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How to Decide if You Should Unfriend Your Ex Boyfriend on Facebook

Being friends with your ex boyfriend on Facebook can be complicated, especially if you still have feelings for him. Use these tips to decide if being Facebook friends with your ex is a good idea – or if you should just leave the past in the past.

“My first love found me on Facebook after several years of no contact,” says Jenny in response to How to Let Go of a Past Relationship. “I broke up this relationship a long, long time ago. I loved him very much at the time, and I still had feelings for him after all these years – I never forgot about him but I went on with my life. Do you think I should accept his friend request on Facebook?”

Before we get into the “should you be friends with your ex on Facebook?” question, I have to stress the importance of resolving your emotions and feelings. That is, if you haven’t healed from the past, then you can’t move forward into a healthy, happy, whole future.

Healing from the past is about processing those old memories and emotions, so they have less (or no) power over you. I would encourage Jenny to reframe her love for her old boyfriend as a sweet memory. It’s not the same as mature love or marital love – it’s a years-old memory.

We never forget our first love – but that doesn’t mean we’re meant to be with him.

If old emotions and memories haunt you, read Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life by Judith Orloff. It will help you acknowledge your emotions and become free from anxiety, fear, negativity, and past memories.

Okay, back to the question about Facebook, ex-boyfriends, and friends…

Should You Be Friends With Your Ex on Facebook?

“It turns out my ex-boyfriend still has feelings for me,” says Jenny. She adds that she and her ex-boyfriend are both married, and she has kids.

“I love my spouse,” she says. “However, I feel that if I accept his friendship on Facebook, it may bring up the strong feelings that I used to have for him so many years ago. But, I’m not willing to sabotage the life that I have now, which is why I’m keeping my distance from him and not sure if I should be Facebook friends with him. Any immediate advice for my situation? Thank you so much in advance.”

Remember that your memories are colored by time and distance

You remember your perfect love, the best parts of your relationship, the magic of your ex-boyfriend’s amazing personality and brilliance.

You don’t remember the reasons you broke up, the annoying habits, or the signs that you’re not meant to be together. You think you love your ex-boyfriend, but really you’re falling into the “grass is always greener” trap.

We tend to think more highly of people and things we don’t have than those we do have. Your husband is the one you love, not an ex-boyfriend from 20 years ago. Your current marriage or relationship is the most important thing in your life – not a high school sweetheart.

Don’t let your romantic memories of the past trick you into believing that he is the one for you – that you let Mr Right get away! You and he broke up because you were not meant to be together. If you could be friends with your ex-boyfriend on Facebook without thinking you still love him and without feeling that old love and attraction, then there’s no problem – and you wouldn’t be here now.

But if you have unresolved feelings that could cause problems in your marriage, then you need to take care of that. Your marriage is the most important thing in your life, other than your children!

Ask yourself why you should reconnect with your old sweetheart

My husband disagrees, but I think it can be healthy and good to stay connected to the past. He argues that being friends with an ex on Facebook can set you up for marriage problems, confusion, and even the temptation to cheat. I don’t think we should just cut people out of our lives, especially people we’ve known since high school!

How to Know If You Should Be Friends With Your Ex on Facebook

How to Know If You Should Be Friends With Your Ex on Facebook

Of course, it all depends on how you feel about your ex-boyfriend – and how being Facebook friends affects you. If you have unresolved emotions, then you need to deal with them….and you may need to put some distance between you and your ex.

I can’t tell you if you should reconnect with your ex-boyfriend on Facebook, but I do think that if it arouses complicated, unresolved feelings, then maybe you shouldn’t. Also…if you’re happily married, why do you need to befriend your ex on Facebook? Sure, it’s nice to stay in touch for old time’s sake…but does it add value to your life?

Talk to your partner about being friends with your ex on Facebook

How does your husband feel about you being friends with your ex-boyfriend on Facebook? It doesn’t matter if his feelings are rational or not – what matters is that you put your current relationship first.

If you’re keeping the fact that you’re Facebook friends with your ex-boyfriend a secret from your husband, then there’s definitely something wrong. You should never keep relationships or activities secret from your husband!

Learn about the “Facebook effect” on marriages

Facebook is cited in more and more divorce cases (as many as 20% of cases in one study!), because it has such a powerful and even detrimental effect on romantic relationships. Your online activities aren’t separate from your “real” relationships. Being friends with your ex on Facebook can be an innocent connection with the past – but it can lead to serious problems in your marriage. I don’t know which will be the case for you, but I do think it’s important to protect your marriage.

It can be healthy and good to be friends with high school sweethearts – but only if your feelings are resolved. If you’re struggling with whether or not to befriend an ex on Facebook, then I think the answer is clear.

If your ex has unfollowed you on a social media site, read 4 Ways to Cope When Your Ex Unfriends You on Facebook.

What do you think — is it better to stop being friends with your ex on Facebook, or just let his updates pepper your feed? I welcome your thoughts below! I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to share. I know I’d find it helpful to learn what you think :-)

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6 thoughts on “How to Decide if You Should Unfriend Your Ex Boyfriend on Facebook”

  1. Remember your decision affects more than you and/or your ex. Are you willing to be held responsible for out comes and are you your spouses “first love”

  2. Your feelings of aching loneliness and heartache will pass. My fiancé broke up with me a month before our wedding. My advice is to never, ever be friends with your ex boyfriend on Facebook! Unfriend him before he unfollows you, or else you’ll have to deal with the pain of rejection on top of the pain of breaking up. But trust me, you will get over him! Just get off Facebook for awhile, take a break from following his life, and get your own life. I’ll never be glad my boyfriend broke up with me, but I figure it’s better now than after we got married. You’ll get over this. Just stay off Facebook!

  3. I found out my wife contacted and accepted a friend request from her ex on facebook. She had been searching for him for awhile. He then asked they continue their conversations through private email which she did. My wife told me about this three months later, but I caught her in many other direct lies during the process.

    She, like others said, I was over reacting. I saw a lawyer, had divorce papers drawn up and let her go. It hurt to do it, but I’m an absolutist. I have been loyal. I expect complete honest and loyalty or I don’t want them. Once someone lies to you there will never be real trust again. I see no reason to stay in a marriage with no trust. There is no such thing as innocent private contact with an ex. Period.

    A person who marries and still has feelings for a past lover is a liar to their new spouse. She flushed 22 years of marriage down the drain with one stupid move. She was shocked at how quickly I started and finished the divorce and was willing to pay the price to be out. She has called me numerous times wanting to rekindle, but I don’t take the calls and want nothing further to do with her. I burned every picture, gave her everything, and have moved on in my life since.

    1. Sidney, you divorced over her just talking on Facebook? Marriages aren’t perfect. I can understand being unhappy but why not couples therapy? That seemed rash. And I’m quite the loyal spouse and I won’t like it or stand for that either. But why not work on things? Emails are one thing, and an affair is another.

  4. I think being friends with your ex on Facebook can work – but it depends on so many things! There is no “black or white” answer, but I would lean towards no. I wouldn’t want my husband to be friends with his ex on Facebook. Well actually, I’d be fine with it now that we’ve been married for 8.5 years…but it would’ve bothered me when we first got married.

  5. that kind of stuff is what led to our break up in the first place. she had fb of her exes and one of her exes and her talked often to the point where my emotions got out of hand. there was one incident where she did an action (not sexually cheating) regarding her and her ex and I got very upset and tried to ask her to let the ex go which she said she would but I felt like she was lying about the type of communication that she had with her prior ex. I loved her very very much to the point that I wanted to marry her but when she allowed her married ex back into her life as a friend I just could not do it. And I mean I loved her so much.

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