Like many of you, I am now totally addicted to online dating and Backpage. Normally these social networking phenomenon run their course pretty quickly, so I try not to get too attached (MySpace anyone?). But this one....I'm fully entrenched. And judging from the new names I see pop up every day as friend requests, I'm not the only one.
Wine Guy is equally involved. We've even been known to communicate through status updates and comments while sitting a few feet apart at our computers. So it was inevitable that one day he would ask who some of my friends are. Usually they're friends from the pre-Wine Guy era that have yet to come up in conversation. But one recently popped up with a slightly more awkward answer...an ex boyfriend. Granted, he's an ex from middle school, but an ex nonetheless.
Wine Guy had seen a comment 7th Grade Boyfriend made on something I had posted. It was typical 7th Grade Boyfriend (7GB) teasing. We've had the same relationship since our stormy fling in middle school, and it involves almost entirely around giving each other shit. But we still managed a rather close friendship and have kept in touch over the years, supporting each other in our dreams (his to be a filmmaker, mine to be..happy).
But Wine Guy wasn't really aware of this history so when he saw 7GB's smart ass comment he became a little protective. "What the hell did that person mean with that comment?" I laughed and assured him it was totally within the bounds of acceptability. As I was explaining our harmless backpage friendship over the phone, I started browsing my other friends on Backpage .
Oh, look there's an ex-boyfriend from college.
And, hey, look at that..A guy I dated briefly in high school.
And wow, there's the guy that took my virginity (in college, in case you're wondering).
New Hampshire backpage
At first I was jokingly noting these friends to Wine Guy, but after the third one I started to realize this might be kind of strange. Why the heck do I have so many former boyfriends, flings, dates, friends-with-benefits on Facebook anyway? Is that strange? I have no idea. But suddenly I was inundated with my romantic (or notably non-romantic) past.
Out of my 118 friends to date, I have had some form of romantic past with 11 of them. Plus one guy I had a mad crush on in high school (he was three years older than me) who I bumped into last year and we are now Facebook friends (he barely knew my name back then and, even though he is your typical, married late 30s schlub today, the geeky freshman girl in me still gets a thrill that he accepted my friend request).
Just to clarify, my definition of "romantic past" can be pretty loose. Especially when you consider how far back some of these relationships go. Here's the breakdown:
Elementary School: 2
#1 - Our relationship consisted of playing on the playground and lip-locking when my sister locked us in the closet. We recently reconnected after 21 years on Facebook and I'm thrilled about it. More to come on this one.
#2 - My first french kiss and I was totally peer-pressured into it (by yet another Facebook friend I haven't spoken to in 18 years). It is not a particularly pleasant memory but I'm over it.
Middle School: 1
Our history includes a little french kissing and lot of drama (including when he cheated on me with one of my rivals, something I still give him crap about to this day).
High School: 1
I think this "relationship" lasted a total of 2 weekends, until I found out he got back together with his girlfriend (probably better for him since I wasn't going to give it up anyway).
Only one was a 'real' boyfriend (my first in every sense). The others were what we liked to call "hooking up." I'm sure you are familiar with the concept.
Post College: 2
One was a friendship that briefly - and mistakenly - turned to romance. And the other is, of course, Wine Guy.
I guess when I look at it, these exes were really friends more than anything else. There are certainly guys I dated a little more seriously that would never dare ask to be my Facebook friend. And vice versa. But the way I see it, if you liked someone enough to swap some spit (or other fluids) with them at some point, chances are you have enough left over after a spoiled romantic venture to maintain some semblance of a friendship. Besides, how hard is it to be a Facebook friend anyway?
What about you guys? Any exes on your friend lists?