Q: I met a guy when I was out the other night, and we’ve gone out once since then (which was two nights ago). Is it appropriate for me to send him a Facebook friend request now? If not, how long should I wait?
A: I say go for it. Do it now. In fact, I’m surprised you aren’t already friends. I’d think he would have sent you a request by now, since there is still the slight perception that men are supposed to make the first move, and we tend to lump all moves including social media moves into that perception. I assume he’s itching every bit as much as you are to start your comprehensive online creeping in earnest.
My bet would be that he’s hesitant to send you a friend request because he’s worried it would send a message that he was being too forward or was not obeying the norms for unwritten social media etiquette, which quite honestly doesn’t even comprehensively exist yet. (There’s more to it now than “wait three days and then call her.”)
Unless a guy has something to hide, we generally get pretty stoked when a woman we’re attracted to decides to friend request us. It’s vaguely flattering. When I receive a friend request from a potential romantic interest, I tell my dude friends immediately. (GOT THE FRIEND REQUEST, BRO!) To us, it means that she’s putting herself out there a little bit, is expressing interest in us and in getting to know us better. In short, when the girl takes the friend-requesting initiative, it’s kind of a subtle message to us that she may want to see us again.
Once you send the friend request, don’t be startled if he doesn’t immediately accept it. Chances are great that he’s seen it, but doesn’t want to seem like he’s been sitting around checking his computer and his phone every three minutes in hopes you would send him a request. He’ll give it a little while, probably, but he’ll definitely accept it unless, again, he has something to hide, like the fact that he’s married or a stripper or something. (There is potential that the guy is an outlier who doesn’t really like to use social media, or vehemently believes that people should get to know each other organically instead of through pictures and other information posted on a Facebook profile. That’s fine, I guess, but he’d better be willing to explain himself about it, because in today’s day and age, his stance is becoming less and less normal.)
Your decision to send a request is likely a good one, because having done so definitively puts the ball in the guy’s court. He’s the one who should reach out via text or Facebook message or however you kids are communicating these days to ask if you’d like to hang out again. Often, he will make some comment about how the two of you are friends on Facebook now, and will potentially try to joke about how hard he’s going to creep on you, even though you both know this is no joke at all.
One last thing: once you’re Facebook friends, don’t put too much stock into the information you find there. I was just looking at my own profile (because I believe in diligent research and am also a narcissist), and don’t think it does a very great job of showing who I am. A lot of people spend more time these days fine-tuning their interests and photos on dating websites, and not on Facebook. We’ve all been randomly “liking” things on there for like six years, and weeding through all of that is generally not at the top of a person’s to-do list.
But at the very least, you can check out our old photos to see how much weight we’ve gained since we started college.