“I just deleted him off Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!” My mate declared to me over the phone this week, “I’m so proud of you!” I replied. I could hear the excitement in her voice. She was finally, free.
Now you might not think this is such a MASSIVE achievement but this is the position we find ourselves in 2017. When you break up with someone you cannot escape them! Hell I was living 500km away from my ex during my last break up and even that wasn’t far enough to stop the constant anxiety and confusion that makes a 2017 ‘physical’ and ‘social media’ break up so difficult.
We’ve out done ourselves guys! In 1977 you could break up with someone and the biggest issue would be running into them down the street (I can only imagine of course, I wasn’t born yet). Today you might be scrolling through your insta feed and SURPRISE you are slapped in the face with a pic of your ex and don’t they look great! Have they been working out? Who is that girl in the pic? You don’t even have time to prepare yourself before you’re spiralling out of control screenshotting and texting your group chat!
Or maybe you see a Facebook status update they are in a new relationship SO BLOODY SOON! And you think why are we still friends on Facebook? I do not want to see this! (P.S side note can we stop making such a big deal about Facebook relationship statuses please?)
It’s a minefield of constant contact at any moment. You can be reached in so many different ways! Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, text, call, email. Hell, I even had a guy I went on 2 dates with hit me up on LINKED IN of all places! Nowhere is safe!
For me making the decision to cut contact from my last relationship was a VERY big one not taken lightly at all! It started out like many break up’s do completely messy, still full of love but we both knew it was very much over so we pledged to do the impossible and try and stay friends.
Isn’t that funny? Friends. Like, you’ve seen me naked but let’s pretend that didn’t happen and just be pals! Righto! You can convince yourself you’ll be different to everyone else and you can make it work but just like the relationship it will crumble eventually as my “friendship” did.
You see you need space to grieve the old relationship. You need to remove yourself from the situation, from your ex to find out who you are again without them in your life. Otherwise moving on is impossible. The friendship becomes this murky grey area, where you’re not quite a couple but you still do couplely things and you’re not quite friends because you’re still reminded of the hurt of breaking up in the first place, every time you see them.
My Ex wanted to bury it. Pretend everything was fine that we had just transitioned from together to single, but I couldn’t switch off that girlfriend part of me. There was even one night where we were talking and we both ended the chat with “I love you”, “love you too” like nothing, it just rolled off the tongue and it was then I realised we aren’t friends at all…
There can be exceptions to the rule, but in my experience my big 3, intensely serious relationships since I was 16, I’ve found you cannot and should not be friends with an ex. It’s too painful and closes you off to that next chapter of your life.
And I’m not saying that door is closed forever on these guys, they were each a big part of my life. In fact I wouldn’t be who I am today without having spent those years with each of them. And maybe someday I’ll do a High Fidelity style survey, get in touch with each of my former loves and find out what went wrong for some closure, but then again, it didn’t work out amazingly for John Cusack in that movie did it? (Still a great movie and better book highly recommend!)
Look no one, not even I can tell you, when the best time to cut off communication will be but you will reach a time that feels right and as soon as you do you too will feel, free.