When my last boyfriend and I decided to call it quits, I removed him from my Facebook friend list. Sure, like most newly broken up couples we agreed to be ‘friends’. In my opinion, this kind of break-up diplomacy didn’t include my social media world.
The idea of seeing his posts and knowing that he was not online on a Friday night, while I was at home in pjs, soothing my pain through mouthfuls of Shiraz, was too much for me. When I explained to him that I removed him from my list because I just needed space to clear my head, he was quiet. He seemed hurt.
It confused me. Did he really want to see pictures of me, sexily clad as I bar-hopped with girlfriends searching for Mr. Rebound? Was he confident enough to laugh at comments from men saying I looked ‘hot’? I certainly didn’t want to see pics of him for a while, especially ones of him laughing and looking happy, or adding new, attractive women to his friend list.
It’s an interesting concept which I pondered to a few girlfriends. Should we add our partners to our social media lists like Facebook and Twitter, or are some things sacred to our own independence?
One of my girlfriends revealed that she knew married couples who did not befriend each other on Facebook. The reasons were as I outlined above – no one wants to see compliments from the other sex about your mate. Wondering about gifts given from anonymous senders or posts from your own partner that bordered on flirtation were really arguments in waiting.
Of course, there are many couples who, knowing their beau was on their list, would walk the lines of appropriateness taking feelings into consideration. But is this fair?
Let’s be honest. Spouses, boyfriends, partners are human beings who like a little ego stroke now and again. A little space from one’s mate is healthy, and as we all know, gives us room to appreciate our partners that much more.
We wouldn’t read our partner’s journal or ask to attend a work party that included members of the opposite sex would we? So perhaps Facebook is no different – just a way for our mates to have a little space and socialize with no pressure.
It’s a tough call. I’ve heard of people leading double lives through several Facebook profiles and affairs from finding past lovers. Social media has definitely added a new element to relationships and has probably promoted many couples to have a conversation. As if love wasn’t complicated enough.
For me, I’m comfortable living in ignorance for a while. I don’t need the temptation to start a chat with my former flame if we’re online at the same time, or see his relationship status change anytime soon. In the interest of my own healing, I’m happy to have my friend list down by one.
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