My ex-boyfriend deleted me as a Facebook Friend.
And I’m bothered by it. Probably way more than I should be.
I don’t pay much attention to my Friend List. I have my Friends neatly compartmentalized. When I get a friend request, I don’t just confirm them. I put them in a neat list that helps me to reference them properly. It took me hours on a rainy Saturday night to get this together and I’m quite proud of my system:
See, isn’t that soothing to the eye? I love looking at my Lists, so orderly and neat.
Because of my system, I pretty much add anyone who asks. I’m using Facebook as a marketing and network tool, no sense in being picky about Friends. If you ask, I add. At least 99% of the time. I even have a special category for people I just don’t know at all. It’s called Who Is This?
And I’ve never deleted anyone. Ever.
When I got my first friend request from an ex-boyfriend, I wasn’t sure what to do. “Derrick” and I were still friendly in real life. We checked in with each other at least once a year, sent the congratulatory emails for promotions and such. I added Derrick as a friend. And after a quick conference with The Husband, I decided that all exes would be added. Even the insanely crazy one(s).
No big deal, right? Having an ex-boyfriend as a Facebook Friend doesn’t mean you’re in any closer contact with them than you want to be. I have my privacy settings set up very specifically. If you’re not in certain groups, you can’t see hi-res photos of my kids or my home or my too-big smile.
I have 338 friends right now. I won’t out myself on how many are exes. But let’s just say that just about every guy I’ve ever sat next to at a movie theater on a proper date is a Friend.
Alex, a guy I dated for three years, is one of those Friends. He is a very good man. Wasn’t the best boyfriend. But he grew up and matured into a beautiful specimen. We remained relatively close after we broke up. Probably a little too close. When we both moved on to serious relationships, our contact dwindled down to the occasional email. Professionally, we touched bases more often. We work in the same industry and I’ve reached out to him occasionally in that capacity.
The last time I heard from him was a few months ago. I emailed him, asking him for a lead on a source I needed to track down for a story. He gave me a good lead on how to find the person. And that was that. He sent a PS: he was getting married soon.
I congratulated him. I was particularly happy for him for two reasons:
1. I knew that the relationship he had been in years before had been painful on a number of levels. He’d confided in me about the pain and I assured him that he would find a better candidate.
2. I know his fiancée. She’s also a Facebook friend. We’ll call her Jane. I don’t know Jane well. But I do know that she’s drop-dead gorgeous with an exuberant, vibrant personality. She’s a go-getter, very ambitious and spiritual. And I can honestly say that she makes a great match for his laidback personality. Jane had actually emailed me months ago in a professional capacity. And she’d mentioned that she was dating Alex and what a coincidence it was that I’d dated him years before.
Alex told me the date of the wedding and all that good stuff and I sent him all my best wishes. He’d done the same for me when I told him about my wedding and later, about the birth of my first child. (He was actually on the list of people I emailed from the hospital after I delivered. And he sent me a really sweet email).
A few months ago, I ran into a college friend who asked if I’d seen the pictures of Alex and Jane’s wedding on Facebook. I hadn’t. But I don’t look for pictures on Facebook. If they happen to come up on my news feed, I’ll click through. But other than that, the pictures I see most often are profile pics.
In the back of my mind, I remember thinking, I want to check out those pics… But I never got around to looking for them and I forgot all about it.
This morning, I came into my office, sat down and logged on to Facebook. I had a few friend requests and I was adding each one to the proper list. One of the friend requests was from a woman who had stumbled onto my blog and loved it! (Yay!) I added her to my Update Blog list. I looked at her info page and noticed that she worked at the same company as Alex.
And then it dawned on me. Had I remembered to add Alex to my Blog Update list? I knew he’d appreciate my blog. I searched for his name on my friend list. And saw this.
My stomach dropped.
Well of course he’s my friend! We’d talked back and forth right here on Facebook. Hadn’t we? Or maybe that was just my regular email? Were we ever Facebook friends? I went into my Inbox and did a search. Sure enough, I saw the hey-how-ya-been emails about job promotions and the messages about the wedding.
I went back to my search engine and entered his name again. Maybe I spelled it wrong…
Well damn. He could have put me on Limited Profile. He could have set his privacy settings so that I didn’t see his pictures or his wall or his status updates.
But instead he just completely deleted me.
I’m not going to front. Not even a little bit. My feelings are hurt. Maybe I’m too old for this Facebook business. But it kind of feels like I just took a look at his photo album and he’s cut my face out of our pictures.
Now, let me state, for the record: I am a very happily married woman. No complaints there.
But honestly, I had a life before I met my husband. And that life doesn’t vaporize because I get older and farther removed from those memories.
I don’t feel like cyberspace is any different. But maybe it is. Did Alex delete my number from his cell phone too? Delete my email address? If I email him, will it bounce back? If someone asked him if he knew me would he say no? If I run into him on the street is he gonna hold up his hand and say BLOCKED! and start running away?
I thought about shooting Alex an email: ummm. Did you really DELETE me?
But how pathetic would that be? He doesn’t want me on his list. Move on.
So I am.
Still not sure how I feel about it. But I can understand and respect however he wants to handle his exes on Facebook.
Dear readers: Can you please tell me how you handle exes on Facebook? Do you add them all? Do you have rules about it? If you are married or in a relationship, do you care about who your partner has on their Friend List? I’d love to hear from you…
P.S. You know I had to check to see if his new wife was still my Facebook Friend. She deleted me too.