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chelle21689's avatar

Is it ok to accept a friend request from an ex if you're in a relationship/married?

Asked by chelle21689 (7407points) December 14th, 2015 from iPhone

So I’m not really surprised by my ex (whom I was with for 5½) years reached out to me and started liking old photos of friendly pics of our old friends (not us) and sent me a friend request. We haven’t spoke in 5 years. We were okay but he got married and he wasn’t allowed to talk to me which was for the best at the time because wounds were still fresh. Anyways, they’re recently divorced as I heard. Well, divorcing soon…

I did care for him, I have memories that will always be a part of me but we were much better off as friends. We were not compatible and he kinda drove me crazy because we had different values. I love my boyfriend, I’ve never been this happy….my boyfriend and I are moving along with our lives. I’m not even really attracted to my ex anymore. Physically or emotionally. He’s not ugly, it’s just that ship has sailed.

Thing is, I do want to accept the friend request but I don’t if it’s disrespectful to my boyfriend. I don’t want to start conversation and have long talks catching up. I just want to be cordial and acquaintances like I am with a lot of people on Facebook. I was never a fan of blocking someone from my life unless they absolutely did something terrible to me. Any thoughts? Should I notify my boyfriend?

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22 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I’m fb friends with my ex and his wife. I’ve never met her in real life.

jca's avatar

I have two thoughts on this one in your case. One is you should ask your current bf what he thinks. Another idea is to accept the friend request but block him from seeing your future posts, and block his stuff from showing up in your news feed.

Coloma's avatar

No biggy, you should be way beyond that now and relating as human to human is no cause for jealousy and certainly not unfaithful or disrespectful. Everyone has exes and just because someone is an ex doesn’t mean they are a threat in the present. Infact, being able to be friends with exes is a sign of maturity unless there was abuse or other extremely unsavory behaviors, then no.

Buttonstc's avatar

Why not just casually ask your current bf how he would feel about it (not necessarily because you need his permission but just to be polite) and make your decision accordingly.

It’s obvious to you that there is no longer the romantic feelings you used to have for the ex, but if your current bf is really insecure about that, would you want to risk causing a glitch with your current relationship?

I’m not saying how he might feel about it, but since being fb friends with the ex was not already an existing part of the picture, if it were me, I would want to know how the current bf would regard it.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

jca's avatar

Just to clarify, when I said the OP should ask her current bf, I didn’t mean it as in “ask for permission,” I meant it more as in ask if it’s going to cause problems.

Also, @chelle21689, only you know whether or not the relationship was too recent or enough in the past that it won’t cause you to be interested in him or vice versa. The way you describe it, with the potential for chatting and stuff, it seems like you may think he is looking to rekindle the romance. In the example given by @JLeslie, her ex is with a partner right now so there might hopefully be less or zero chance of him being flirty, whereas, in your current example, @chelle21689 the circumstances are different with him just divorced and friending you.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Was writing this out when I got a phone call and answered it without closing the window. Oops.

I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with it as long as A) you mention it to you’re boyfriend so it doesn’t seem sneaky (not that you need permission – it’s just the considerate thing to do [especially because it was a long relationship]) and B) you realize that your ex may have other intentions. The fact that he immediately added you after ending a marriage could mean that he thinks more of the add than you do.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll add some details. My exboyfriend and I had been broken up many years. I know him well, and I know he would never marry a girl who would have a problem with an ex. My husband had met my ex before, and also became friends with my ex’s cousin and wife, who I stayed friends with over the years. If I thought my husband would have some sort if problem with me friends my ex I probably would have asked my husband first to be sure he was ok with it. If my ex did anything to infer he was trying to get back together or anything inappropriate, I would quickly set him straight and probably unfriend him.

Moreover, my husband can look at my phone, computer, email, Facebook, anything he wants at any time, so nothing is secret so to speak. He doesn’t bother to look as far as I know, but if he needs to use my phone because it’s handy, he knows I don’t care and vice versa, I can always pick up his phone. He doesn’t have to ask, and I never have a negative reaction when he does use it once in a blue moon.

Once in a while I message with my ex about something, but it’s very rare. Sometimes we play words with friends. Actually, I “talk” to his wife more than him through status comments.

Rarebear's avatar

LIke @JLeslie I’m FB friends with my ex. My wife is FB friends with her ex too. Not a big deal.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Gah! Sorry for the hideous typos – I answered from my phone and it’s too late for editing.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

He might try to steal you away from your husband. It’s your choice.

chelle21689's avatar

He’s all the way across the country anyway. Funny, because I didn’t accept it yet but his friend request disappeared so he probably cancelled it lol.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’m friends with a couple of my ex’s. My wife’s ok with that and, frankly, I wouldn’t be with her if she wasn’t.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It’s okay, I have three ex’s from high school and college. A fourth one dropped off fb when she got divorced two years ago, still have her ex as a fb friend.

Married now for 27 years. But not fb friends with my ex-wife.

Cruiser's avatar

You said it yourself…“my boyfriend and I are moving along with our lives.” IMO bringing this ex into your lives now serves no positive purpose at this time in your life.

Seek's avatar

I just found out hubby is FB friends with one ex and a few former FWBs. I honestly never thought about it until this question, so I asked. ::shrug:: Whatever.

I don’t have any exes, so it’s a non-issue there.

dabbler's avatar

I don’t think it’s disrespectful at all, especially if your current guy knows about the ex and can hear in your voice that that previous thing is over.
If there’s any attraction beyond familiarity of old shared experience, then be clear up front about what you consider the boundaries.

zenvelo's avatar

Even if your BF is cool with it, once his sisters find out they will call you even more names than they do already, and will only invite you to family things so they can talk about you in front of you.

Watch out for those sisters.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

It’s probably best to mention something to your guy if you feel you need to ask us. I think most couples wouldn’t mind if the other friended an ex, but if there’s any jealousy at all in the relationship I might advise against it.

@chelle21689 It’s possible he was just stalking your timeline and accidentally sent a request. I’ve done this before and it’s been done to me. Sometimes I wonder how many of my requests were due to fb stalking. :)

filmfann's avatar

My wife and I have several friends on Facebook that we used to date. We have good relationships with my ex-girlfriends, and her ex-husband.

jca's avatar

I think what makes the circumstances of the OP different than other examples given here by other Jellies is that she stated ”Anyways, they’re recently divorced as I heard. Well, divorcing soon…” It seems to me like the ex is friending because he wants to keep his options open.

cazzie's avatar

I am very choosy who is on my FB list. If you are there, you are part of a small club. I don’t think all FB pages are treated equal, so only you can answer your question. Don’t be afraid to ‘unfriend’ if things get weird. It is YOUR information, pictures and ponderings and no one has a right to it unless you let them.

chelle21689's avatar

So anyways, update… My ex and I talked. he said he was no longer under his ex wife’s tyranny and was free (strong choice of words) and that he wanted to call and catch up but didn’t want to intrude or be weird. I told him out of respect for my relationship I won’t be taking phone calls, having frequent contact, or long night conversations…for us to be cordial and cool with each other. He agreed…kept apologizing for being out of touch for so long and said it was good to hear from me after a long time. I told him happy holidays and that was it. It was friendly and short…didn’t want to make it too personal and vulenerable. He might’ve wanted a longer conversation but he understands.

I told my boyfriend about it, tried to bring it up as casually as I could…His reaction what, “What the heck? Weird.” Because he knew he wasn’t allowed to talk to me. He then asked what I did and I said I accepted. I told him I’m not going to be having a full blown friendship, long talks, etc. but to be like acquaintances. He asked me “What’s the point in being Facebook/ig friends if you don’t talk?” I made a point I had 600 friends and I don’t really talk to anyone all like that. He said, “Oh I forgot, u add anyone online.” Which isn’t really true I just add people I never met but are mutual friends lol. Anyways I told him what I told my ex…and he said “Hm ok, as long as it doesn’t get weird.” I told him I wouldnt leave for a relationship that didn’t work out for someone across the country..assured him that he’s the one I want, and that was that. It didnt really go bad, but he never was controlling the type.

If it does seem to make my relationship weird then it’s not worth it and I’ll defriend. I’ll always care for my ex since we did have history and stuff but my boyfriend is my future…I feel better opening up to him about it.

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