Facebook - Blast from the Past!


#1

Greetings fellow Christians!

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with multiple people at once. Friends, family can all share photos and catch up in a way that is easy and exciting (if not just a fad). One of the great features is digging up old friends from childhood, school or past employment.

But digging up old friends could include old flames. And that brings a new set of issues.
I once heard someone say - “there is a reason why God left people in your memory, and that is where they should stay”

Do you agree? Should old friends, acquaintances, flames, be left in the past for good. Or is it ok to try to re-establish a friendship - even if it is only through facebook or other electronic forum?

Sincerely in Christ,

Corrgc


#2

Hello there friend. I think digging up old friends is always fun. Feuds and flames are sadly going to be a part of anything if it has to do with friendship. That is just life. I personally take the WWJD to the extreme. If Jesus had a feud with his old time classmate/friend from his childhood I’m pretty sure if He ever saw him again; He would mend the friendship. Only in extremely heated situations I would stay away. Hope I helped :slight_smile:
God Bless;
Ed


#3

First off, looking for old flames, especially if you’re married (or know they are) is a potentially disastrous situation. They should stay in the past, in fond childhood or young adulthood memories. It would be like seeking them out through any other means…asking around town, etc, when visiting. It can lead to fun, but most likely will lead to hurt and scandal.

As far as feuds. While it may be healing to go back and repair a bond I’d be extremely cautious over electronic media. Not everyone grows up, not everyone is ready to forgive and you have to guard your heart so that you don’t have an erronious idea that everything will turn out fine. You also have to remember why you fought…if it was over something stupid like who ate the piece of chocolate cake then no harm should come of contacting them, however, if your friendship ended (as most serious friendships end) over something major, like morals or justice then it’s probably best it remains in the past.

God uses many means to bring us to healing and wholeness. I don’t want to deny that facebook may be one of those tools. However, I think it can lead us much easier into sin as its so easier to be rash and emotional. Whatever you do give yourself 24-72 hours before taking next steps…say you found someone in a search…wait a day or two before composing a letter…pray about finding them, pray about what you wrote and then send it.


#4

An old flame found me on facebook, I added him as a friend. Honestly he plays all of those silly games on fb and it is just a clear reminder of why we didn’t get married :stuck_out_tongue: (we were engaged WAY BACK WHEN)!!!

I had another old flame contact me a few months back, he was getting a security clearance for a government job and since we dated so long he pretty much has to put me down for them to contact. Again, after talking to him for 5 minutes I remembered why I didn’t marry him either!!!

Those are my only two old flames, I don’t harbor ill feelings toward them nor do I harbor any desires for them. I know the reality of why I no longer with either of them and I am 1000% happy and love my husband!!


#5

Wow… It’s kind of ironic that I stumbled across this thread. Two days ago I was invited to be a “friend” on Facebook by my old High School love. We broke apart when she headed off to college and I headed off for the Navy. After more than 30 years of seperation she had become nothing but a memory to me. Now that she is back in contact, and we have opened up a dialog, I view the friendship differently than I did back then. Because of her contacting me on Facebook, I have been reunited with several long lost friends. It feels good to talk about the “old days” but we all know that we have our families and our lives. I think that “old flames” are fine on Facebook, MySpace, or even in person. It is what YOU do, and where YOU go with the relationship that can open the door for Satan. Like so many things that are laid at our feet by the Evil One, do you reach out and take it, knowing it is wrong? I pray not.


#6

I have a formerly serious old flame as a friend on F’book too. I can see how for some it could be problematic especially if you’re married. I’m not, but the old flame is. I think it’s important not to see the past through rose colored glasses for starters, and to respect and be real about where you both are in your lives NOW, because the past is past. I mean if there are spouses involved, their feelings should be considered first. And if it’s a temptation for you, don’t go there. It’s not worth it!


#7

I still have a bunch on FB but I believe my wife is confident I don’t really talk to them much just how are your kids etc…

What’s cool is our Bishop and many of our different Priests around my state have pages and post their Homilies on there :slight_smile:

Joe


#8

I found an old boyfriend on facebook. We chatted about where our life is now… admired pics of each other’s kids - that sort of thing. Like others said, he poses ZERO threat because I am happily married and other than the inital what’s new, I don’t intend to speak to him again. But it’s not without risk. Although I am happily married and no longer give a hoot about him, who knows what he feels about me? I’d hate to think that I’d occupy some married guy’s thoughts?! Yuck.

So although I think it might be OK to contact old flames - I’d proceed with caution. :shrug:


#9

I was contacted on FB by my BF from 5th grade, saying I hadn’t changed a bit. (Oh, reeeaaalllly?)

I was contacted by my kinda-sorta boyfriend I had before my (now ex) husband in high school. Turns out he is gay, which totally makes sense.

I contacted the guy who I ate lunch with every day while my (now ex) was in college and we were seniors in high school. I had long lived with the regret that I had picked the wrong guy. He is happily married with 3 kids. We did reminisce and tip toe around the whole concept of “what could have been.” Just a few back and forths. I don’t think it was anything that would have been upsetting to his wife. It was nice just to put that one to rest, and we have both moved on. So, it’s just seeing the photos of each other’s families and status updates, etc. I think it is nice.

Now my BF doesn’t even use his real name in FB because he doesn’t want to be contacted by people from long ago. He’s stayed in contact with the people he wanted to stay in contact with, and that’s it.

I say, if you do get in contact with an old flame, keep all of the content appropriate to be read by both of your spouses. Plus, it shouldn’t be too much in either quantity or frequency. Reigniting something doesn’t happen “accidentally”. You are responsible for what and how often you communicate.


#10

I depends a lot on what you mean by ‘old flame’. If you’ve been married 18 months and the old flame was just 3 years ago, probably bad.

I am in contact with an ‘old flame’ We were serious back in the day but it has been over 25 years ago. She reached out to me because her brother and I were good friends and he was recently killed by a drunk. I occasionally talk with her, but I also leave my face book up so my wife could read it if she wanted to do so. She contacts many former male friends but not for romantic reasons. Keep the spousal communication open and things should be okay.


#11

I agree - face book can be a dangerous ingredient to someone who is feeling lonely in a marriage or “nostalgic” for the past. People might feel tempted when things are tough in their own marriage to dive back into the past with “image” that they have of a person from the past. It is so easy to idealize someone you haven’t seen in a long time, or an experience you have in the back of your mind. Plus, a little bit of attention from someone when you are feeling unappreciated by a spouse can really cause people to go nuts sometimes.

I don’t see anything wrong with a FB account, but I think the best thing to do is keep your page lite - not too much personal info, and don’t get into private exchanges with ex-relationships. I am only 25 and have been married for two years - so most friends I reconnect with on FB probably aren’t married yet so I make sure have lots 'o mention of my beloved husband. Also, I think that if one spouse has a page, the other spouse should have a page too and they should be friends on there and have “married” status. Make it a family affair. My husband and I know each other’s passwords for everything - not because we don’t trust each other, but because we think its strange when couples are secretive about passwords with each other - its open season for us!

Also, know your own limits. If you are prone to “fantasy land” stay away from face book.


#12

I think that it is ok to have a FB page and ok to contact friends from the past. As with all things, you must be careful and prudent. There is one “old flame” that I have on my friends list. She is married now and we talk maybe once or twice a year. There is absolutely no chance of anything inappropriate happening. There is another person that I would not dream of adding as a friend, not because I think anything inappropriate would happen or because of temptation, but because she is crazy. There are a couple people from my GF’s past that I would really be uncomfortable with her being in touch with. As I indicated earlier, you just need to use your best judgment. Only you know the real situation.

I also like what MercyMia says about both you and your spouse having a page and having the married status on it. I am not married but I am in a serious relationship that seems to be headed in that direction. We are “friends” on FB and have the “in a relationship” status up where it links our pages. That way there is no confusion. I think that is even more important if you are married.


#13

LOL, usually there’s a reason these people are “old flames” and not our current spouse! My wife is FB friends with all of her old flames, but then, I am FB friends with them, too! :stuck_out_tongue:


#14

Facebook is really weird but addictive. It is strange to be following the lives of people you knew 20 or more years ago but have not spoken to since. It is great to keep up with family and current friends like you would never do over the phone or e-mail. There is a reason why you haven’t spoken to people in 20 plus years and usually facebook reminds you why. It is rather haunting to see their pictures popping up at your home. I’ve had many of strange retro dreams since joining facebook.


#15

LOL - My 17 year old insists that nothing is official unless it’s facebook official. :thumbsup:


#16

This is the OP! Thank you all for your responses. It appears the consensus thought is that re-igniting old friendships through Facebook is harmless as long as intentions are pure.

Let me twist this a bit, as we have been talking about “old flames” What if you enjoyed an intimate, even sexual relationship with them in the past? Even an engagement. Would it still be appropriate to “add them as a friend”? What if the break-up was not cordial, yet no bad feelings are harbored?

Thanks again for your opinions!

Sincerely in Christ,
Corrgc


#17

I think you’re playing wih fire when communicating with “old flames”. No matter how secure in your marriage you are. Even if you have no wrong motives, you never know what motives the person on the other end has (if they are married as well). Satan will go to any lengths to have you. Marriage and family are his enemies.

That being said, I am on face book. If an old flame contacted me, I would probably say hello and communicate briefly. But I think anything more than that is just asking for trouble. Plus…if I knew that my husband was communicating with an “old flame” I would be uncomfortable with it. So I hope I would treat him as I would want to be treated and not take the chances of making him hurt or uncomfortable.

Peace!


#18

I’d say no, no and tripple no. Why, if you had a bad break up from a dysfunctional relationship, would you want to bring that element back in your life? Especially if you or the other part are now married…totally inappropriate IMHO.


#19

Hello,

  1. Facebook - and any other site or Internet application - is only a medium. Therefore, (i) it can’t be blamed (it’s not Facebook’s fault and there’s nothing inherently wrong with Facebook), (ii) it’s not an excuse either (no such thing as, “it’s only Facebook.”)

  2. I don’t see why there should be any moral imperative to leave old friends and acquaintances in the past. It’s only a matter of whether you’re interested in staying in touch. I can’t see where you’re coming from. Do you believe that you shouldn’t make choices in life but go with the stream instead, or are you talking about rekindling friendships with the opposite gender now that you are married (if you are)? Those would be two different things. Or do you feel that Facebook or a mere Internet forum is simply not good enough as a medium of contact between two old friends who don’t talk otherwise?

  3. Some of them (e.g. past flames when you are currently married or no longer interested) not necessarily should stay in your memory. Whatever’s on your memory is trouble. The thing is to let them go, not to cut off any external expression while bottling the feelings and thoughts inside. Again, trying to purge your memory is not good, what’s good is letting go.

  4. You seem to be trying to put it in fault or sin terms where there aren’t really so many - if any at all. There’s little moral dimension, if any, in the decision to PM a childhood friend, really. Transgressing against popular wisdom and such social beliefs as, “the past is the past,” is not an immoral act. There is a moral dimension to contacting old flames, of course, as that may cause suffering or lead to sin or occasion to sin in some cases (here I mean temptation to adultery or needless exposure to people one’s attracted to but doesn’t want to spend a life with).


#20

I think Facebook is great, particulalry for how it’s allowed me to get in contact with friends I’ve not seen or spoken to in 15-20 years. That being said, I think it’s all in how you use it. While I don’t have any ex’s or old flames as friends, I do have a few friends on there whom I had crushes on in the past, but in each of those situations we later ended up as friends. I’m happily married and completely devoted to my wife, so I personally don’t see any problem with it. I did make sure that, when I signed up, I insisted that my wife get an account of her own and that we add each other as friends (the same rule applies to our son…our daughters aren’t old enough for accounts). While my experiences have been almost entirely positive, my wife has been contacted by a couple old friends on there who have made it very clear that their intentions were anything but honorable, and/or that they had a bit more than friendship in mind. While I’m not particularly bothered by her getting those initial messages (it disgusts me that they would send the messages when they her profile makes it clear she’s married, but I know she would never act on them), I wouldn’t appreciate her keeping in contact with them. I will admit that I insisted upon her “un-friending” one of the guys, but that’s after he continued to send lewd and suggestive messages after my wife firmly insisted that he quit. Bottom line, though, is that it’s a fun way to keep in touch with friends, family and acquaintances.


Jealousy & Marriage
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