Reading Into A Facebook ‘like’?

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m looking for updates from former letter writers. Tell us what happened and whether our advice helped. Send your update to meregoldstein at gmail dot com with “update” in the subject line. Use or include your original email address so we know it’s really you.


Hi Meredith!

I’ve followed LL for many years and now I need your advice. This past fall I ended (on good terms) an eight-year relationship. Two months later I met an amazing man (we will call him John) who wanted to move things along very quickly to marriage and children (two things I want very much). However, I let him know that I needed some time to process my new living situation, new job, and adapt to what was essentially a new life. I said I would “get there” but just needed to feel I had figured out this new life so that he was getting the best me.

After five months of dating John, who I believed was the one (but was proceeding cautiously with as I didn’t want this to be a rebound), he ended it out of the blue and told me we had lost momentum and that the timing was bad, as he felt I needed more time to be on my own. We had a pretty civil breakup conversation, and he knows I didn’t want it to end, but there was no fight and we hugged and wished each other well and said we’d “catch up one of these days.” That was three months ago.

Since then I wished him happy birthday via text and he replied right away and said he’d call me if he was in town, and that was our only communication since May — until last Friday. I woke up Friday morning to see he had liked a Facebook status I posted three weeks ago. This from a man who is never on Facebook and never commented on a post when we were together. Mind you, he is 43 and I am 38, and we are not big social media people, but what am I supposed to think? He appears out of the blue, and knows how much I didn’t want it to end. Is he reaching out? Should I take this as a sign I can reach out to him? And can I tell him I will be in his city this weekend and ask to catch up?

I do want him back and feel I am ready to commit fully to this man. I know I’m not supposed to read anything into a Facebook “like,” but obviously he knew I would see he liked an old post.

— Wish the timing had been right in Boston


You’d think that if he were really reconsidering his decision, he’d just text or call – because he has your number. I don’t know why he’d like a Facebook status to get your attention when you’ve made it clear that you didn’t want to break up and that he contact you anytime.

That said, if you can’t stop thinking about his motives, just reach out. But be clear about your own intentions so you don’t spend months over-analyzing messages without getting to the heart of the matter. The point is to get rid of the ambiguity, not add to it. Ask him whether he wants to see you when you’re in town. Ask him whether he’s reconsidering the breakup. Make it clear that you want to do more than catch up.

Readers? Should she want to be with this guy after he changed his mind so quickly? Should she reach out?

– Meredith

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