I think one of the hardest things when you’re breaking up with someone is answering this question:
“When is it really over?”
The fat lady has essentially sung her final verse and you and your significant other have decided to call it quits. For most people in extended relationships, it goes something like this:
Still say ‘I love you.’
Still miss them.
Still think about them 24/7.
Still wonder what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.
Still worry if they’re okay.
Still vomit at the thought of them with someone else.
And during this phase you’re probably still following them on Twitter and remain their Facebook friend. You know, to keep tabs. To see what girls (or boys — guys, I know you read) are writing on their wall and following them. Social media has made it possible to still know every little detail of your ex without actually ever having to speak to them ever again.
I remember my last break up, and in the moments of where I felt my heart was completely shattered, I remember saying something like this: “I will never see you ever again.” And the sad part is I didn’t say that out of spite or that I wouldn’t want to see him again (I did. Trust.), but it was the truth. To this day, I haven’t seen him since the day we broke up. But I still knew what he was up to thanks to the internet.
Not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but I know some of you people are going through exactly what I went through, and for lack of better words? It sucks. I know you all are going through this because I’ve had several texts, phone calls and emails over the last few months from people who never thought they would be in this position, asking me for advice and help. I am transparent it seems, and when my heart was broken, you all were well aware.
As much as I love to help, I know I can’t. You have to live through the questions and find the answers, even when it hurts like hell. The thing worse than going through heartache? Watching your friends go through it. It’s like reliving the entire situation.
So, back to social media. You’re watching their friends talk about how they’re doing and what they’re doing and somehow you know exactly where this person is without even asking. It’s kind of nice in that you won’t run into them accidentally and feel your heart fall into your butt. Or, if you’re super cray, you’ll “accidentally” run into them at the pub so you can hash out the whole drama in public. Am I right? I’ve seen too many women and men do it before (I’ve been to afraid to do something bold like that).
When is it over? When do you know you are ready to move on and forget the past? For some of you, just reading that sentence makes you want to throw up your lunch. “Forget the past? I love this person! I want to make it work! I want to have hope!” Listen, I’m not against the falling back in love and making it work part. However, I know that if you’re just going through a breakup, there are too many wounds to heal to resusitate the relationship immediately. It will take time. Take growth. Take forgiveness. Take trust. All of those things combined can end up in a happy, healthy, relationship with a person you used to be in one with.
But I’m not talking reconciliation. I’m talking about the part where you want to move forward and not be hurt anymore. When does that happen? How do you know?
Some simple thoughts:
- That song you heard that made you bust into tears when initially breaking up? You can listen to it. The whole way through. No tears.
- You can unfriend and defollow them. Not out of spite, but because you know it’s not healthy to keep staring at their page and analyzing their tweets.
- You don’t worry about doing said things (above) and that the person will love you less because you did so.
- You’re content with the thought that they have moved on. If they’re happy, you are. Even if they cheated, you still find that the situation was supposed to happen.
- You’re not dating just to say that you’ve found someone new. You’re dating to legitimately find and enjoy another person. You’re open to the possibility of a new relationship. This one is the kicker!
- You don’t worry about them… as much. You know they’re fine without you.
- You don’t feel compelled to reach out and contact them, just to keep communication alive — just in case a reconcilation is coming up.
- You don’t get upset with what went wrong. You can fondly remember the good, funny and sentimental times.
There are a myriad of others, but I’ll spare you for now. The most difficult part of breaking up? Shutting the other person out. It’s nearly impossible to maintain a friendship immediately after breaking up, as much as you’d like to. It’s like on How I Met Your Mother. Barney dated Robin; they broke up. Barney then talks about all his latest conquests in front of Robin; she ends up crying in a hallway somewhere. She ends up meeting someone, starts to like him, but with her ex-boyfriend as a part of her group of friends, she decides to essentially “quit” the group for awhile until she can fully function in another relationship without Barney interfering.
And that’s what will keep happening when you’re intertwined, online, with this person you used to care about. You’re broken up because you don’t want to be with the person. Simple as that. (Or they don’t want to be with you. Sorry.) Otherwise, you’d still be with them, they’d still be with you. Easy. Stop dragging around and letting the communicating flow like wine. It’s not helping them, not you — no one.
So like a band aid, rip it off. Unfriend. Unfollow. Move on. And maybe one day, you two will be able to meet back up on The Social Network… and possibly in real life.
Then again? Maybe not.