Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Facebook Stalking Your Ex is Bad for Your Health

File this away in the “No Shit” folder: According to new research, Facebook stalking your ex “can delay emotional recovery and personal growth after a breakup.” Psychologist Tara C. Marshall of Brunel University in England asked 464 participants (mostly college-age women) to evaluate their Facebook usage and how well they were able to MOA after a breakup.

She asked them questions like, “How often do you look at your ex-partner’s Facebook page?” and “How often do you look at your ex-partner’s list of Facebook friends?” She also asked them to describe their feelings over the breakup and toward their ex. Participants were also asked whether they’d developed new romantic interests.

And get this! Marshall “discovered” that people who Facebook-stalk their exes have a more difficult time moving on already. They reported more emotional distress, negative feelings, and longing for their exes than people who avoided their exes on Facebook.

“In spite of the need for further research, the take-home message from the present study is that keeping tabs on an ex-partner through Facebook is associated with poorer emotional recovery and personal growth following a breakup,” Marshall wrote in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. “Therefore, avoiding exposure to an ex-partner, both offline and online, may be the best remedy for healing a broken heart.”

Did someone pay her to research this? Really? I’ve got a few thousand readers I could poll about their Facebook usage. Will someone give me some money to “discover” that Facebook stalking your ex’s new love interest isn’t emotionally healthy? Gimme a PhD in romance studies already, cause I got this.

Ok, but here’s something interesting: The study suggests that remaining Facebook friends with an ex and keeping tabs on the mundane crap in his or her life might just bore you enough to extinguish any lingering flames you might hold. Apparently, reading all about what your ex-boyfriend ate for breakfast or how he ran seven miles in an hour and three minutes is enough to erase whatever allure and mystique might still be keeping your interested.

Whatever, if you’re too tempted to stalk your ex, I’d recommend de-friending him or her, or at the very least unsubscribing to the updates. AND DON’T STALK THE NEW GIRLFRIEND. Seriously. (You’re prettier anyway. Trust).

[via Huffington Post]

83 comments… add one
  • ktfran September 24, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Ha. I was going to say no shit before I clicked on the link to read this piece.

    I have no problem being fb friends with exes when we broke up amicably. But I sure as hell unfriended an ex if I wasn’t quite over him. It leads to very bad feelings.

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  • lemongrass September 24, 2012, 1:18 pm

    “In spite of the need for further research”

    Really? You need to do more research?

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  • Lynn September 24, 2012, 1:21 pm


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  • iwannatalktosampson September 24, 2012, 1:46 pm

    In other obvious news: If you never have a communication break with an ex you will further delay your recovery process.

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    • iseeshiny September 24, 2012, 2:31 pm

      I hear it helps to skip the ex sex, too.

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      • Lili September 24, 2012, 2:38 pm

        Where were you two in March 2011 when I was having the worse decision making time of my life?! O h well, at least you guys just know me as sensible and smart Lili.

      • iseeshiny September 24, 2012, 3:58 pm

        I was probably off making my own terrible decisions and ignoring the people who were trying to give me (good) advice 😛

      • Trixy Minx September 24, 2012, 3:12 pm

        Oh gawd I’ve made plenty if those mistakes too.

  • va-in-ny September 24, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Alright, so I have a question now – (I am going to hijack this thread. Sorry in advance.)

    After a very bad breakup with my fiancé over 4 years ago, I thought I had laid everything to rest. I’m happily in a relationship now, living on my own, and honestly hadn’t thought about the guy until this weekend when my mother called to tell me Facebook alerted her that she had a common friend with the ‘ol ex-fi and it just happened to be my cousin’s husband. (This was one of things that says “Do you want to be friends with xyz? Because your friend is!”)

    I have mixed emotions about this. First, I don’t feel that there is any sort of emotion there that makes me go “nooooo you can’t be friends with him!” and honestly, I don’t believe I have the right to tell ANYONE who they can or cannot be friends with.


    On the other hand, this relationship ended very badly and ultimately had me afraid for my safety for a really long time. I made great strides to move on with my life and keep my personal information (phone number, address, etc.) hidden from him or anyone that would speak to him so that he could not just “show up” at any time.

    So what would you do? Leave it alone and HOPE that my cousin or her husband won’t share any of my personal information with him? Say something to the cousin/husband along the lines of “I don’t care if you’re friends with him, just leave me completely out of it”? Add extra privacy settings to what my cousin/husband can or cannot see on Facebook? Tell him to remove the ex from his friends?

    Share your wisdom, ye of smart minds.

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    • iwannatalktosampson September 24, 2012, 1:59 pm

      Eh I would let it go. Unless you’ve been contacted by him in the last two years I wouldn’t say or do anything about it. I kind of remember your story (he was in the military right?) and you were both super young. There’s a good chance he has matured a lot over the last 4 years. He probably doesn’t really care to stalk you. I know a lot of people who were in very dramatic/violent/creepy/unhealthy relationships during their late teen years and early twenties and they all now have moved on to have very healthy mature adult relationships.

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    • katie September 24, 2012, 2:02 pm

      i wonder if your cousin’s husband is even 1. aware that he is friends with the ex and 2. is aware of the seriousness of things between the two of you.

      a lot of people dont even know/remember/care who they are friends with and never purge their lists.. and, if he doesnt know all the lengths you have taken to be rid of the ex, he might not think anything of it anyway.

      i would just beef up the security on your own page. you can set it so only your friends can see it, so do that. tell you mom to do the same. unless you want to have the conversation with the cousin’s husband, which might not be a big deal to do. i think those are your two options though.

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      • va-in-ny September 24, 2012, 2:22 pm

        The friend-ing just happened this weekend, so it’s a recent ‘back in your life’ type of thing.

        The cousin and her husband were friendly with the ex when he was with me, and he got to me through them after I decided not to marry him. They believed all of the stuff he was saying and would come to me with this whole “you should just give him a chance, I can’t believe you’re being so hard on him.” nonsense. Eventually, I had to block their phone numbers as well because I got tired of hearing “he wants to meet you at 2 in the morning in an abandon warehouse because it’s ROMANTIC!” crap.

        It caused a pretty big rift in the family, and I’m afraid of that happening again. Maybe increasing security on both of their profiles would be best in this case..

      • rachel September 24, 2012, 2:38 pm

        Yikes. Yeah I would definitely make sure those people don’t have access to any private information in your profile. Sounds like they are people you don’t really need to be a big part of your life anyway.

      • iwannatalktosampson September 24, 2012, 2:53 pm

        Eh I still think all of that was 4 years ago. So I wouldn’t bring it up to the cousin – but I would definitely tighten up security on your page.

    • KKZ September 24, 2012, 2:05 pm

      I would update the privacy settings if I were you. Put Cousin and Husband on the “Restricted” list and make sure your phone number and address, etc, don’t appear to Restricted people..

      And you don’t really know if the Husband and the Ex are really good in-real-life buddies, or just people who randomly met each other once and FB-friended and never talked again. A lot of people don’t groom their list of friends very closely, or very often (I find this goes double for guys!).

      You could mention it to your cousin too, as a precaution, but I wouldn’t let that be my only line of defense if I really didn’t want the ex-Fi to get my info.

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    • bagge72 September 24, 2012, 2:23 pm

      Your mother wants to know if she can friend request your ex?

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      • rachel September 24, 2012, 2:37 pm

        I think her mother was just warning her about the cousin.

      • bagge72 September 24, 2012, 2:50 pm

        Oh gotcha! In that case I really wouldn’t worry about him being friends with your cousin’s husband, unless you really think he is trying to get to you again VA. And if you don’t want him seeing anything on your profile, just keep it private, unless you have some stuff you want him to see that will make him Jealous.

    • GatorGirl September 24, 2012, 4:17 pm

      I would change your privacy settings personally. I have a crazy (and violent) ex who terrifies me to this day, 5 years after our break up and I still do things on a regular basis to protect myself from him. It’s been about 2 years since he has contacted me last, but I still dread that he will show up on my wedding day and try to crash the party. I wouldn’t chance it with this guy.

      Oh, and I think it would be really shitty of your mom to be FB friends with a guy who physically threatened you. For reals.

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      • Jakdrake September 24, 2012, 11:46 pm

        Better yet, don’t put personal info like phone number and address in Facebook. It totally optional anyway. If someone want to phone/visit you they can email you and leave their phone number instead.
        Join social media doesn’t mean that everyone can know everything about you.
        I even hide my birthday.. Real friends and family will remember anyway 😀 the others, meh…

    • Homer September 26, 2012, 10:39 pm

      Your mom huh?

      Tell your mom that you aren’t interested in any sort of reconnection with your ex and ask her to please never raise that subject with you again.

      If your mom refuses to go along, un-friend her.

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  • Trixy Minx September 24, 2012, 1:58 pm

    I may have just stalked my ex for two minutes after reading this..

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  • mandalee September 24, 2012, 2:29 pm

    I love Facebook searching (I wouldn’t call it stalking) old exes from years ago when I’m bored. There are no lingering feelings and I’m happily married, so it’s more out of curiosity than anything. I will admit when I see an ex that treated me terribly is going prematurely bald or is going through yet another public breakup, it does brighten my day a bit. haha

    However, if you are still pining away for an ex, delete/block/unfriend/erase from social media existence and move on.

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    • bagge72 September 24, 2012, 2:39 pm

      I love looking at the cops and courts section of my local news paper, and then looking up the people on facebook to see what they look like!

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    • iwannatalktosampson September 24, 2012, 2:51 pm

      I love when the girls that hated me in high school get fat. I get a weird sick satisfaction out of that. But oddly enough I get kind of sad when I see that ex’s are losing at life – somehow I take it as an insult to me. Pretty much I make it about me and think there’s something wrong with me that I ever dated such a loser.

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      • theattack September 24, 2012, 3:02 pm

        No no no . You’re reading it all wrong. Don’t you know that they weren’t losers when you were dating? Not having you in their lives completely destroyed them because they didn’t know what to do with the lack of awesomeness. It speaks to your level of amazing when someone falls to pieces in your absence.

      • iwannatalktosampson September 24, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Ugh I wish I got that feeling. I just get sad inside when I see them destroy their lives.

        Tangent alert: Is it too early to have second lunch? I am starving today and can’t quit eating everything.

      • Lili September 24, 2012, 3:25 pm

        ME. TOO. I call it football game munchies. I want nachos. and Hot dogs. and garlic fries. Then more nachos.

      • Moneypenny September 24, 2012, 7:13 pm

        NACHOS!! Now I want some!

      • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 3:08 pm

        IWTTS, you pretty much just said two things that I think about all the time! I don’t necessarily need those high school bullies to get fat, just knowing they’re not attractive regardless of size does it for me. I was such an awkward, ugly duckling growing up and got picked on for it for a looong time. There was one girl who was mean to me in high school and back in the day I thought she was, like, so drop-dead gorgeous. I grew up to realize she’s not. She’s not even pretty. Maybe average. MAYBE. The funny thing is that she looks the same. Other people have grown up to be generally less attractive than they were in high school. It makes me glad I didn’t peak in high school. Yay!

        Also, I do the same thing with my ex being a loser all over social media! I blocked him last fall, but despite how much he tells everyone he hates me, he’s still Facebook friends with my BFFs and sister — an odd move for someone who always made a point of not keeping anyone on his page that isn’t a real-life friend — so I still see his page on rare ocassions. We have the same exact bachelor’s/post-grad degrees (English, then Law), and I’ve moved on to full-time employment. He is juggling 3 dead-end jobs that don’t pay enough for him to afford his own place and it would appear he spends half of his time writing crappy poetry (that he posts to the internet) and playing some sort of Solitaire game on Facebook. I think to myself that obviously this is a reflection of my poor taste in men and wonder what everyone must think of me — which is so conceited, but I can’t help but think these things because this is the guy I wanted to marry…!? I pity him. I wish someone would tell him to grow up already and use those lawyerin’ skills to persuade ANYONE to give him a grownup job.

      • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 3:11 pm

        Wow, I sound petty! Sorry about that! At least I’m honest…? Whatever, I’m a nice person to the people who are nice to me!

      • SweetPeaG September 24, 2012, 3:19 pm

        I always see an ex being a “loser” as simply my ability to see the good in a person… no matter how shitty the person… I can see their great qualities. My fiance always jokes that I can defend ANYONE. I can always find a reason for bad behavior. I want to believe that everyone is inherantly good.

        My ex was a jerk. He was immature. He was mean. He was rude. He saw people as what they could DO for him. He got in fistfights and had anger issues. He was a liar and a cheater. He made people feel small. He was a lot of bad things. And when I see how he may still be some of these things (although I don’t details), two+ years later? I don’t see that as my failure… that there was something wrong with me for ever dating him. I’m a good person. I know I did my best. I could see the diamond in the rough that he *could* have been if he had decided to make different choices in his life. If he could have owned up to his failures and gotten help. His problems don’t make me the one with the problem.

        And it shouldn’t be a reflection on you either! Maybe you also just saw your ex’s potential. You saw something beautiful and good in him. It is his issue if he didn’t grow and become the wonderful person he could have.

        So, there… that’s my pep talk for the day 😉

      • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 5:01 pm

        No, my ex is a huge loser. I pity him. I don’t see the good in him anymore and truth be told I’m not sure what I ever saw in him anymore. He was controlling and manipulative. He neither visited me after my gallbladder surgery and did not invite me to his good friend’s wedding (he was extended a +1) because he was into the maid of honor and dumped me for her as soon as he came home. It’s petty, but I laugh at how sad his life seems now. But behind all that laughter are serious doubts about what I was thinking and what people must think of me that I was willing to allow myself to be treated so poorly.

      • Lili September 24, 2012, 5:14 pm

        I feel indifferent towards my ex now but a little disheartened when I realize just how much of my self worth and self esteem I lost (or never had) during that phase. But I just think about it terms of trial by fire. Now that I’m so much stronger I’ll be able to recognize the signs sooner and DTMFA if someone treats me with less respect than I deserve. I also try hard to deal with all the underlying issues that are bound to crop up since he was my first relationship and that impacted a lot of my relationship views. I’m sure your friends have faced equally embarrassing dating/ex situations. Besides no one knows the real truth about a couple’s relationship. I just assume I see like the tip of the iceberg of any couple. and its the tip they are choosing to expose…

      • GatorGirl September 24, 2012, 10:01 pm

        I’m with you. My ex is and was a loser. He probably always will be a loser. Alcoholism, a hidden drug addiction, mentally and physically abusive…ugh why did I waste 3 years of my life on him??

  • Fabelle September 24, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Does this go for old friends too? (I’m gonna say yes. Because I just spent some time earlier looking through a wedding album where my ENTIRE group of old friends apparently were. And thinking “WHAAT, she was here? Why is he there? Oh my god, are those two FRIENDS now? Or did they, like, just pose together for the picture?”)


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  • SweetPeaG September 24, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I have fb stalked ex’s mostly because I am a nosey person… that’s pretty much it. I’m not going to lie- I kind of love to see how my pushing 40 year old ex still acts like a dumb kid all over his facebook. The joke about doing people’s Moms somehow never gets old for him (and people have long since stopped laughing with him). And when I see who he is currently dating? I just say “Oh, bless that poor girl” to myself.

    However, when a break up is fresh? Go on a facebook fast! Seriously. Other than using it for work related things, I avoided the internet in general. I took a few months from all social networking (and my cell phone) for a few months. It cleared my head and was the healthiest thing for me at the time.

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  • landygirl September 24, 2012, 2:55 pm

    None of my exs have FB pages.

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    • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 3:44 pm

      Ha! There was an article in Time magazine that said that those without FB pages are more likely to be antisocial, dangerously socially withdrawn and perhaps even mass murderers! Think James Holmes…. a few of my exes don’t have FB pages either, which got me wondering….

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      • landygirl September 24, 2012, 5:01 pm


  • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Isn’t Facebook bad for your mental health in general? I think they say people are lonelier thanks to social media, which (I think) makes a lot of sense.

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    • SweetPeaG September 24, 2012, 3:23 pm


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      • ricky September 25, 2012, 7:45 am

        Not just bad for health but also increasingly dangerous with all the plagiarism, lack of privacy, the amount of lawsuits for one’s action on facebook, people tagging you on embarrassing photos etc. The worst part is the facebook team has no accountibility towards the action going on there.

  • bittergaymark September 24, 2012, 3:18 pm

    How shockingly insightful. In other obvious news, eating two pounds of chocolate a day will make one fat… Though, of course, further study is needed on that, too, because apparently all scientists are fucking idiots who think they are making revelatory discoveries when they are only proving the obvious.

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    • iwannatalktosampson September 24, 2012, 3:21 pm

      MARK! This is where the “earmuffs” button comes into play. I just melted chocolate chips on top of popcorn for my second lunch.

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      • bittergaymark September 24, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Perhaps you should sign up for that forthcoming study… 😉

      • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 3:40 pm

        85% dark chocolate dipped in Justin’s maple almond butter is AWESOME after yoga, BTW…

      • iwannatalktosampson September 24, 2012, 3:46 pm

        Funny I am planning on going to hot yoga this afternoon just to counteract my second lunch. (well and hopefully the first)

    • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 4:41 pm

      A woman (in California, I think) sued the company that makes Nutella for “false advertisement” after she discovered that it is not a health food and won a very large settlement. I think she got something like $2 or 3 million. Apparently it was not obvious to her that eating something that is pretty much on par with frosting makes people fat. It would turn out that failing to see the obvious can be fairly lucrative…

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      • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 4:56 pm

        Justin’s hazelnut butter with chocolate is nutella’s worst enemy! They come in these little squeezepacks…. great for hiking, skiing, when you need a burst of energy…. but I do not buy it by the jar… too dangerous!

      • theattack September 24, 2012, 5:07 pm

        My mom still insists that it’s a health food because it has protein. I’ve told her over and over again that it obviously isn’t, and she still can’t understand why she’s gaining weight after eating it on bagels, or making nutella + cream cheese sandwiches. Though my mom might just be choosing not to see that Nutella is unhealthy because it’s seriously delicious. Who knows.

      • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 7:22 pm

        You’re making me want to try a Nutella + cream cheese sandwich! That sounds really tasty!

        Last year when i was an uber hot mess after a breakup, I was ALL ABOUT Nutella. Pathetically so. I found a recipe for a 5 minute Nutella microwave mug cake. Best kind of cake EVER. I was also fond of peanut butter + Nutella sandwiches. Soo good. Naturally after months of doing this I realized I was getting kinda plump! Of course, it’s not like I would eat these things and think I was doing something awesome for my body, but sometimes I wish I had thought to play dumb and sue so I could have $3M with which to do random acts of kindness.

      • ricky September 25, 2012, 7:34 am

        I love Nutella even though it is unhealthy. Though, i eat it once in 15-20 days.

      • katie September 24, 2012, 7:17 pm

        That suit was much more about the fact that Nutella marketed themselves as a healthy food. I’m glad that they lost. Sad that people don’t read ingredients and just take a commercial at face value, but still glad they got in trouble nonetheless.

      • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 8:20 pm

        I actually watched the commercial that spurred the lawsuit and did not think it was false advertising in the least. It basically encourages people to make Nutella a part of a wholesome breakfast by eating it with whole grain toast or on fruit as part of a balanced meal. I thought the lawsuit was bullshit. Would anyone assume strawberry Pop-Tarts are healthy?

      • ele4phant September 24, 2012, 8:28 pm

        Right, but if you’re slathering a sugary, high calorie spread on fruit or whole wheat toast, it ceases to be balanced, yes? If I ate a vegetable stirfry that was slathered in cheese fondue, its not really healthy anymore, even though I ate a lot of veggies in the process.

        I agree that people need to be more responsible with what they eat and take the effort to learn what they’re actually eating, but none-the-less, Nutella was misrepresenting themselves. It cannot, by definition be part of a healthy, balanced breakfast. Its a treat.

      • copacabananut September 24, 2012, 9:44 pm

        Using the same logic, fruit would cease to be part of a healthy, balanced breakfast because by eating a lot of fruit you are eating a lot of sugar. Anything is unhealthy in excess. Anyone slathering an two inches of frosting onto a croissant and then feeding it to her child is irresponsible. Plenty of cereals that are loaded with sugar are advertised as healthy. In my eyes, it’s no different.

      • katie September 24, 2012, 11:08 pm

        No, they aren’t marketed as “healthy”. Right now, they are marketed as “whole grain rich” (51% or more whole grain) a “good source of vitamin __” (if I remember right, more then 20% of daily recommended intake). They don’t say “healthy”, because they would likely be sued if they did.

        The words they use are very specific and are chosen very carefully… And if you choose incorrectly, you will be sued for false advertising, because that is what you are doing.

      • katie September 24, 2012, 11:26 pm

        And, just as an FYI, “healthy” means “a food that is low in fat and saturated fat and that contains limited amounts of cholesterol and sodium. If it is a single-item food, it must also provide at least 10 percent of one or more of vitamins A or C, iron, calcium, protein, or fiber. Exempt from this “10-percent” rule are certain raw, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables and certain cereal-grain products. These foods can be labeled “healthy,” if they do not contain ingredients that change the nutritional profile, and, in the case of enriched grain products, conform to standards of identity, which call for certain required ingredients.” So if you are saying something is “healthy” without meeting those requirements, your company is breaking the law.

      • katie September 24, 2012, 8:47 pm

        They actually say that their product is “healthy” in the commercial. Also, they explain Nutella as a nut spread with skim milk and a hint of cocoa. They are both untrue claims. Things like that are heavily regulated in food. If you claim health benefits, there has to be substantial research to back up what you claim. If you claim whole grain, you have to have a certain percentage, ect.. It’s very heavily regulated. They were breaking the law.

  • Caris September 24, 2012, 3:35 pm

    obvious research is obvios

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  • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 3:39 pm

    OK, so what does one make of this when you get “friended” by an ex- high school crush’s wife????? (we were never really in a relationship but have become friends more recently – yes through FB) I accepted her as a friend, and had dinner with her one night… and she friended my BROTHER (my brother???????!!!!! my nerdy 55 year old ulra-religious brother????) IS she stalking ME???? Is she so insecure that her whole life is wrapped up in her husband ( whom she has known since college some 30 years ago!!!) that any perceived threat, however slight, must be POUNCED upon???? Or is she just a friendly open person….. I don’t get the vibe that her husband is “into” me and she seems to have let up a bit… but still…

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    • bittergaymark September 24, 2012, 3:52 pm

      How many friends does she have on Facebook? She could just be one of those people who friends everybody. I am constantly getting friend requests from friends of friends who saw my post on their friend’s wall and want to see more from me because my posts apparently amuse many… Is your nerdy brother funny? Seriously, it could just be that. Or it could be that she, too, is ultra-religious and simply shares many of his views… (Hey, if she was in college thirty years ago then she must also be in her 50s… so 55 isn’t that OLD.)

      How exactly did it come about for you two to go to dinner? (I’m intrigued.) Was he there? Was it a fun night? If so, she could just genuinely like you — meaning she feels completely unthreatened and it’s a sincere gesture of friendship. I know that I’ve been friended by old time exes new boy friends and have never thought much of it other than that I must have been REALLY ON that night we all ran into one another…

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      • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 4:16 pm

        BGM, she has about 155 friends. Not too many. We went to dinner because she invited me to see her husband’s play with her – I was in town for a conference the same weekend his play he directed was on, and I enjoy him because he is intelligent, funny, and we share political views… I live 1500 miles away, I am happily married. So we went to dinner and saw the play. Just the 2 girls. She was very charming, but I felt like I was being vetted and checked out a bit, but I did my best to disarm her in my self deprecating way and I dressed way down that night because I had a feeling if I looked too good and she felt threatened, that she would put a kabosh on the friendship… my brother is not funny, BTW. But he is smart.

        I thought that after that night out almost a year ago, where we seemed to get on well, that we (she and I) would maintain a friendship, but, we really haven’t. I still have a friendship with friend, …I am going to visit back home in a few weeks and friend and I have vague plans to meet up… but it might not even happen due to my schedule and family obligations while I am there…

        I tried to have our families meet over the summer over a long layover, but it didn’t work out. So they would have met my husband, kids, and we would have all (in my mind) had this big platonic love fest… alas…

        I guess she “just isn’t that into me”… (sniff) but wants to keep tabs on me anyway in case I try and steal her husband away…

        I just… kind of wonder about someone who so aggressively checks out any slight perceived threat to their marriage… I wonder about their marriage… because my husband has TONS of friends, both male and female (as do I), and I barely even think about it….

        So FB brings up complications no matter what your relationship status and age are…. always a bit of wierdness to it…. especially when you are reconnecting with old friends…

      • theattack September 24, 2012, 4:26 pm

        Maybe she’s just reaching out and trying to make new friends? She didn’t keep in touch with you, but you do live far away. Was your friend (her husband) friends with your brother way back when too? Their friendship might be separate from yours. If your brother lives in the same area then maybe they ran into each other and met?

      • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 4:37 pm

        My brother, who was 4 grades ahead of us in school, never knew my friend, though I suspect that they would have liked each other. They are FB friends now… and no, neither my brother nor I live near our hometown anymore… and for years. Only my elderly childless widowed aunt lives there, and so I go back 2x/year lately to take her out, visit, etc.

        So my theory is that her whole life revolves around her husband– she even followed him to grad school years ago and just hung out while he attended (she has a “mcjob” while he has a “career” and is pretty well known in his world) and that she feels insecure and must protect her “assets”. And so a female friend from long long ago may be a threat… and I understand that and I respect their marriage… but still it felt strange on my end…

      • bittergaymark September 24, 2012, 5:59 pm

        Sue Jones: You are hard to follow on this issue. In one post, she’s keeping tabs on you by friending/stalking you on Facebook. But in the next you are hurt that she hasn’t made MORE of a concrete effort to become REAL friends with you — which would then only make it oh-so-much easier to REALLY keep tabs on you… Think about it.

        I think you went out, had a great dinner, and she Friended you so that you could easily get back in touch with her whenever you are coming back to town. Remember, you live 1,500 miles away. I’m confused as to what exactly you really expected out of her? Long phone calls? Chummy emails? Frequent Instant Messaging? But all these things would only play into your original fear that she was stalking you out of a deranged sense of misguided jealously. As an outside observer, it almost looks as if she is damned is she do, damned if she don’t. What exactly did you want out of this? Because, frankly, I am confused…

      • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 6:15 pm

        I guess I was expecting more… connection afterwards if she wanted to be my real friend. But there was nothing. Call me old fashioned. I was thinking, more back and forth on FB, more commenting on posts,more “likes” whatnot… if she was really wanting to get to know me. Leading up to our dinner there was lots. And yes, I realize that this is FB and everyone relates to it differently, but why “friend” someone you do not know at all? Otherwise, her “friending” seemed more like being able to spy on me without really connecting…

        In contrast, I have a new FB friend (female- a girl from my childhood camp who I do not remember ever having met) that is going to pick me up from the airport, drive to the mountains and spend the weekend with me (and others that we know), and drive me back and she comments a lot, and we like each other’s posts…. and unless things go really wrong somehow, I think I have met a new friend….

        So… It just makes me put friend’s wife into a different mental column of “hmmmm, I am not sure of her motivations, but whatever….”

        It really isn’t a huge deal, but these things are a bit confusing in the world of relating to women friends…

        Which is why I prefer men.

      • bittergaymark September 24, 2012, 6:27 pm

        I think Facebook makes everybody paranoid. And yet — some stranger picking you up at the airport and driving you to the mountains signals no alarms whatsoever. 😉

        Look, I just don’t get how anybody could really “keep tabs” on somebody via facebook. I mean is anybody ever REALLY going to view their husband’s exgirlfriend’s page and find the following status update:

        “Day 326 of my plot to win back Jeff. I managed to sneakily LIKE two of the three new pics he uploaded and casually commented that he was “looking good for an old-timer!” Hah! His foolish wife won’t even catch it — but I know Jeff loves to be told he still looks hot… (SHE never does that!) Nor will she catch that I liked three of his most recent status updates… I don’t know why he never comments on mine, maybe I just need to make them more interesting… But then, he also never commented on my Stripper-Pole Work out class pics yet. Time to upload some more, I guess. In these new one’s I’m wearing his favorite color, orange. In time, he WILL be mine! Mwah-ha-ha-ha!!”

      • ele4phant September 24, 2012, 6:35 pm

        I would hope if anyone was using Facebook to conduct shanigans, they would have the brains to NOT use the public walls or status to go about it. If something fishy really was going on, I hope you would know how to go about it without letting all your facebook friends know about it.

        Its just common sense.

      • bittergaymark September 24, 2012, 6:41 pm

        Right. But then how can you really keep tabs on anybody who is doing so. That’s my point…

      • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 6:36 pm

        HaHa… not sure… I guess perhaps she thinks that on one of my secret visits to town, while he and I are hiding away in a secluded Bistro making googly eyes at one another, while I am wearing an orange very low cut blouse… or walking in the city by the streetcam, that someone he knows will catch us, will snap our picture together and TAG us both! And then she will know that it is true…

      • Lili September 24, 2012, 6:31 pm

        Oh see I think this could just be a difference of facebooking styles. Not everyone you friend on FB is going to turn into some deep connection. As a matter of fact I have added 5 new FB friends today alone after meeting them at a gala this weekend. Do I intend to chat/converse/keep up with all 5, no, but I like knowing I’m ‘friends’ with them. And maybe at the dinner she realized you two didn’t have that friendship chemistry? It happens. Like dating. Online chats and back forth are great, but in person the people don’t click. I don’t think t here is anything sinister in her motivations, other than hey its always good to have more ‘friends’ I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

      • theattack September 24, 2012, 7:16 pm

        Yup, Different facebook styles. This is exactly what it is. It’s amazing how much drama is caused by people having different facebook styles. That’s not meant as a dig at you, Sue. It’s just true that it does. My aunt got mad because she tagged herself in every single one of my pictures this spring (graduation, cookouts with my friends, etc), and I untagged her because she wasn’t actually in any of the pictures. Now she thinks I hate her. Anyway, just chalk it up to people using the internet differently.

      • rachel September 24, 2012, 8:38 pm

        Argh, my mom was all hurt that she wasn’t tagged in my pictures from my sister’s college graduation…that were taken a couple of years before she even had facebook. What was I supposed to go back through all my pictures as soon as she made an account?

      • ele4phant September 24, 2012, 6:31 pm

        “And yes, I realize that this is FB and everyone relates to it differently”

        Yep, I think this is it. It sounds like you use facebook as an extension of your in person social life, interacting with the same people in both, and facebook is just one of many ways you interact with the same people.

        For others, like myself (and maybe this woman) facebook is really a distinct thing from my day to day social life. Essentially, its a really lazy way for me to keep open lines of communication with people I couldn’t be bothered to otherwise. Meet friends while traveling? Facebook ’em, and if I ever go through their part of the world, I’ll shoot them a PM. Friends from high school and college I never talk to anymore but have no beef with? Facebook, maybe keep occassionally see what they’re up too without having to pick up the phone, and if I realize we’ll be in the same place at the same time, see if they want to get together. For people I DO consider to be close friends, in the real world sense, I don’t really use facebook to keep in touch with them. They get texts, phonecalls, in person meet-ups. You know, effort.

        I have no idea if your friend’s wife is like me or not, but it seems totally legitimate that she could have a facebook philosophy like mine. She met you once, she liked you, but you’re 1500 miles away and by friending you on facebook she can but in the bare minimum effort at keeping a connection with you.

      • Sue Jones September 24, 2012, 6:46 pm

        Perhaps. I actually interact mostly on FB with people from my hometown. Local friends who I see regularly I don’t FB back and forth with because I know that I will see them frequently anyway. I usually don’t give these things a 2nd thought… but there was just something about it… and I could give more examples, but I’d rather not belabor a point. If I do connect with her while I am in town this time, I will stay open, friendly and see what happens…

    • GatorGirl September 24, 2012, 4:22 pm

      My fiance’s GF from middle school (yes…6 to 8 grade) friended me. I found it to be terribly strange. I think she just wanted to snoop about my fiance.

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  • GatorGirl September 24, 2012, 4:28 pm

    I FB stalk my ex just to see if he is still alive. Seriously. Our break up catapulted him into a drug induced downward spiral. He was very abusive in our relationship (both mental and physical) and continued to contact me for about 3 years afterwards. I never unfriended him on FB because I was so afraid of the backlash but he finally unfriended me about a year ago. I’m really hoping he doesn’t try to crash my wedding.

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  • Lindsay September 24, 2012, 5:49 pm

    I agree with the main point that you shouldn’t Facebook-stalk your ex, and it’s bad for you. But this is an example of why I don’t like the way studies are reported (don’t get me started on how much I hate statistics). This doesn’t prove that it’s bad for you. It’s pretty likely that a person who feels the need to stalk an ex is already more distraught over the breakup than someone who doesn’t. And it shows that they aren’t trying to get over them, as opposed to someone who might be putting more effort into it. Chicken or egg syndrome, I say.

    Anyway, I do check out the Facebook of this one ex (Facebook is originally how I learned he was lying to me about a lot of crazy things), and it makes me ragey, so I am in total agreement that it’s a bad thing.

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    • theattack September 24, 2012, 6:15 pm

      Exactly. That’s why more research is needed, because this study is showing correlation, but it’s not showing causation.

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  • Buck Bradley September 27, 2012, 9:27 am

    Seriously, are any adults still on Facebook? You really miss junior high school THAT MUCH?

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