Last month, a guy I know from back home broke up with his girlfriend. This normally isn’t something I would ever know or really care about, let alone share with you, but thanks to a series of heartbreaking messages he posted on Facebook, his breakup was my business. It was clear from the power ballad song lyrics and daily professions of love that the breakup wasn’t his choice. The low point came when it seemed like he was saying goodbye to the world, only to “LOL” about it later that day. His whole emotional journey on Facebook was both heartbreaking and embarrassing. Like “Dude, we’ve all been there and breakups suck, but pull yourself together!”
His public outpourings of love and loss made me really grateful that Facebook and Twitter did not exist 10 years ago. Because 10 years ago, I would have been him. I was crazy and obsessive enough without knowing who my ex-boyfriends became friends with or the parties they went to or the people they were in “relationships” or “it’s complicated” with. I probably wouldn’t have yelled at my exes all in caps about their lying and cheating ways (which I’ve had one or two FB friends do), or begged for someone back through status updates, but I would have spent an insane amount of time tracking my exes’ movements through their Facebook activity. I remember at one point, about nine years ago, searching for a tool that told you if someone blocked you on MSN messenger by showing you if said person was online. And yes, he was online and therefore had blocked me. Asshole! I just wanted to see how your important essay was coming along…
Like I said, I’m so happy I didn’t have the kind of stalker power Facebook offers back in the day when I did not take rejection well.* But 10 years ago; I was 19. What did I know? Back in my “dark” days, aka my early 20s, I dealt with breakups in the lamest ways possible by writing passionate letters that I then mailed to my former loves, and I called their houses a lot, dated their friends, and I cried all the time. I now laugh and laugh when I think about how devastated I was about those breakups. And I’m mortified at how I handled it all. The list of my embarrassing post-breakup behaviours is endless. So embarrassing that I still would not be able to look any of my ex-boyfriends in the eye. Or any where near their eye. In fact, I’d cross the street or dive into some bushes to avoid having to see them. I stress a little bit knowing that one ex now works in my neighbourhood. We broke up nine years ago.
While it will never be easy to end a relationship, it has gotten easier to deal with over the years. It helps knowing that I can get over the loss (because I already have many times) and it can be done without sacrificing my dignity. I will never again call an ex after we breakup (unless like his mom died or something), and if I feel compelled to put my feelings on paper (or screen) then I make sure to throw it out (or delete it) right away. And although I still do cry, it’s not quite at the same volume or length as it was 10 years ago. Because I know that I’m awesome and all my friends would date me if they were dudes (or so they say). I’m a great catch who just hasn’t met the right mate yet. Same goes for that guy from back home.
*Hahaha not that rejection doesn’t bother me now, but it isn’t as earth-shattering as it was when I was 20.