Proper Facebook Etiquette

#367 Missing ex on Facebook

Wednesday 3rd September, 2008

I’ve just tried to get back in touch with an ex. We were friends on Facebook, so I thought a quick message to ‘say hi’ would be appropriate. Their name is now not amongst my list of friends. DO I go through the ‘embarrassment’ of re-sending a friend request to them, only to risk rejection, send a message without the friend request, or just leave things be?

Amongst my own circle of friends, when once you have become an ‘ex’ and contact has not been acknowledged for some time, then that’s the signal that neither side was particularly keen anyway, and you’re better off out of that particular relationship. From your query you don’t mention the why you are wanting to get back in touch. An of-the-moment spontaneous urge? Late night, and one too many glasses of wine, touch of the guilts? Curiosity? Geniuene concern for their well-being? Marriage proposal?!

One can only speculate.

Clearly you’ve taken steps to identify that they still exist on Facebook, and have not simply deleted their account. So it strikes me that the ‘problem’ lies with your interpretation of their action to ‘de-friend’ you. And without explanation too. Ouch. Perhaps you fell victim to the ‘friend cull’ that is popular at the moment, where those in your network you don’t first recollect for a positive reason, or have no recollection of either positive or negative are the first to go. Or maybe they are making some kind of strong social statement where you are ‘out of their life’, literally. Which includes Facebook.

If you feel absolutely compelled to pursue your ex, despite their best intentions to get rid of you the first time (and from the sounds of things the second time) round, you could attempt a second Friend Request. You might want to take advice from your ego though about how you’ll feel about this in the long run, and what kind of ‘desperado’ signals this sends out to your once beloved. Another approach is to send a message. But there lies the dilemma of what to say. ‘Hi, why did you ‘friend dump’ me?’ may go down as well as that time you guys split up. Remember that.

If I were you I would find a nice non-ex to friend, and or message. Leave the ex alone. Then IF they try to re-friend you, you can be the more accommodating and Friend accept them a second time over. If only to dump on them all over again at a later date. Still at least Facebook makes it easy to Friend, and to De-Friend.

For now, deny all knowledge of said de-friending event, just in case you bump into each other in the street. Then you can do the awkward eye glance and foot shuffle of two people who have known each other intimately, but don’t quite know what to say to one another anymore.

Or you could just Poke (in a non-sexual way).

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