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Reconnecting With Old Flames on Facebook and Other Social Media

Writing about love and romance is one of the most rewarding things I do as a writer. I hope you enjoy my insights.

Reconnecting With Past Loves on Facebook and Other Social Media

Reconnecting with old flames on Facebook and other social media has become quite a phenomenon in recent years. The Internet has made it easier than ever to reconnect with old boyfriends and girlfriends that in past eras would have been long forgotten and written off as youthful romances.

In some cases, this has allowed people to find closure for youthful relationships that were never properly ended or rekindle ones that never should have ended, while in other cases it has caused a great deal of heartache and problems in people’s current relationships. One thing is clear, reconnecting with prior love interests can be damaging, if not done so with caution and with a full understanding of the implications. It can also be quite fulfilling in some circumstances in which both parties are unattached and can pick up their relationship where it stopped many years ago.

What The Experts Say About Reconnecting Online With Old Flames

To be curious is to be human. This is why so many people cannot help but be curious about what old boyfriends and girlfriends are up to. Before the advent of the Internet, it was often too difficult or awkward to get in touch with an old flame directly, so people either obtained information through their grapevine of friends and relatives or they just did not try at all.

While it is not uncommon for people to use the Internet to snoop on former boyfriends and girlfriends anonymously, random surveys have found that only about one-quarter to one-third of people indicated they are interested in actually reconnecting with long lost loves via Facebook and other social media. This just means they are willing to accept a connection request from a prior boyfriend or girlfriend. Even fewer people will take it any further than just courteous correspondence about how their former boyfriend or girlfriend is doing. However, some people take it a lot further when they realize they still have feelings for a prior boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes reconnected lovers move beyond Internet communication and start talking on the phone or meeting in person. In these cases, reconnections with old love interests can be quite damaging to current relationships, even ones that are well established.

Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Sacramento, and is a leading researcher into rekindled romances and lost loves. Much of her research has focused on how people reconnect over the Internet to rekindle romances that ended many years prior. She found that the couples that have the most success reuniting online and building lasting relationships had relatively long relationships when they were in their early 20s or younger. These relationships ended due to outside forces, rather than a lack of love interest, such as a parent that forced them to stop dating, having to move to another place, or the inability to make a lifelong commitment. Dr. Kalish found that relationships that broke up due to stress or other negative factors years early are rarely rekindled into healthy relationships.

Dr. Kalish has a website dedicated to offering advice and stories regarding the phenomenon of finding lost loves via the Internet, called

When Does Reconnecting Online With Old Flames Make Sense?

In cases in which people are already in committed relationships, reconnecting with old flames on Facebook and other social media can be quite harmful and dangerous, if proper precautions are not taken. However, there is an upside to the ease of reconnecting with prior love interests via the Internet.

The reality is that life can leave people stranded and alone for various reasons, from divorce to the death of a significant other to just never finding the right person to settle down with. In these cases, Facebook and other social media have made it possible for long lost loves that may have never had the opportunity to reconnect to find one another and fulfill their life’s calling to be together.

How To Avoid Former Boyfriends and Girlfriends Online

For those who have no interest in reconnecting with old flames on Facebook and other social media, there are a number of ways to avoid unwanted connections or at least keep them within reason.

First off, unless you need to use social media for professional reasons or really want to for personal reasons, just avoid social media altogether. It may seem too extreme to leave social media behind altogether, but there are many people who do just that for various reasons; mainly due to privacy concerns.

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Second, if you are active on social media, make sure your privacy settings are set to maximum, so snoopers cannot see what you are up to. That may prevent some past love interests from trying to connect to you, since they can see that you want to be left alone and will be unsure of your relationship status.

If you receive an undesirable connection request from a former boyfriend or girlfriend, just ignore it. If you feel compelled to accept it, there are ways to accept their connection request and avoid interacting with them online, based on how you set your settings to see their online activity. If they cross the line and get more personal than you would like, either let them know or just disconnect from them. Like anything else in life, interacting online needs its boundaries for people to function properly, and people need to respect those boundaries.

The Bottom Line Regarding Reconnecting Online With Old Flames

The bottom line is know what you are getting into before even accepting a connection on social media from a past love interest. If you do reconnect, think long and hard before taking it beyond just friendly online exchanges. It can be fun and fulfilling to find out what has become of someone you cared about in the past, but taking it beyond that can have serious impacts in your current life and relationship. Just because it is easy to reconnect with former boyfriends and girlfriends over the Internet, does not necessarily make it the right choice. It is a good idea to think it through and consider the potential impacts before taking the step of reconnecting with old flames via Facebook or other social media.

Reconnecting Online With Old Flames Poll

Dangers of reconnecting with your Ex on Facebook Part 1

Dangers of reconnecting with your Ex on Facebook Part 2

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 John Coviello


John Coviello (author) from New Jersey on July 21, 2015:

thesingernurse, I am glad you found this Hub about reconnecting with ex-lovers interesting. Have you had any more online experiences since your original post?

Tina Siuagan from Rizal, Philippines on October 26, 2013:

This is pretty interesting. I actually have a problem reconnecting with a recent "ex" in Facebook because he blocked my profile. Hahahaha... I guess that's the other side of old flames and social media. Thank you very much for sharing this information. :)

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