I met a cute guy at a dinner party the other night, and I gave him my phone number. We’ve texted each other a few times since then, and so far so good: I’m seeing him tomorrow night. But he just sent me a request to be friends on Facebook: What should I do? One friend told me she makes it a rule never to ‘friend’ a potential romantic interest until it’s turned into a lot more – just in case, while my other friend tells me it’s another way to get to know him, and check him out. And isn’t it an insult to ignore his friend request?
To Friend Or Not To Friend, That Is The Question.
Remember the days when we believed that technology would simplify our lives?
I once accepted a friend request from a guy despite the fact he sent the request 20 minutes after we met. He seemed interesting, we shared a mutual friend, and I wanted to check him out online in case he was a well-known bunny boiler, à la Fatal Attraction. He started commenting on my photos and participating in random discussions on my wall, which was fine until I realized he wasn’t the guy for me, and told him so in the most respectful way possible. Next thing I knew he had blocked me on Facebook.
I was stunned. I thought I’d ended things on a friendly note, only to be slapped in my Facebook face. Result: I’ve now downgraded my opinion of him from good-guy-just-not-for-me, to simply: twit. The truth is that I never should have accepted his friend request in the first place – he was interested enough that he wouldn’t have been offended, and I’d have saved myself his online ire. My advice? Do not friend.
Your older, wiser one-less friend on Facebook advisor, Claire.
Dear Dinner Party Pick Up Artist,
He won’t hate you, but not “friending” him is like saying, “Sure I’ll go on a date with you, but I’m not sure we can be online friends.” If you make him feel any more expendable, he’ll probably get a recycling symbol tattooed on his back. Have you noticed how some people have 541 friends on Facebook? Do you think that’s 541 meaningful connections? Hell no. People add each other for all sorts of reasons, but mainly it’s to stalk each other legally.
Online social networks are an important tool to manage other people’s perception of you. Some employers check your profile prior to hiring you. The same goes for potential dates. If you’re trying to impress him with your extensive knowledge of hors-d’oeuvres, maybe that tagged photo of you running from the cops in your underwear will give him a different impression (NB: the new adage is “what happens in Vegas does not go on Facebook”). So if you like him, add him. If he turns out to be a serial killer, you can always “unfriend” him…if you survive.
Two sisters, 20-something Andrea and 30-something Claire, offer their differing views on your relationship issues.