I am a single woman. I’m OK with it. I’d rather spend time by myself and doing things with friends than be trapped in a relationship with the wrong person. I like my own company enough to wait.
While my singleness means I can go without so much as a wolf whistle when walking past a construction site for months at a time in real life, it doesn't keep men from men hitting on me on Facebook. Let me be specific about the population that’s hitting on me: married male friends.
I’m not claiming to be a ravishing beauty and I’m not saying that all of my married male friends are doing it. But, after the sixth time it happened this past week, I’m calling the question: When did Facebook become the new out-of-the-way bar for married men to hit on single women? When did direct message become the new No-Tell Motel?
It started when I posted about a bra strap popping on the subway. I was lamenting about having put too much stress on a house bra -- you know the one, it’s super comfortable and you shouldn’t wear it out of the house, but suddenly there’s an emergency, like your friend calls you and her diaphragm is stuck, and there’s no time to worry about vanity. I was stating what had happened as one of those sisters-in-solidarity posts where your posse shares their bra mishaps and all is forgotten in about three minutes. A ton of my fellow busty friends commented, and then I noticed a few guys were liking the post.
Whatever, men like boobs, but stay out of our boob talk, boys.
And then a DM came over from Married Male Friend #1: “You know, I would have loved to have been there to maybe hold that breast when it popped out.”
Um, beg your pardon? Wait, what?
This married guy friend is someone with whom I went to high school. I knew him loosely as a fellow keg party attendee, someone who was “high school interesting.” He falls into the category of someone who knew you right after your braces were off, saw you do your first upside-down keg stand and maybe shared a few classes with you before you both went off to see the world. Nowhere in our decades of history has any conversation of a sexual nature ever occurred.
You know, until now.
I didn’t reply. I didn’t know what to say. I’m not saying Facebook is a safe space, but I’m used to unfriending people over stupid hater-type comments, not for fantasies about boob holding. A second message came through:
“You know, you’ve gotten better-looking since graduation. You’re still single, right?”
I checked out his Facebook page. Married to a sweet woman with Lennon-style round frame glasses and curly hair. Three kids, one of whom had a Facebook account.
I came back to the comment and replied. “Does your wife know that you’re trolling Facebook, making comments like that? Because it looks like your daughter has a Facebook page, and it would be tragic for her to know that her dad is creepy. Also, your wife is really pretty. Go hit on her. Leave me out of it.”
Then one of my best college drinking buddies sent me a request to meet up for dinner while he was visiting New York. I said that would be fine, thinking we’d just catch up and talk about work, kids, whatnot. Then he let it slip that I could feel free to stay the night if I had too much to drink.
When I told him that I had not only stopped drinking a while ago but that I also -- quelle surprise -- had an apartment in the city, he said, ‘Well, if I get too drunk, can I stay at your place? It’s been a while.” When I asked if his wife knew about these attempted plans, he backpedaled so fast it made his own head spin.
"Clearly, I had misunderstood his intentions," he said, and "What the Hell was I thinking?" I said I was sure that I hadn’t misunderstood a damned thing, but that I had taken a screen shot of the conversation just to be sure that there were no misunderstandings for any reason. He unfriended me.
I don’t know his wife, but if she ever goes on a manhunt about his cheating ways, she can count on me as a star witness.
I'm confused and angry that just because I'm single my married male friends want to bitch about their spouses and their marriages and sexual issues. I don’t want to hear it. The minute I ask you how everything is and you switch the conversation to DM to tell me that you and your wife haven’t had sex in three years, that you’re sad and lonely and, hey, when’s the next time I’m coming to your city to visit, you can expect me to unfriend you with mind-boggling speed.
When did direct messaging become Taxicab Confessions?
Just because I’m not married doesn’t mean that I’m available, interested, or that I even want to know this information. Just because I’ve made different choices doesn’t mean that I’m free game. When it comes to you, married men, I’m most definitely attached: to MYSELF and the life I’ve built for myself. I put a ring on it when it came to building my own life years ago. I’m unavailable. Keep it moving.
I would imagine that all the men I’ve unfriended have told themselves whatever they’ve needed to hear in their minds to justify their actions, but I’m more concerned about the women with whom they share beds and bank accounts. A friend of mine caught her husband cheating on Facebook and went on a "Dateline"-level investigation into his social media affairs and found a vast array of direct messages, likes and suggestive comments on a slew of pages of other women. They’re separated now; she’s hired an attorney.
It’s not about making anyone paranoid. It’s about bringing awareness to the issue. Married dudes, don’t hit on your single female friends. Don’t try to solve your problems by thinking you can prey on a woman who doesn’t check the same marital status box you do. Don’t make Facebook creepy, or creepier than it can already be. Get offline and go deal with your problems in real life. My Facebook profile is unavailable to you.
Have you ever had this happen to you? Do you have a weird attempted Facebook pass story? Thoughts on the married men trolling Facebook thing? Let’s discuss in the comments.