Saturday, January 31, 2009

Facebook etiquette quandary

Right around Christmas, I got a "friend suggestion" from a girl I went to college with- for my ex-boyfriend.

M and I dated for almost 6 years- through most of college for me and then into my "adult life". It was a good relationship, but an immature one. We both thought we'd get married. Then his dad got sick and he moved 800 miles away to help take care of him. Two and a half years later, his dad died. A year later he broke up with me. A year after that, he was engaged to a girl he met on the internet- they were married 9 months later.

So when I got the friend suggestion I wasn't sure what to do. Over the last 6 years or so, we've had email contact maybe two or three times. So I ultimately decided to send him a message through facebook that basically said I wasn't sure what the facebook etiquette was about "friending" your ex-boyfriend, but that I was okay with it and would let him decide what his comfort level was. The next day he sent me a friend request.

It's been a month, and this week I scanned and uploaded about 50 pictures from elementary school through my first year of teaching to share on facebook. I have so many pictures with M in them, but decided, in most cases, to keep those to myself. I did tag him in 3 pictures, only one of which I am in. All of them were group pictures.

Today I looked at his facebook page (which, by the way, I think he has me on a "limited profile" for, since I can't see any of the pictures he's been tagged in, by me or anyone else) and his wife had posted ON HIS WALL "It's always nice to see you tagged in pictures with A...." (A is obviously me. And she wrote that: "A". As if half the people on his facebook friends list wouldn't know who A is?)

So now I'm having a combination of feelings of irritation and guilt. Maybe I shouldn't have tagged him at all.... or posted the pictures... but we had all the same friends in college and were in all the same activities, so he is in so many of my pictures. I understand being wary of your spouse's ex- For me I don't know if I'd say I'm "wary" but there is definitely a curiosity about the girls III dated before me. (I think it's a girl thing- lots of women I have talked to seem to feel this way...) It's possible she could be kidding... but the way I found out M was married- 4 years ago I went to Italy and posted a link to my KodakGallery on the website I used to have, which was a completely public site. In my "guestbook" on KG, was his wife's name and address. She had apparently been looking at my website and then gone to look at the pictures of me.

Now for the obnoxious part- it kind of made me feel good. Maybe it shouldn't matter, but I have this worry that guys I dated with forget about me and that implies that they didn't really care about me or I wasn't worth it. Isn't it funny how our rational minds can be at such odds with the irrational part of our brains? I RATIONALLY know that M loved me and that for a long time the relationship was good for both of us. I RATIONALLY know that I'm better off with III than I ever was with M, and I celebrate the difference of having an ADULT relationship. But I still want him to think about me. And the fact that his wife sought out my website and looked at my pictures (especially the wife he got engaged to less than a year after our break up after knowing her for only a few months) implies to me that I was an important person in his life, just like he was in mine. I want to always mean something to the people in my life. Maybe that is a part of my own insecurities.

Anyway, to get back to the topic on hand... I definitely don't want to make things uncomfortable with his wife. Which is why I left the friending up to him. I certainly won't tag him in any more pictures, but I feel like it would be really conspicuous to UNtag him... I figure I'll leave that up to him.

There's probably so much more I could say on this topic, but this post is far long enough already, and I have plans with a friend, so I will stop there and just ruminate on it more in my head. ;)

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