Ironically, this is a question that keeps popping up for me this month. I say 'ironically' because I just sent a Facebook invite and friendly message to the man who dumped me two years ago. I figured hey, it's been two years, it's old news, let's move on. We have mutual friends and business associates and I thought a Facebook connection would be a mature, graceful way to say to others that we're cool with it.
Whatever his choice (he turned it down) I feel that I made the right move for me at this time. I've been doing some spiritual housekeeping and energy clearing, and I didn't want to drag around resentment and avoidance patterns from an old relationship. In fact, most of my energy clearing right now involves my work and my progress on achievement-oriented goals--that's where I'm really having a problem letting go of old fears, habits and behaviors that are holding me back. And that's what led me to extend a hand: I need to get rid of a deep-seated fear of rejection caused by past insults and hurts.
Of course it isn't a simple 'yes' or 'no' choice. Clearly, you wouldn't want to connect with someone who stalks you or is still trying to hurt you. And you shouldn't connect on Facebook if you are still pining for your old lover--that would just be a recipe for pain.
In fact, when I was first feeling the pain of separation, I took extreme steps to distance myself from the relationship. After seeing a photo on Facebook of a party at my former home, with a huge bouquet of flowers I had planted, in my vase, and pretty girls sitting on my cookbooks, and plastic penises on the oak furniture I had picked out and helped pay for, I decided nuts to that. I 'unfriended' every person I knew that socialized with my ex in any capacity. Who needs that?
One other thing that really helped was that I stopped referring to my ex and his business by name. Ever. He became simply "the ex". It sounds extreme, but I was following the advice of a relationship expert, and it actually works. It's not meant to be disrespectful (after all, if you're not talking to your ex, why would he care?). But it helps you to distance yourself from hurt by defining the old relationship as a "thing" instead of a person. After a while, I couldn't even say his name without stuttering, it became so unfamiliar to use it. But lately, it doesn't bother me at all.
Deepak Chopra said, "It takes more self-control to let go than it does to hang on to something that no longer works."
Which means that 'letting go' can be hard work. That's a lesson I've had to embrace on a very intimate level over the past two years, but in a strange turn of my personal wheel of fortune, surviving that hard lesson is making it easier for me to recognize other things that are holding me back from my current goals, and I'm finding the willpower to let go of self-limiting thoughts and trust in the flow of good things coming my way.
What has this got to do with Facebook Lovers?
'Letting go' is not the same as 'cutting off'. Cutting someone off is an action. (Sometimes necessary, if you had an abusive or crazy ex, or if you need time and space to heal from a breakup.) But letting go is a destination that leads to a healthy, centered, and forgiving mindset.