Dear Red: My Ex Found Me on Facebook

Dear Red,

I okayed a request to connect on Facebook from an ex from 15 years ago and I am SERIOUSLY regretting it.

We have a long history that can be summed up thus: I was very young, he was older, and even though our relationship crumbled, he has told me several times over the years that I was, "the one who got away." I am since married with kids, and I have more than moved on from what I considered a childhood romance.

Now I'm banging my head against the wall that I'm so easy to find online. I don't know how to make him stop sending me messages like (I'm not making this up) "theres so much i wanna ask you but you have'nt asked me anything either" and "hey, that's cool we both use gmail" which neither offer nor ask for anything but obviously demand a response.

(I think I just pulled a muscle rolling my eyes. )

I need to find a reasonably *nice* way to make him back off. He's connected with a lot of the people I grew up with and don't need any bullshit backlash from this long-dead relationship. Can you help?



Dear Facebooked,

Haha, Ohhhh, stupid Social Media and its propensity to connect people. :)

But in all seriousness, I've been thinking about this phenomena a lot...there are so many people who have been getting back together with their "first loves" or high school sweethearts because they reconnected on Facebook, or Twitter or LinkedIn or whatever. It's adding a whole new dimension to dating, love, and relationships, and I'm not sure it's in an all together good way.

I mean, our first loves are supposed to just kinda be that...the first...suggesting that there will be several more to come. The first love is often idealized and then idolized, and to go back to that, well, it makes you wonder what a person is in fact going back to. Are they going back to the actual PERSON, or the IDEA of that person. (I'd argue over the latter in most cases.)

So yeah, in your case, you have sort of a dilemma, but sort of not, because the facts are pretty clear: you've moved on, and you're a completely different person that the one he thinks he is in love with.

Here's what I would say if it were me (feel free to copy and paste):

"Hey, it's been a long time since we last talked! Thanks for trying to catch up after so many years. I hope I'm not reading into things too much, but out of respect for my marriage and my family, I'd like to make sure any correspondence between us is just friendly. Thanks again for getting in touch...I truly hope you're doing well!"

Or, of course, you could also just ignore him. Also a viable option, IMHO. Who says you have to respond to every person who finds you on Facebook? You don't. At all. You can also set your privacy settings to block this guy from just about everything, too. (PS--If you're not monitoring your Facebook privacy settings, you should be.)

My two cents.



Readers! I'd actually love to get your opinions on this! What do you do when you find an old flame (or when an old flame finds you) through Social Media?