I’m 25 years old, and have been happily married for seven years. Yes, we were high school sweethearts, and survived four years of long distance to get where we are today. Over the weekend, I got a message from an ex on Facebook, followed by a friend request. Now this isn’t just any ex-boyfriend, he was my first boyfriend, first time having sex, and when we were very young, we got pregnant, and we placed our son for adoption. We stayed together for a short while afterward, but then he broke up with me and I was devastated. That was 12 years ago. It took me a very long time to get over this guy. But eventually I did, and about two years later, I met my now husband who is the complete opposite of this guy, and is everything I need.
It’s now been about six years since we’ve talked. He dropped off the face of the planet, which threw me for a loop. When we broke up, we agreed that we would stay in contact in case our son decided to find one of us and we would be able to help him connect with the other. So, here I am today, with this message from him: “Hey, how have you been? I guess its been awhile huh. So how has life been treating you?”
I’m not sure if I should respond, and what the hell I would even say to him if I did. I asked my husband what his thoughts were, and he said he doesn’t care if I respond to him or not. I don’t know if I want to respond, because, well, that was a very different and difficult part of my life that I don’t want pulled back into. Am I making a bigger deal out of this than I should be? — Facebook Flashback
If you don’t want to respond, don’t. You have every reason to be hesitant and every right to ignore him. There’s no “should” here. If this is a big deal to you — and I, for one, can certainly understand why it would be — only do what you feel comfortable with. If that means hitting the big ol’ “ignore” button on his friend request, go for it, because if you don’t, you’re basically inviting this guy from your past to be a presence in your present. You’re inviting him to peek into your life, look at photos of you, and make judgments and comments about what your life looks like now. Who needs that? It doesn’t sound like you do, so ignore the guy. There is no reason whatsoever you “should” feel you need to respond, end of story.
If you’re at all concerned about the biological son you gave up for adoption years ago finding you and/or your ex, rest assured that if he has a way to find your name and the location of his birth, in this day and age of Facebook and Google searching, it probably won’t be hard to track either of you down, whether you’re in touch with your ex or not. I’m sure that carrying your son to term at 13 years old — if I’m doing my math right here — and then giving him up for adoption was a huge, huge sacrifice. You are under no obligation to make another sacrifice for that little boy by maintaining any contact with his biological father if doing so causes you pain. Trust that you’ve made enough sacrifices for his well-being. This is the time to continue focusing on your well-being.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.