It happened to me twice in the last couple of years.
Two people I bitterly broke up with reached out on Facebook, filling me with a large mixed salad of weird feelings.
My immediate response was being surprised and actually flattered that, after such vitriol was thrown my way, they clearly still kinda like me and want to reestablish some kind of relationship, even if just as friends.
But quickly enough I stopped myself from falling into the mushy pit of cheap sentiment and thought, “Don’t bite! You’ll surely just get trapped in the same dynamic that led to the screaming breakups!”
One of the guys was always a supremely passive-aggressive being who couldn’t communicate, rarely remembered what he’d said before (because he smoked pot), and usually pretended to be happy go lucky while he masked rage and animosity.
I didn’t answer his Facebook message at all, especially since it involved him saying something I didn’t believe like “Wishing you all the best!” I didn’t buy it and didn’t want to buy into it, nor did I want to encourage him still obsessing on me after all these years.
The other guy had similar problems, but I felt more fondly about him, so I did answer his Facebook message. But I kept it kind of terse–stuff like “I’m doing fine. You?”–rather than stoke the coals and give him expectations of a patchup.
God, I’m such a wicked temptress. But hey, maybe I’ll give them a break and at least “friend” them.