Q: I have an awkward, but hopefully relateable predicament. I know this boy. . . . well, I *knew* this boy. We were buddies in middle school, then he moved out of my district and I haven't seen him since. My issue is this: now, nearly 10 years later, I find myself totally crushing on him. Or at least the Facebook version of him. And I don't think it's because of his exceptional picture pruning skills, either. To me, he just seems like a genuinely cool, witty, nice guy. Is there something terribly wrong/weird/strange about this? And if there isn't, should I do anything about it?

A + A + A + A + A:

One (Intermittent BFF): When we were little, Two and I were best friends with a pair of sisters. And when I say "best friends," I mean we memorialized our relationship with broken heart necklaces from Claire's that labled us thusly. If that isn't serious, I don't know what is. But then we moved and life happened and the next thing I knew I hadn't seen my "best friends" in ages. Call it destiny, (I prefer Divine Intervention), but our paths crossed again when one of those sisters ended up doing missionary work in Hungary at the same time I did. And when I look back at my childhood in the 80's, and my epically bad taste during that time, I am impressed, nay, amazed at how I developed such incredibly awesome taste in friends. Because these ladies are truly spectacular -- smart, witty, gorgeous, accomplished, thoughtful, fun, honest, real. We don't get to see enough of each other, but when it works out, I love every minute.

I'm a bit of a luddite, and didn't spend the decade during which we were out of touch stalking these girls, (on Facebook or otherwise). But the last decade of my life has been richer and more beautiful because they're back in the picture. So start a casual dialogue -- maybe send an article you think might interest him, and ask for his thoughts. Your timewarp crush may or may not be destined to be the love of your life, but you owe it to yourself to see whether this seemingly cool person from your past is meant to be part of your future. 

Two (Cautious): Hmmm...  So truth be told, my husband and I reconnected over Facebook but PLEASE use tremendous caution when using this method.  Do not send him gushy messages about how you were meant for each other. Do not tell him how cool you think he is. Do not write on his wall all of the time. But you can casually invite him to a party you throw or send him a note saying something like, "Hey _________, you and I should catch up. Wanna grab juice/coffee/lunch sometime next week?"

A note about me and the Mister, he reconnected with me ONLY as a friend. I would probably never have dated him if he would have come on to strong. As it was, after he found me, it was almost a year before he tried ANYTHING and then he waited til he knew I was interested. He just facilitated opportunities for me to see whether I liked him and whether he liked me but in a totally non creeper way. So yeah. In the end, don't be creepy. Don't be needy. Don't seem desperate and look to make a new friend. Not boyfriend.

Three (Proud Voyeur): Okay, first off, you're not sketchy. At least not in this day and age. I don't know a single person with a Facebook account who's not guilty of a bit of friendly voyeurism every now and then. Really "social network" is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion, and "solitary gawk-site" might be a more apt tagline for the web's favorite roost.

Now, for what to do about it. Say "hi." Don't build it up, and don't force it, but when he posts something clever go right on ahead and "like" it. Who knows, he might "like" you too. And then "likes" might turn to like, which could turn to luuurrrrrv and then it could all settle down into love.

My *cough* husband *cough* invited me to a football watching party via Facebook once upon a time ago, and just look how that turned out! I'm not promising you'll end up like us--it would be rather intimidating if every fb invite ended in marriage--but it's a perfect way to say hello with no stress.

Besides, if things go poorly you can block him and pretend nothing ever happened.

Four (Diplomat): Tooootally relatable. In fact, I’ve had similar predicaments (mostly with an exchange student who used to live with us. He’s an insanely dreamy, crazy smart, Iraqi laser scientist. What more could a girl ask for?! An astronaut, I suppose....). Aaaaanyway, nothing wrong with crushing. The question is: what to do? If I were you, I'd send him a quick, pithy message about something clever you saw him post or something funny you have in common. It doesn't have to be formal, but it could potentially initiate a dialogue. Who knows?!  :) Good luck!!!

Five (Chatty and Unhelpful): Mmmmm girl, you have no idea how much I relate. There's this kid who I sat next to in children's choir whose transitions lenses were always darker than they should've been. We were friends, but I was 11 and distracted by the über handsome blonde in the fourth row named Jack. Well, now Mr. Transitions looks like Colin Firth.

With glasses.


If it's sketchy dear writer, we can be sketchy together. However -- aside from empathy and potential validation -- I don't have much to offer you. Maybe you could mention your big fat internet crush on him on your blog and hope he reads it and is like "Oh wow! I remember her as a kind, funny, quick-witted eleven-year-old! She's probably even more awesome now! And she doesn't even have Hanson Boy hair anymore! We should totally date in spite of our widely disparate locations!" Or maybe Jack will see this and be like "I have no memory of that chick! Oh wait, didn't she have Hanson Boy hair?! This is weird! I'm going back to being attractive now!" . . .

. . . Just a thought.

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