Love Letters: He Sent a Facebook Gift

Hi Meredith,

This is a time-sensitive dilemma so I hope you can offer advice pretty quickly.

Today following my birthday, I got a Facebook gift of a cup of coffee from a former classmate. Although he and I were friendly in high school, we never dated. The chemistry between us was there, but we weren't "unattached" at the same time, and we went our separate ways after graduation.

He's divorced while I've been happily married for 30-plus years. We've been Facebook "friends" for years, but have had no other contact except a condolence call after his father died and brief conversations at a few events.

I don't want to seem ungracious by not accepting his Facebook gift if he's only expecting a Facebook message with thanks. But as our high school reunion is next month, I'm concerned about the timing of his gift. I don't want him to think that if I accept the gift I'm looking for more than a friendly conversation at the reunion. Really, I have no interest in anything more than that. But I don't want hurt his feelings or cause any awkwardness between us or our families who do some business together.

What should I do about the gift? I haven't even told anyone about it including my husband. If you think I should accept the gift, can you suggest a nice way of thanking him for his thoughtfulness that makes it crystal clear that our relationship isn't going to change? Thanks.

– Simple Gifts

Accept the gift and write something like, "Thanks so much." Keep the message short.

Only worry about this if he follows up with flirty conversation or asks to hang out. And if he does, simply tell him that you and your husband will see him at the reunion. He'll get the hint.

It's just a cup of coffee sent through a social media site. It's weird, but it's not aggressive behavior. He didn't sent you a coupon for a hotel room.

You can make this normal by acting like it's not a big deal. Just be polite and maintain your boundaries. Don't write more than a simple thank you. Don't ask him any open-ended questions.

Readers? What were his intentions with the Facebook gift? Is it worth worrying about? Should she not accept it? How can she manage her relationship with this person?

– Meredith