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The dark side of Facebook: finding out what happened to your first/old loves
I've heard of a lot of people who track down their high school boyfriends/girlfriends to reconnect or just to find out what happened to them--sometimes with good results, sometimes with bad. I ended up Facebook-friended to my first "true" love (high school), and sadly, he's turned into a conspiracy theorist of the first order. As in, he could give Alex Jones a run for his money. There is much more to this, but to wit, things did not turn out well for him. I have to wonder WTF happened in his life. He was talented, intelligent, and seemed to have everything going for him (supportive parents, enough money for university, etc.). I was even very happy for him when I heard he got married--that didn't last, for reasons that became apparent. Now I wish I didn't know what had become of him--I would rather keep the memories of our sweet romance preserved in amber, something to look back and reflect upon with a smile. Is looking up old loves on social media a good idea? Have you ever done it? What was your experience like?

LaRaconteur 5 Dec 26

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I had a college fling that I lost contact with after I was not fair to her. That one stinks because I feel like I could have handled it differently and she was a good person. I heard through a mutual friend she's doing fine. That's all I need to know, all I really deserve to. Wherever she is, I hope she hasn't changed.

The one that bothered me the most was my first "true love" if you could call it that. In a different world we make different decisions and my life is a lot different. Well, maybe not. When she was done she treated me like a stranger. I gave up, got mad. She never stopped calling me, and I didn't save her number. I don't know why she called, I had moved on and so had she. It annoyed me at the time. Then she stopped. That was five or six years ago. No idea how to look her up, and I think trying would open up Pandora's box.

I guess that's my opinion. It's not about preserving people in amber so much as it is about leaving them the hell alone and wishing them well.


I am friends with four exes on Facebook. My first love from high school. My true love from college and two others. They are all married. Two are people that I still relate to. One has become a bit of a crazy religous extremist. Another is as I remember her arrogant and self centered. My first gf is smart and funny but always had to have her own way. Her and her husband are married but living in separate cities because they can't agree where to live and neither will yield.

The last is the one that broke my heart. I graduated from college before her. I would have married her, but she had oats to sow. She is still as beautiful and charming and lovely as ever.

I like knowing how they are doing....


Yeah I dated one of the prettiest girls from HS 30 plus years after the fact. It was interesting. She is still attractive, kind of heavy but hid it well.
In the end, I found her moral compass all fucked up. But that is subjective.


I've not messaged any of my old loves. I'm not going to be "one of those". They want to dig me out of their closet, fine, but I'm not going to be the one. But I have looked.

My 1st ever boyfriend, elementary school! (LOL), as you mentioned, shall be preserved in amber but yeah I looked him up.
He's living the dream, looks happy, in amazing shape, and i"m happy for him. Very fond memories. He was my 1st "date" ever, his parents, knowing i was a horse freak, took us all to a Charity Horse Show. We were 10 years old. LOL
Lost touch when I moved across town. We ran into each other @ an FFA convention yrs later in HS.
He had a pig, I had a lamb. I screwed that up being spooked at how quickly he was moving. Decades later I wonder what would have happened, and at this moment hope his memory isn't tarnished by my refusal to pursue it further. sigh...

HS bf , catholic as ever, right wing, I broke his heart, then he returned the favor. Is now engaged to an older version of me lol.


Haven't done it, don't really care. The past is the past. I hope all those from my past are doing well, but if I still cared about them they would probably still be in my real life offline. How they have been and are now doing has no effect on my life, so why would I be interested in looking them up?


It's easier to find one's male friends from time long past than to find female friends from that time . Name changes make it difficult. I have found female friends through male friends that I have reconnected with. For me, it doesn't matter how they turned out. I didn't live with them then and I don't now. Ideology is what separates us -- doesn't matter whether it is religious, political, survivalist, economy, etc. I'm glad they are happy in their life and wish them well. If they wish to communicate with me, I will communicate with them.


Obviously you chose to connect so your choice. If you found out from talking to other people on Facebook that somebody died that would also be bad. It's part of social media. I've connected up with some old dates and actually apologized to them for not continuing the relationship. Another way for you to look at it is you made the right choice by not staying with him. Sometimes knowledge is power and social media is always a choice.

lerlo Level 8 Dec 27, 2018

People with apparently high potential having disapointing outcomes. Emotions can come in the way. So can the chaos of life.


I have a couple of former boyfriends on Facebook. We are still friends. No issues with them. I did find a group of friends from my childhood, when I attended a Christian private school. I friended many of them but ended up unfriending them due to their religious posts. I was tired of all the God bless yous.

One of those former boyfriends was from second grade. LOL. After thirtysomething years I got to ask him why he didn’t talk to me in third grade after the summer vacation.

And his reply was......


in what way is this the dark side of facebook? facebook didn't turn your friend into a conspiracy theorist, or even make you look him up. facebook simply made that possible. i have found many old friends and am glad i did. i found ONE who had turned into an evangelical and dropped me because he couldn't be friends anymore with a pro-choice person (it's not even as if i'd had an abortion -- i am just THEORETICALLY pro-choice, and at almost 67 years of age i am unlikely to be called upon to make such a choice). however, i was also dropped by someone i met online, with whom i had some years of history but who was not a flash from my past; he dropped me because in 2015 i compared the rise of trump to hitler's rise, and he said i was cheapening the holocaust. i turned out to be right but i have not heard from him. but that's life, and if it wasn't life on facebook, it'd be life somewhere and somehow else. it is by no means a "dark side" of facebook.



Yeah, FB is a mixed bag . Not so much the re-connecting, but finding out what kind of person they turned into - for better or worse.
Also, you end up knowing all kinds of details and attitudes about people you thought you knew - that you wouldn't have known otherwise, and would rather not know now. Too late ...

Just MHO, but I think that one's degree of disappointment is directly correlated to how close you were to the person you look up on Facebook. For example, guys I went out with a couple of times, no big whoop. But those I was close to and thought I knew quite well ... that's another story.


He's not quite an old love . . . but thanks to FB, I learned that a great college friend, whom my best college girlfriend would eventually dump me for, became (1) a Tea Party organizer and (2) a bank robber.

Lucky for her she ended up raising a family with someone else, not with our mutual, now felonious, acquaintance.

Holy shit, dude. You win this thus far. At least my old flame is not felonious! (At least, not that I know...)

Thanks. One more tidbit: the college girlfriend he dumped so he could go out with my college gf became his support liaison while he was in prison, and married him after his release.

@josh_karpf Oh, for fuck's sake. Why'd she go and do that?


First, sorry to hear about your friend. But nothing you can do about it, and likely he'd have not turned out great even if the two of you stayed together.

I have connected with two from the past. One, my very first high school crush, like you through FB. We've spoken a few times. She's done fine, a couple of kids, good job etc. She didn't progress intellectually as much as I thought she would, at least based on my memories of her from high school. But on balance, OK.

The second was a woman I dated briefly in the service while stationed in Arkansas. We connected many years later, met a couple of times and stayed friendly. While she is OK-steady job, did a nice job raising her daughter as a single mom, no substance issues, nice as can be-she has a bad case of simple thinking close-mindedness. Even though she has a college degree, she just hasn't grown. So not sad, but not much either.

That pretty much describes almost everyone I went to high school with. Not that anyone owes me any kind of high expectations, but it's rather odd to discover that all of the people who you thought would be movers and shakers ... well, aren't those things at all.

@LaRaconteur Yes agreed though to an extent. Many of those I thought were exceptionally smart turned out well. But an awful lot of people are just....average. Their emotional and intellectual development seems to have stalled in mid high school. Meeting them at reunions or on line, they aren't able to engage in anything substantive. Such is Amerika. Oh well.


I would say, it is a good idea, because it could have been different . . . For me, I tried to look up my best friend in HS, and was puzzled because the whole search for several years was just one big black hole . . no info . . . . eventually I found out that he had died of a brain anurism . . . but had a wonderful life with wonderful friends. Another person I knew I tried to look up . . . . same thing, died. Well, that was not the worst of it though, what was far worse was a friend I knew in the navy, the guy turned out to be a real low-life, he was suppose to be working to protect children from being abused, and the lazy fuck that he was, he did not even bother to visit them and check on them when he was suppose to. I have connected with some of my other friends from HS. I would still say it is worth it, because you just never know how it will turn out.

THHA Level 7 Dec 26, 2018

I'm sorry to hear about your bestie. I tried looking up mine, but she is nowhere to be found. I tried her maiden name, married name, you "name" it, and she's nowhere on social media or the Internet. It makes me wonder if she too hasn't passed on.

Sad to say, but the best way to find people is often by searching for obituaries, because often it lists the people who attended, those who have passed on that the decease was related to. Other than that, look for other members of their family, google can do magic if you use the right keywords.

@THHA Confession: I did try looking for an obit and didn't find one. And, I cannot recall her parents' first names for love or money. My mom can't remember them either!


About a year ago I looked up a woman I had not seen in twenty years - to see if she was still alive (she had lots of emotional issues) - Was happy not to find death announcement but did run across Bankruptcy and her Physician's Assistant license was no longer valid. I did not use Facbook to find her.

On the brighter side of life - be happy he didn't drag you down with him.

Yup, I am sooo glad I ended that relationship when and as I did. My life would have been a lot more unpleasant, and I would have ended up with an inordinate amount of emotional baggage.


I have looked up old friends/lovers on facebook. After reading their pages about 80% of the time, I wish I had not found them, for any of a wide range of reasons. I try to not do so any more, although FB can be addictive, so I have done it a few times after telling myself I was not going to do it anymore. I would probably not recommend that anyone look up old friends or lovers on FB. Actually I would not recommend that people use FB.

I have very mixed feelings about Facebook. Because of it, I have gotten in contact with a lot of old uni friends, including some really cool roommates that I had back in the day. OTOH, as you point out, sometimes you are in for an unpleasant surprise.


I suppose,as bad as finding out a birth mother, and how she's suffered over the years? Some pasts,should left unsearched,for mental stability,yours and the person you found.....


Interesting post! I'm the world's worst Facebook troller. Not so much past Flames, but recent failed relationships. Very recently I was snooping around Facebook and found out some very interesting things about someone who chose not to be very honest with me.

Huh. I've done that before and found out some interesting tidbits of intel as well. Now I let sleeping dogs lie.

Take comfort,it was not a deep relationship,with kids involved,or divorce proceedings....

@LaRaconteur there's a closure to it that's important to me.


I am FB friends with my 1st crush. We met in 2nd grade. He has a beautiful family - wife & 3 kids. He is politically & religiously opposite of me but we are still good friends.

I'm so glad to hear that -- not so sure I could be good friends with mine. Sad about that. As in, really!

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