Don’t Look

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t suffered from a break up because most people break up with someone over the course of a lifetime. The difference between a break-up today and a break-up five years ago is social media. It was bad enough when my first ex-boyfriend and I broke up, but still belonged to the same group of friends. We still ran into each other, and our friends had to deal with who could be invited to which event, what each person was saying against the other, etc. It was a relatively tame break-up, at least, that’s how I’ve remembered it.

I didn’t even have a MySpace then. I couldn’t tweet about him or make a You Tube video or an Instagram collage of our break-up. I couldn’t friend new guys or podcast about our break up. I couldn’t stalk him. I think those were good things. In the age we live in now, there is an overload of information. And we simply do not need to know everything.

When trying to get through a break-up or get over the person one has broken up with, it’s common placeΒ  nowadays to look at his/her Facebook, obsess over his/her Twitter, look through his/her new pictures, anything to keep some kind of link and be more in the know about him/her than he/she is about you.

That has to stop.

It is super unhealthy.

In fact, I can’t think of anything good that can come from it. If your ex starts dating someone new sooner than you do, how is it going to help if you know? Because it will destroy all hope of the two of you getting back together? It might. It could also make you feel really bad and in a fragile state, it’s simply not a good idea to expose yourself to that kind of negative re-enforcement.

Today marks a week since my husband and I decided to end our marriage.

I’ve checked his Facebook twice. The first time was because I just wanted to see what his world said about his status change. The second time was because he had updated a very long message and I was still subscribed to his updates. My curiosity got the better of me. Luckily, neither time made me feel particularly awful, but there was a stabbing of my heart nonetheless. I’m not sure what I expected or hoped for, but I had to make a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t keep looking. I have to look forward, and keep moving in that direction. It’s not easy because when you’ve committed so much of your life to another person, you can’t simply stop being interested in what they do and what they think. But, to really and truly recover from a break-up, focus on oneself, one’s family, one’s friends, one’s job, one’s life must unquestionably be the goal.

If you’re a new single, say this with me: I promise not to stalk my ex.

If you think this is going to be hard, say it several times a day. Promise yourself and stick to it. Stalking your ex will not result in the positive. Find yourself. Be yourself. Let yourself grieve without distractions.

If you’re friends of a new single, say this with me: I promise not to help my friend stalk his/her ex.

It is equally as important for the friends not to hurry about when the ex has posted something potentially hurtful. If your friend is working on moving on, don’t disturb him/her. The minutiae of the ex’s life can remain a mystery.

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10 thoughts on “Don’t Look

  1. I’m sorry to hear things have ended for you and your husband. Breakups are awful, and I imagine so much more so if it’s a break up with someone with whom you thought you’d see out forever. I’ve just recently moved interstate and my ex boyfriend from home followed me here, thinking his presence would convince me we should be back together. It’s really just been harder on the both of us. He’s a muso, so he writes awful songs about me and then uploads them onto facebook. I write my poems in private. You might be able to get something useful from my other blog, http://www.theyeariquitmylife.com, specifically this post, perhaps: http://theyeariquitmylife.com/2012/03/19/just-another-four-letter-word/
    Best of luck for your next chapter. x

  2. Ouch…only a week…I realize everything must still be very raw…practice what you know to be right…don’t give in…it actually will get better with time (I debated a while before typing that last line, but it really is true, even if it is the most over diagnosed piece of advice in the entire history of the human race).

    Be encouraged!

  3. I too am attempting to avoid stalking my ex. It really is something I have to be very conscious about because, as you’ve mentioned, I’m still genuinely interested in his life and actually care about him. Best of luck to both of us as we move past this habit.

  4. Ha. I don’t think the stalking ever ends. I’ve been divorced for almost 4 years, and I still google my ex-husband occasionally. I’m not sure the purpose of it either. I think I just don’t like the feeling of NOT knowing what’s going on. Part of my control issues I guess.

  5. I completely agree, Susanna–I’ve never been able to get over exes while I was still in the phase of checking their Facebook/Myspace. It takes willpower to stop, but it’s sooooo worth it. Hope you’re doing well πŸ™‚

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