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Friendly Flirting or is Facebook the Top Reason for Divorce?

by Deborah Cruz

I ran into a situation on Facebook last week that was foreign to me. It was as foreign as going to another planet. I’m sure many of you have been in this position, due to most of us being so social media/tech savvy /plugged in. Have you ever found yourself in the uncomfortable position of finding yourself reading a complimentary email from an old high school chum on Facebook? Or, perhaps, reading a flattering comment on one of your Facebook photos? What about engaging in a Facebook online chat with an old acquaintance that suddenly escalates from platonic and pleasant, to a little friendly flirting and eventually you find yourself floundering as you have landed right smack dab in the middle of uncomfortable-ville? Have any of you experienced this? What am I asking? Of course, you have.

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Don’t be shy. I won’t tell anyone. I’m just thinking out loud here. But what do you do? See, the Big Guy and I are very open…about everything. (No, I don’t mean our marriage is open. That bitch is locked up tighter than San Quentin prison.) But every once in a while, someone we went to high school with will friend he or I on Facebook or vice versa and then it goes a little something like this. The obligatory, “Hi, how have you been?” (Just because it’s rude to friend someone just to nose around their profile to see how fat they got or how ugly their spouses are, right?) This is usually reciprocated by an “I’m good. Married, 2 kids, great job, blah, blah blah!” But what it usually means is, “I’m OK, living back with my mom, I’m fat, I’m bald, and my wife has left me for some guy who has more money.”

Facebook is a time machine to your past


But then one of two things happens, either you say hi and check each other’s Facebook profile out. You spend a good half hour catching up on what they’ve been up to, who they’ve married, do they have kids, what is their station in life and after all this and you’ve perused their profile pics ( oh, don’t tsktsk me…I know you all do it. No way, I’m the only one using Facebook to check out what happened to everyone I used to go to high school with.) and you are certain that you dodged a bullet or are glad this person is in your past, then you are done. You never speak again. Maybe the occasional unmeaning “Happy Birthday” because all 457 of their other friends said it.

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Or things can go this way on Facebook, you say hi and then comfort takes over and maybe some chemistry on one or the others part, coupled with a side order of loneliness and BOOM! combustible..blow up in your face flirtation…or is that friendly flirtation n Facebook? But really is there any such thing as friendly flirtation among married people? If the two are single…OK, go crazy. But if one or both are married, isn’t that a recipe for disaster? Maybe Facebook should change its name to Divorcebook? I mean seriously if you ask me…Facebook is starting problems. Between any love you’ve ever lost,  chance you never took, or singles ads showing what you could have versus what you’ve already got…Facebook is an instigator.

Hey look who I found on Facebook

I think it is. I’m no fucking prude. I’m a certifiable touchy, feely kinda broad and I know that I’ve been guilty of a little friendly flirtation. So watch out..if we ever meet in person, I may be all huggy, kissy and ass smacking. ( not really but I will probably hug you out.) It’s no surprise to hear me say “Oh my God, your hair is so hot like that” to a friend (male or female, no difference to me. I’ve been married forever now and all you people are androgynous Ken dolls to me now. Whatever’s between your legs is of no concern to me) usually the Big Guy is standing right there. We all know, it’s me paying a compliment ( or in some cases being extremely generous) but everyone who knows me..knows that I am unabashedly in love with the Big Guy. So, when I say something of this nature, everyone knows that it’s JUST a compliment…its not an invitation for anything more. NEVER!

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But when you’re on Facebook and people can’t see facial expressions, or hear voice inflections and I’m only left with words and emoticons sometimes things get lost in translation and people hear what they want to hear or what they think the high school version of me might have meant. And there I am, smack dab in the middle of wondering is this friendly flirtation that they are retorting with or have they completely misunderstood the words coming out of my mouth? No one wants to seem like the crazy stay-at-home Mommy who is so far removed from the flirting/single scene that she imagines things to be something more than they really are but then again who wants to be the asshole who missed the signals and didn’t put a stop to the madness?

Recently, I had a small issue that I just assumed was like every other time before it; friendly flirtation on the part of an old friend. I reminded this friend that I was married several times and this was not the sort of attention that he should be wasting on an unavailable person. I thought this would be enough to halt the whole issue. But it continued with conditionals if you weren’t then, would you? Followed by, I would never fain to even ask..but if you asked me…. that sort of shit. And it left me feeling dirty and guilty and I had done nothing. When the Big Guy came home, I told him. I ALWAYS tell him when these things surface and he ALWAYS says with a shrug of disinterest “Whatever”. It’s not that he doesn’t care. It’s that he’s not threatened. He has no reason to be but I feel it’s just best to always be honest and open about these things lest they come back to bite you right back in your big ass. No thank you. I don’t really much care for being bitten in the ass..well, occasionally but that’s another post entirely.

My answer was to simply stay “offline” to be “unavailable” for conversation, friendly flirtation or marital problem instigating banter. In a day and time when people are meeting their best friends and soul mates online, it is no wonder to me that Facebook is probably, at least partly, responsible for a good percentage of marital problems and divorces. It’s just too easy, your spouse or partner pisses you off and oh, look at all the fish in the sea…right there at your fingertips just waiting to be engaged. So, I’m interested to know, Have you ever had this issue? What did you do? What was your reaction? Do you think it’s harmless flirtation or a train wreck waiting to happen? I always go with better safe than sorry, when it comes to my marriage…it’s too important an institution to fuck around with. If it comes between my marriage and hurting someone’s feelings, sorry someone!

Has an old flame ever found you on Facebook?

Facebook Causing Divorces Since 2004

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Krysta MacGray 2011/02/03 - 10:15 am

I agree that Facebook makes it way easy for this sort of thing to happen. Although, I can’t say it is Facebook’s fault. People still have the choice to engage or persue relationships/”harmless” flirting, etc. People dig their own graves.

I have never found myself in this position so I can’t attest to how sneaky it can be or how it can creep up.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/04 - 10:11 am

The Big Guy and I talked extensively about it and we think it probably happens more often than not. I know its not FB’s fault, it just makes it easier for people to reconnect. WHere it might have taken concerted effort and determination to find a certain person before..now there they are. I was just put in a odd position because this particular person was a really good friend in high school, but this was 20 years ago. So, I didn’t expect him to say some of the things he did…we were never romantic as teenagers. Just friends. But ,as I said, I am “offline” now almost exclusively. But I am sure there are others who continue to engage. In fact, I know several friends who have reconected with old classmates or friends from their past and are now dating. SO, its a lot more common than any of us knew.

Abbi 2011/02/03 - 10:20 am

Holy crap. I think you and I were separated at birth… and you can smack my ass anytime. Just sayin’.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/04 - 10:12 am

LOL! Well, as long as I have your permission and you won’ take it too seriously:) I mean I am a married woman after all:) Happy Friday!

Jenni Chiu 2011/02/03 - 2:29 pm

Well, you know how I feel! Remember the whole Facebook/lipstick on the collar- bye bye exes post? Yup.
It’s weird. It’s not so harmless.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/04 - 10:19 am

I completely agree.But this guy wasn’t an ex, he was just a really good friend from high school. I thought it was safe to converse. You know better. You are wise, my friend. I should have referenced your post and known better too!

Bruna 2011/02/03 - 2:38 pm

Facebook does make it easier for this sort of thing to happen but I think I agree with Krysta up above. It’s the people who make the choices and should know better.

You do. You know better! Not everyone is as smart or as faithful to their spouses.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/04 - 10:20 am

I know. I have several friends who went off in life, got married, had kids, and are currently dating someone who went to highschool with us. I couldn;t understand how they reconnected but now,I’m pretty sure it is FB:)

Sarah 2011/02/03 - 6:39 pm

I actually stay off Facebook, I’ve heard too many horror stories……I use social media very cautiously.

Can you “un Like ” the person that was flirting or block them in some way? I know you can block people on Twitter.

Truthful Mommy 2011/02/04 - 10:27 am

I am sure there is something i should be able to do. Until I figure it out, I will continue to be “Offline” it’s my personal page not my Truthful Mommy page so its all good:)

Perfect Dad 2011/03/17 - 6:48 pm

You can unlike the person, for sure. Also, you can just ignore the guy. If his chat window pops up, just say “Buzz off.” he sounds like a jerk.

Truthful Mommy 2011/03/19 - 5:04 pm

LOL!I did actually just become completely “offline”. Not sure what the issue was, I think maybe he was just lonely and mistook friendship for something more.Either way,I’m not the one for that:)

Ciaran 2013/03/13 - 5:48 pm

I totally disagree with you here… I am friends with almost all of my exes. Friends in the , I’d go out to dinner with them AND my spouse. I’ve never been one to avoid potential temptation to protect myself UNLESS that temptation is a known risk. In which case, yeah… don’t friend the ex you are still pining for or stay friends with the one still pining for you. But with most of my exes there was a reason that I liked them and another why I didn’t marry them. Which doesn’t mean I don’t like them anymore. Just not that way… I’m a grown up. I trust my spouse is too. If facebook makes cheating so easy, it doesn’t mean facebook caused the cheating. It just made it easier. The problem was already there to begin with.

Deborah Cruz 2013/03/14 - 10:05 am

I am friends with a couple of my exes. Maybe I should say acquaintances. We have moved on and outgrown one another. My post was about a friend ( not an ex boyfriend) who developed the nerve to hit on me via FB even though I made it perfectly clear that I was happily married. The weird part was that it was totally unexpected since we were never previously romantically involved so it made no sense to me.I warned him that his flirtation was uninvited and to stop, he continued with his advances and we no longer speak, at all.
I met my husband in college, the boyfriends that I had before him were in college and high school. They were boys. There is no need for me to hang on to those relationships. We have all grown up since then, we are not the same people. I suspect that it might be different if I had dated these men as an adult, then maybe we would have had a friendship in common that was worth maintaining as it were, we were too young to have much more in common than superficial attractions.


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