I found my first love on Facebook: I had less than a week to make my move or forever hold my peace

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

He was moving across the country to be with another woman within a week

A few years ago, I got a crazy idea. Why don’t I look up my first real boyfriend on Facebook?

After all, everyone else was doing it.

I sat down, fired up my social media account, and typed in his name. There he was, looking almost as young as the day he took me to the senior prom. In fact, he looked like he’d lost about fifty pounds and was, from what I could tell, in the best shape of his life.

Good for him.

I sent him a Facebook friend request, and then I set about catching up on the life he’d lived in the years since I dumped him for another man.

He seemed happy. At least, he seemed happily divorced. That was a good sign.

I checked my Facebook friend request; he hadn’t accepted it yet, but I figured he would accept it shortly. Why wouldn’t he?

We had so much catching up to do.

Maybe he was busy.

According to his Facebook posts, he was having a yard sale the upcoming weekend.

That was pretty short notice, but I figured it might be worth the cost of a taxi cab across town to check it out. I kept scrolling.

Moving to Florida?

Well, that wasn’t a good thing. I’ve never been to Florida in my life, and I wasn’t about to start now. Besides, what could be waiting for him in Florida?

As it turned out, a woman was waiting for him in Florida. She was a blonde woman slightly older than me. I myself am slightly older than him.

If I wanted to catch his attention before he moved a thousand miles to be with another woman, then I had less than one week to do it.

Keep on scrolling.

There were pictures of them together. They looked happy.

The taxi ride across town to attend his moving-down-south everything-must-go yard sale seemed less prudent.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t make it to the yard sale. What I did do was check his Facebook feed periodically for a couple of months just to make sure everything was in order.

He did indeed move to Florida to be with the slightly older blonde lady, and I guess she kept him busy because he never accepted my friend request.

I eventually threw in the towel and deleted my friend request.

Then I deleted Facebook altogether for unrelated reasons.

Now, I am asking myself what I learned from the situation. Personally, I am not a fan of social media because it leads to situations such as this one. I don’t think there’s any reason I need to know where my prom date is living today or what he’s doing.

That’s why I’m not on social media anymore. I don’t look up first loves or former prom dates. I don’t scroll through anyone’s Facebook feeds or read their tweets. I certainly don’t send out friend requests.

However, I do have two pictures of the man in question that I can’t toss away — because I’m in them. We attended both my senior prom and the winter dance, and they are two of the few pictures I have of myself from the days when I was still unjaded and had a twenty-eight-inch waist.

I won’t post those pictures on Facebook, but I wouldn’t exchange them for the world. However, I wouldn’t object to having him photoshopped out of the picture. After all, he never even accepted my friend request, and that's just rude.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Boston, MA

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