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Facebook Breakup Advice

Help a Reader Out: A Dicey Tech Dating Question

After posting some friendly but firm advice about how to deal with a breakup online, one reader posed two tricky questions:

  1. "What do you do about all those people you were only friends with because you were dating your ex? I mean, if it's likely you'll never see them again, should you unfriend them?"
  2. "For that matter, is it completely crass if I ask my friends (who were only friends with him because I was dating him) to unfriend him?"

Check out my responses and share your best advice after the break.

Ugh, why do breakups have to be so hard? Facebook is especially tricky because this depends on your level of closeness with your ex, the frequency at which you use the social networking service, and how close you consider your circle of Facebook friends. That said, it's perfectly reasonable to unfriend anyone associated with your ex, especially if you're worried about him (or her) popping up in status updates and photographs. And I think any reasonable person will understand why you're ending the Facebook friendship; they've probably been in a similar situation themselves.

As for asking your friends to unfriend your ex — I say go for it, but be prepared for one of them to say no. Since different people place different weight on Facebook friendships, it's possible that some friends don't plan to contact him in the first place and may not want to unfriend. It's completely within your bounds to request the change but not out of theirs to decline.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Have more advice to add? Share your thoughts below!

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RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
1. I'd say you can unfriend people you don't hang out with any more without an explanation. It sounds like you didn't get really close to any of them, which is kind of sad, but in this situation probably for the best, because then they don't have to divide their time between you and your partner. 2. I don't think you should ask that of your friends. If they don't have anything to do with him any more, they'll probably unfriend him sooner or later anyway, and if they are still in touch with him, then you are in no position to tell them who they can and cannot be friends with. You're going to have to accept that sometimes people are friends with both halves of a couple even after they break up. Besides, is it of any concern to you who your friends are friends with on Facebook? You can block anything that has to do with your ex easily.
RedVixxen RedVixxen 5 years
I agree with kimmie...asking people to unfriend them is very immature. It's understandable that you may not want them in your face as you're trying to move on, but if they're appearing that often, do yourself the favor and "hide" the updates. Your friends may have actually formed a friendship with the person, and depending on the circumstances of the breakup, it's wrong to put them in the middle of it and expect them to cut all ties.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 5 years
I actually don't think it's cool to ask your friends to unfriend him. You can let them know you're unfriending him and his friends, but it's their choice to be friends with someone on facebook. I am not sure how it is impacting you one way or the other if they maintain the facebook friendship. I would personally be offended if someone asked me to unfriend their ex. I may do it on my own if we were only friends because he was dating my friend, but I'd be offended if a friend asked me to do it when it's really not their business who I'm friends with on facebook.
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