Facebook friends with your ex?

You type the name of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend into Facebook, and voila! Thanks to the miracle of social networking, you are face to face with a past love.

It’s OK; we’ve all done it.

Next, you gather as much publicly posted information as you can, focusing on three major areas: 1. Does he or she look happy? 2. Has he or she gained 50 pounds? 3. Is his or her current girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband or significant other hotter than you are?

Now you have a choice: Send a friend request and invite your ex back into your life or lose your browser and walk away.

My girlfriends and I were debating this decision recently, and we wondered if there is a right choice. Is it OK to be Facebook friends with old flames, especially if you’re married?

We’ve all heard the stories of the stay-at-home mom who reconnects with her high school boyfriend on Facebook and then ends up abandoning her husband and three small children to pursue her renewed romance.

Although these stories are the minority, they are still terrifying because I think most women don’t set out to have adulterous Internet affairs when they click “Add Friend.”

I also think women are more likely than men to want to check in on past loves. We want to know how they turned out, and we have a more difficult time cutting someone out of our life who was once close to us. Men seem to have a much easier time moving on and living in the present rather than wondering what happened to people from their past.

In general, my friends and I decided it comes down to an individual basis — not all exes are created equal. If being friends with a certain person would make your spouse uncomfortable, it’s best to avoid it. And there’s really no reason to be carrying on long conversations with anyone who’s not your spouse — ex or not.

What do you think — is it OK to reconnect with former flames on Facebook or should past loves stay in the past?

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

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