How Soon Can You Friend Someone on Facebook?

Before you send a send a friend request, make sure you know the level of "friendship" you have with that person - or else suffer the consequences. Here's how to know when to friend someone on Facebook.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #285


I absolutely love talking about Facebook etiquette. It always seems to be a controversial topic -- and for good reason. For the life of me I can’t figure out why people put so much stock into their Facebook life. 

"Did you see my status today? Why didn’t you see my status? When will you Like my status?"

Yeesh, enough already!

I even wrote an article called "Real" Friends vs. Facebook Friends that discussed how worked up some of us get about adding “friends” to our network.>

But adding friends to your list is all a part of the Facebook fun, right? Wrong! 

It’s not a race, it’s not a competition, and you shouldn’t be too eager to send a friend request to someone you just met or only talked to for seven seconds in the elevator. So, before you spend hours waiting anxiously in front of your computer to see if Beth – who you have never spoken to but see in the hallway every day - will accept your request, let’s pull back the veil of Facebook friendship.

Here are my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips on how quickly you can legitimately friend someone on Facebook:

Tip #1: The New Romance

Okay class, by a show of hands, how many of you have stalked someone on Facebook?

Come on now, I don’t see every single hand up…because it should be.

Facebook stalking (in the safe/non-threatening sense) is when you look up a complete stranger, or someone you loosely know, and take a self-guided tour of their page.  The photo album entitled "Summer 2013" – don’t mind if I do! 

This especially happens when you are about to go on a date with someone or have just gone a first date.  So as you’re exchanging stories about what you like to do on the weekends, a thought comes to mind, “Should I friend them?” Then you teeter back and forth, not sure if you should make the first move. It’s like a social game of ping pong with one side of your brain saying, “Of course! Go for it, they’ll love it!” and the other side saying, “Wait…I’ll look like a stalker.”

After a date is over, you usually have a good idea of whether or not there will be a second date. And therein lies your answer. If you can see this person being a “friend” – either platonically or with benefits - then it’s a yes. However, if you think to yourself, “I'm not sure I want to see this person again,” then the answer is probably “No” to adding them as a Facebook friend.

Let’s be honest, you won’t get an award for having 10,000 friends on Facebook, and you won’t be kicked out for having only 10. If you're worried about whether to extend a friend request or not, make sure that you can truly call them a friend in the first place (or at least that they're someone with friend potential). When you add a person to your facebook circle, they’ll see everything you do. They’ll find out if you’re “in a relationship” and if you put “it’s complicated” as your status while dating them. They have access to your every move...awwwwkward.

So if you see this going for more than a couple of dates or remaining “just friends,” then go for it. However, if there is any doubt, do not feel obligated to accept their request or extend one yourself. You don’t owe a stranger a window into your social life.


About the Author

Richie Frieman

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