Let’s Not Be Friends: Facebook Ex Etiquette

Let’s Not Be Friends: Facebook Ex Etiquette

A Facebook de-friending from a recent ex may seem like a slap in the face, but it’s really quite healthy for both parties.

If you actually meant that line about still being friends, Facebook defriending may help you create the space you need to become comfortable on your new footing.

You may refriend him the future, when time has passed and you’re both ready to reconnect; but until then, you don’t have to be reminded of him whenever you see his status updates.

Also, you won’t have to read sickly-sweet wall chatter between him and his new girl, and you won’t be reminded when he goes back to your favorite brunch spot.

Even after a mutual decision to split, reading a feed of your ex’s daily life and thoughts can be unpleasant.

Good manners are never as essential as when dealing with an ex with whom you share friends.

There’s no Emily Post of Facebook (yet), but you can’t go wrong maintaining distant politeness with an ex, online or off. Defriending — even if you didn’t initiate it — helps you maintain a classy distance.

Think Jackie Kennedy here, not Carrie Bradshaw.

Defriending also provides essential emotional space for you to recover gracefully from a breakup. If you know your latest status update isn’t appearing immediately on his home page, you’ll have a bit more Facebook freedom, and you won’t have to pause before updating your status to imagine him reading it.

Remember, nothing on Facebook is really private, especially with mutual friends reading, so your Facebook wall is still not the space for you to share your post-breakup angst. Save that for drinks, close friends and privacy.

Plus, if you’re inclined to bittersweet obsessive page-checking and wall reading, you’ll be saving yourself hours of agonizing over what your ex really meant by that innocuous status update.

If your breakup wasn’t an amiable parting of the ways, defriending draws a clear line of separation between you and Mr. Horribly Wrong. If he does leave nasty status updates or notes, you won’t have to see them and be drawn into a tacky battle.

Don’t be sucked into this, no matter what he says about you, women in general or the end of the relationship.

Unfortunately, any response to his ridiculous assertions, whether it’s a self-pitying note on his poor broken heart or a rant on the failings of the female gender, gives him credibility and much-desired attention.

Pretend you hadn’t even heard, and practice a distantly polite in-person response for mutual friends who think they really ought to tell you what your ex has been saying.

Sure, it’s hard not to react, but let his bitterness and anger stand in stark contrast to your quiet class — is it any wonder you broke up with someone like that?

Even if you’ve unfriended each other, you can still leave notes on mutual friends’ walls about what a great time you had last night (without him), how much you love being single, how great your last booty call was, or other comments obviously meant for your ex’s attention.

You wouldn’t use your friends just to get back at an ex, so don’t use your friends’ walls as a place to fight with your ex.

You run the risk of alienating friends by pulling them into a tacky spat, and you could also come out looking petty and mean to any potential new guys in your Facebook network.

There are always touchy etiquette issues when recent exes are on the same social network, but keep it classy!

Your new boyfriend could well be reading.

You may also like:

Let’s Not Be Friends: Facebook Ex Etiquette



I started blogging in the summer of 2008 as a way to have an alternative outlet for my creativity. My writing career was at a standstill and I was dying for an audience (any writer who tells you they don’t want an audience is lying). Friends had been suggesting, for years, that I write about dating. I’ve always been a prolific dater and had plenty of dating stories to share, so I went with it. And blogging seemed like a great way to find an audience. I am also a co-founder of Loveawake dating siteView Author posts