Interested In A Stranger On Facebook?

Oh Facebook, you magical love machine, you. =D

I have a crush on a guy that I don’t know, but am friends with on facebook. I guess he technically isn’t a complete stranger because he is an acquaintance/friend of some of my friends in real life…So my question is, in the age of facebook and friending strangers is it ok to express interest in someone you don’t actually know, and how does one go about it with out it being too awkward? I can’t really judge his accepting my friend request as anything much since he is in a band that is fairly well known and has a lot of friends. On a side note, I have noticed through random news feed posts that he definitely has an interest in meeting someone, so is that an open invitation to introduce myself? Do you think that he might get the impression that I’m weird for having searched him out or that I read what he posts? Honestly I don’t even know how I’d begin.

I
am
all about
meeting
people
on
the
internet.

…but, yknow, you’re talking to one of the biggest internet nerds ever. I don’t think it’s weird to friend people and to socialize online as you would in “real” life. This is the digital age! Embrace it! Love it and cuddle it! I believe it can do a lot of good in our “real” lives. The dating game online and IRL have a lot of overlap. Here are 3 things to consider when you’re approaching a stranger on Facebook:

1. Tone
When you’re pursuing someone through Facebook, it’s worth being aware of how you might come off to a person who doesn’t know you. They don’t have your body language or voice to read, so it’s worth thinking about how you’d like to transfer your personality through a digital medium. Things that I personally try to avoid are bad grammar/spelling, caps lock, humor that might be deemed a little too whacky/out there (at first), and too many emoticons. I guess I feel like these things can can come off sort of strange.

2. Why You’re Messaging
When you’re messaging a stranger with interest, you can avoid the “creeper” vibe by letting them know why you’re interested. It’s not strange to search/read more about people who interest you if there’s a non-creepy reason for doing so. You may have similar friends, similar interests, similar political views, etc. Make sure this is known in your first message to them if you want to let them know that this more than just a “hey, your pic is hawt” type of thing (even though their pic may in fact be hot).

3. Starting a Conversation
People feel comfortable with questions about themselves. If you approach the initial message as a way to get to know their personality & interests a little better (and offer compelling reason for them to want to know yours), it will serve as a leeway to more conversation, and maybe after a little exchange, a reason to get together in real life. Proposing a get-together too early is something that happens a lot in my experience. Let it come naturally after being affirmed that you jive a little online.

A Word About Feeling Awkward
It’s normal to feel kind of weird about a new form of social interaction, especially when expressing interest is something so many people feel anxiety about anyway.

It might help to keep it cool and light, don’t set too many expectations about where it could go, and of course…try to have fun with it! E-flirtation is a practice & an art, but getting better at it doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s all about your state of mind. Don’t allow yourself to drown in thoughts like “omg this is so weird”, or that’s going to seep into your conversation with them. It’s not weird. A bajillion people use Facebook, and the exchanges aren’t just between people who know each other. It’s a powerful platform that goes far beyond your proximal social circle.

Do They Want To Be Messaged?
While being chatty and flirty online is all good and well, some people are simply not interested in talking to strangers, even when you have mutual friends. If they say or indicate that they are not interested in chatting on FB, respect that, and don’t approach them. BUT! If they do say they are interested, that is a green light for approach. If there is no comment about that, approach it thoughtfully & don’t take it personally if they don’t respond or don’t respond in the way you’d expect. It’s Facebook, which most people don’t sign up for as a dating site. If you’re intentionally looking for an online place for dating, I’d recommend OK Cupid!

Good luck & have fun! :)

PS: I hope it would be extremely obvious that you should always be thoughtful & safe in online encounters! If it’s *not* obvious, you’re probably not quite ready to be using FB to meet people. It’s not very savvy to go traipsing off in a secluded area with some random person you know nothing about. Always meet new friends in public & confirm their character with someone else. If they make you uncomfortable in any way, online or off, that’s your queue to shut down the exchange!

32 thoughts on “Interested In A Stranger On Facebook?

  1. You have to be a bit cautious, though… it’s easy to misrepresent yourself online – try not to exaggerate about yourself, and be a little skeptical of what people you meet online tell you about themselves!

  2. I’ve never thought of using Facebook to look for relationships always thought that’s what okcupid was for but then there does seem to be many women on there that are only looking for friends or even don’t want to interact with humans at all.

    so i guess there could be people on Facebook looking for some sorta relationship. course most of the sites i have read over the years tend to have women who complain about being hit on no matter where they go and I’ve never seen a single (as in not in a relationship) woman at any grocery store I’ve been to.

    • it’s probably good to keep OKC as a place for relationships and FB as a place for friends. that said, relationships aren’t always so black & white, and this seems to come up pretty often! at least in my inbox. ive personally never used FB as anything other than a “page”

  3. **** Make sure they are legit too. My friend had a guy start flirting with her and said that he went to a nearby school and offered to meet up with her (she was planning on bringing me just in case it was a creeper) and he totally blew her off, deleted his facebook, and stopped responding to all texts. We later found out that no one actually could confirm his existence.

    • I agree I think before you get too involved with someone online you need to skype or webcam with them. That way you are sure of what they look like and that they are the appropriate age, etc.

  4. I started dating someone I met through a mutual friend on FB. It was easy, I just made random jokes referencing some memes from the 90′s. In any case, we didn’t work out as a couple, but we are still really close friends. ^_^ Good luck!

  5. I met my current partner, and the partner before that on myspace and then facebook. It’s a wonderful way to meet people. You can usually tell within a few minutes if their interested in talking to you, and if they aren’t you just say you’ve gt somewhere to go and log off. It’s sooo much easier than figuring that out in real life. I’m pretty introverted, and on the internet people can see the not shy me first.

    I’ve been with my current partner for 2 and a half years. We’ve had no problems and we’re both super happy. I attribute that to getting to know each other through facebook and texting before we really hung out a lot in real life.

    I encourage everyone to meet new friends, partners through the internet.

  6. I’m super surprised you didn’t mention the need to be extremely cautious online. There are so many creepers out there. I know you know this and maybe it’s just an obvious fact, but people can pretend to be someone they are not. I would be weary of trying to find a relationship on Facebook. It would probably be better to go through a dating site. Personally, I think it is a little ridiculous to think you could try to pursue someone through something like Facebook. It’s kind of creepy to be honest too.

    • I do think it’s obvious, so obvious that it’s hardly helpful advice (to me), though I did add a note about it just in case! While I do respect that you personally find it “creepy”, and that is perfectly fine, I don’t appreciate the shaming implicit in your comment. Respect others in this space, please & thanks.

      • When I get a message from someone I do not know, it is creepy. I am not shaming anyone else, I am describing my feelings on the subject.

      • I’d also like to add that there are many young viewers of yours that could be easily influenced by an article like this to assume that they can just pursue anyone on Facebook and everything will be okay. I am disturbed that you only put it in small text. I wish I was more aware of the dangers of strangers online when I was younger, and I think you should make it more clear.

        • A lot of children are educated in schools and at home about the dangers of online. Of course it is possible for somebody to act like someone else online. I don’t think Laci’s article was meant to tell children to look for partners online. Try and be open about things :) You can meet a stranger in real life as well.

  7. Just remember that sarcasm doesn’t come across as easily as you may think over text. If you’re talking to someone relatively new to you and you don’t make it explicitly clear that you’re being sarcastic, the other person might not pick up on it. It’s incredible how much a lack of body language can impact the ability to perceive sarcasm.

  8. I actually met my boyfriend on a stupid online game x)
    We talked for years until we finally met face to face this summer. It’s really hard being separated in between times we can see each other (he lives like 400 miles away), but I know it’ll always be worth it and that we won’t have to be separated much longer. c:

    My only issue is that I don’t always get the support I want from my friends, I feel like none of them understand :c

  9. Haha. I have met all my boyfriends on the interntet actually! Surprisingly. I am quite brave I guess. My only advice to someone who wants to meet someone on the internet is to not get attached too soon, you DON’T know how they are in real and you may get very dissapointed.

    My first boyfriend was an abuser, I got attached too fast and had a hard time getting out of the relationship cause of it. Other than that I have only met great guys ^^

  10. I met my boyfriend on Facebook. He looked me up after hearing my name one day because he thought I was pretty. When I added him I had no idea who he was except that he went to my school. For some reason I decided to strike a conversation because I had nothing to lose, I didn’t even know him anyways. But, next month is officially our 2 years and we seem to be going quite strong. Crazy what the internet can bring. :)

  11. “flirtation is a practice & an art”

    It’s not an art. It is the hardest work possible. Nothing can be so difficultt, stressful, dehumanazing. It makes you feel as something inferior, like a bad good phonly advertised by home seller or on one of these crap selling tv programs. Nothing can make you feel so drained and utterly useless like this. Nothing has a such great failure rate. Nothing can make you feel so worthless. Any exam, any difficult live situation shrinks in comparision with flirting. It’s an ulitimate disaster.

    • Wow. I guess you aren’t very good at it or something. I am a born flirt and everyone knows it. Flirting is fun and silly. Sorry you don’t see it that way. But there’s nothing “wrong” or “dehumanizing” about it. Yeesh.

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