

    Neither of us are jealous people, but I do feel insecure because this happened while we were building our foundation. We’ve both made an agreement that one or the other of us can ask the other to remove a FB friend if it makes us uncomfortable. We are committed to EACH OTHER, to the “US” in our lives. Ex’s be damned, when it comes to either of feeling threatened or hurt.

  27. matejaleon says:

    This is the story of my life that i am still pondering upon even as i write this article, if to tell the world.I have been asking myself if i should let the world know about this or maybe i should just keep it to myself cos most people might think am crazy.All the same am telling my story.I live in Bordeaux, France with my husband and four kids and we have a happy family.It wasn’t always just like that.Before my husband, i have been married to five different men.Yeah five, all five marriages failed after six months not cos we had problems or the relationships was on the rock they just come and go without good reason.It was the worst time of my live.I had a feeling there was something about me that wasn’t just appealing in the site of all the men that claimed to love to death.The entire puzzle of my life just seem to fall into place when i met my present husband i fall hard in love with him like he also did.It was all in his eye that he loved me with all he’s got.Yeah we got married but just after the first six months as always he just wanted out as every other man that i was married to.I never really wanted to let go of any of my ex husband i was willing to fight for it marriage but they bluntly weren’t ready for that.But this, i just got tired of same old same old thing just wanted a steady marriage with the love of my life.I tried marriage counseling with him which is suppose to me the best way to resolving marital problem but he was like its been tattooed in his mind that he wanted out of our marriage.I Honestly don’t know how and when i contacted a spell caster to help me.His name was Mutton i think he was of great help cos i honest remember that i think he helped me save my marriage.I say i think cos its being one year and six months exactly since he cast a spell to make my husband stay till dead do us part and my husband is still with me now and we are happy and in love just like how we were for the first six months.I will be fully convinced if we get to celebrity our 50th year anniversary.I don’t want any body to see this article like it was meant to make you contact him.I am just sharing my experience on how Mutton helped me restore my marriage with spell casting and i should tell you he does not charge for his services all you are to do is to provide materials he will be needing for the spell casting.If you feel he can help you solve any of your problem contact him here godsofosunx@rocketmail. com this was what i used to contact him good luck.

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