• Wed, May 5 2010

Relationship Ninja: Why Did He Unfriend Me On Facebook?

Q. A few months ago, I called it quits with a guy I’d been dating. We had an amazing connection, but he was super-stressed and busy with school, had just ended a five-year relationship, and was all over the place emotionally – whereas I was ready to get serious with someone. I didn’t want to keep seeing him knowing that I’d always want more than he could give me, so I told him that I thought we should give it a rest and to call me when he was in a better place. He wasn’t happy about it, but agreed that he was too screwed up to be anyone’s boyfriend and he’d be in touch later. We haven’t really talked since then, but I thought I might hear from him after he finishes up with grad school, which is happening in a couple weeks.

Instead, I woke up yesterday and discovered that he’d unfriended me on Facebook.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’m totally shocked and miserable. Partly it’s that I was hoping for a reconciliation, but I also can’t understand why he would do it. It’s such a pointless rejection and it really hurts, and I’m driving myself crazy wondering why. So basically, what the hell? And what do I do now?

A. Confession: One second after reading this letter, my reaction was less-than-sympathetic. Dude, who the hell cares? It’s Facebook, for Pete’s sake! Just cry it out, have a drink, and let it go!

But then, a crack suddenly appeared in the seemingly simple surface of your problem. And then another. And soon, the entire thing had fallen away to reveal an endless black abyss of Inexplicable Douchebaggery – because a wordless de-friending doesn’t reflect the sort of indifference you might expect after months of no contact. In fact, it’s kind of… I mean… well, yeah. What the hell?

Unfortunately, I can’t fathom what’s going on here; severing your Facebook ties without explanation is a bizarrely aggressive act for a not-quite-relationship that ended on amicable, if wistful, terms. But there’s someone who can shed some light on the subject: Him.

So, rather than flailing around in the dark and tormenting yourself with the Whys, wait a day or two for the emotional sting to dull – and then send him an email that says, “Hey, did you unfriend me? WTF?”

It’s having no information, no explanation, that’s driving you crazy. And while contacting him may not yield an explanation, it’ll definitely leave you better off than you are right now. No matter what happens, you’ll have information. For instance:

If he never writes back, you know he’s a worthless doucheface.

If he gives you some bullshit hedging excuse, you know he’s a worthless doucheface.

And if it’s a weird mistake, or there’s a viable, non-psychotic reason why he did this, he’ll offer it up… and if he doesn’t, he is a worthless doucheface.

Obviously, chances are slim that he’s anything but a worthless doucheface, but you lose nothing by finding out. Because while I’m all for saving face and being dignified about rejection, pretending that this wasn’t remarkably weird isn’t dignified; it’s disingenuous. It IS weird. And if you fail to point out how weird it is, the only person who benefits is the guy in question. And you don’t owe him anything.

Got a question about dating, relationships, or friends (with or without benefits)? Get advice from Kat! Send your questions to shipninja@gmail.com.

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  • elleanon

    I agree with the “ask him” advice, but it seems pretty clear cut to me: you broke up; you didn’t speak for months; he’s over it and doesn’t see reconciliation in the future; perhaps with grad school ending he’s feeling ready to clear out the past; and then one day he happened to be cleaning up his Facebook list, and …

    well.

    some people just have a dislike of having voyeuristic Facebook friends who want to peer in on their life without actually being involved in it (I know I do). He may have taken the months of silence as a sign that you’re not interested. It may not have been an aggressive act.

    Get in contact with him and ask the one person who would know, rather than posing your question to the millions of people online who wouldn’t.

  • donjuansolo

    Whats’ her face?

    Unfriending is quite neurotic when
    done in spite . But sometimes
    unfriending has its benefits too.

    I unfriended a friend who posted
    obscenties on my wall. No regrets.

    I have unfriended friends that
    were friending my other friends’
    friends, and causing drama …

    But when i unfriended the girl who
    was breaking my heart, i felt a
    burden lifted. It sent the
    “I Don’t give a F*CK” message that
    yes I can be MR. Nice Guy soft,
    SweEt, and Sentimental — but I am
    a better douchebag and I am cutting
    you out of my life.

    Lol.

    Btw: Facebook is contributing to
    obsesity and a new source for drama…
    Soon i will Unfriend Facebook.

    don jaun solo

  • ridiculous

    There’s a lot of possible reasons why he unfriended you, it’s ridiculous to try to guess why and get miserable about it. If you want to know, ask him. He could still be into you and it just hurts to see your posts, or he could be completely over you and doesn’t find value in having you as a facebook friend, or a myriad of other completely valid or invalid reasons could have caused him to do that. Regardless, IT’S JUST FACEBOOK. Here’s one other protip… take any advice from someone who uses the word “doucheface” multiple times in an article with a giant heaping grain of salt.

  • djzaz

    Facebook means more to some people than others, I think. After I unfriended an ex-boyfriend and we spent time apart, we decided there were some issues that we could work on and tried to get back together. On our first get-back-together date, one of the only questions he had for me was did I unfriend him on FB. With so many other concerns on the table, it was disconcerting, but I guess he put more emotional importance on it than I did.

  • Jen Brook

    Not too long ago I found a guy on facebook from my old town that I used to be friends with, and couldn’t stop thinking about him. I won’t call it love at all(im not sure if he may be gay), but I really wanted to know what he’s been doing these past 2 years. I realized that this was the only person from that town, including all my other closer friends, that I deeply, sincerely missed. I friended him. I posted one comment on one photo of when he highlighted his hair blue, complimenting it and telling how I highlighted my bangs purple no too long ago. There was no response from him, or anyone else. Not surprised. But when one day I searched him up just to see if he did anything new or whatever(you get what I mean) it showed me the profile that not-friends see. I thought it was a glitch(didn’t know that you could unfriend) so I sent another friend request. That was 3 weeks ago. I’m depressed and this has helped me, but when I started typing a message, I didn’t know what to write that wouldn’t make me sound like an obsessive bitch.

  • Bella

    I recently unfriended a guy on Facebook, because for three years he has never once commented on my pictures, post, nothing and everytime I saw him he was trying to make me jealous, especially on facebook. He would like every tramp on facebooks picture, but not one of mine decent ones. The sad things is he knows I have feelings for him and it’s all a game to him. It pissed me off and it was hurting my feelings. In addition, he acted as if he didn’t know we were friends on facebook and i caught him in lie when he knew about a singing engagement I was performing in. WTF. He would even ignore my invitations to my shows and that was really rude to me because he was suppose to be my friend. So I unfriended his butt, if you ignore me you don’t deserve to be my friend as far as I am concerned and I am protecting my own feeling not his!