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Solo Features

Break up bull

Breaking up is even harder to do because of that thing called the internet, says Emma Barry.

With all the technological advancements of late, wouldn’t you think at this stage that some geek could come up with a method of deleting a new ex from the profile page of your preferred social networking site – without looking too bitchy or childish to both the ex and the ex’s friends? Yes, you would think so, but sadly it’s not quite the case. The truth is when your current squeeze becomes a thing of the past, the world wide web makes moving on that little bit harder.
It was all well and good when you were dating, happy days even. And it was great too meeting your honey’s social circle, who were all too only eager to befriend you on Facebook/Bebo/wherever after you dazzled them with your charm. Then pow, the relationship explodes and you are left with not only ex as your cyber buddy, but a bunch of the friends as well, who all only serve as a constant reminder of the doomed relationship.
The situation is worse if you were the one that came out with the ‘let’s be friends’ line in the first place. Once the decision to split was made, you were determined to be mature and not lose dignity. You were well intentioned – it didn’t end badly compared to the other break ups, did it? – but then the subsequent temptation to cyber stalk starts to proves irresistible, and you’re off.
First, it’s the ‘status’ checking. On you log to Facebook, just to check if he/she is back to being ‘single’, which is fine, but then you read the messages left by members of the opposite sex, complete with sign off kisses, and so begins the unravelling of your sanity.
Yes of course, you know – some of the message leavers are platonic friends, ones you know for certain were never dating prospects. But what about the new ‘friends’? The ones who appear out of nowhere, just like you had when you were both in the first flushes of love? The wondering is enough to make the most stable of folk lose the plot.
And then there are the photos. There is your ex, being ‘tagged’ at every party, like the new socialite around town, and just to prove you are not moping around the house, recovering from a broken heart, you start putting up images of your own ‘crazy’ nights out. And so begins the silent web war.
Exes. What to do? The easy thing would be to cut them off, just delete them from your friends list, but then you are portrayed as some form of deranged person, who could not handle the break up, especially if it was only within the six month mark. What, what to do? You begin to wish that your boss would just ban access to these bloody sites.
This is all part of what we refer to in Solo as break up bull – the newest form of crap that people have to put up with when relationships end.
Previous to this there the mobile hell, which still exists of course – the drunken punching of mobile keys that was all very cute when you were in that honeymoon stage. Not so when it’s all over though and you have to face the dread of the morning after scrolling through your half written drafts and full messages in the sent folder. Ouch. Not to mention the soul destroying realisation that your ex, who was always a fan of the drunken dialling, isn’t one anymore. Sometimes, that silence, that no contact at all, tells its own story.
So you delete the number from your phone, but unfortunately it’s not deleted from your brain or from the scrap of paper you wrote it on and hid, in case of an ‘emergency’. And the ‘emergency’ then occurs when you are in the throes of the horror show – that Sunday morning after a late Saturday night when the alcohol is leaving your system and you start contemplating every moment of the relationship. You must call him in the midst of your booze-fuelled depression to tell him a pack of emotional nonsense, which in the cold/sober light of day you know is nothing but more break up bull!
And then there are the e-mails. You said you would maintain contact, and after a week of no e-mails or texts you, in a complete state of sobriety, decide send a mail just to show a level of maturity and relative calm about the break up. Your email is friendly, but aloof enough to show that you have not being sitting at home crying. It’s all very breezy and light in fact. Because you are fine. Totally fine. And then the reply pings into your inbox and it can only be described as cold and stand-offish. Light and breezy, with a distinct chill. Or is it? Is it just that you’re reading into every little syllable because you are still emotionally attached to the person? Once again the unravelling of the sanity begins and before you know it you’ve written back with an even frostier attitude, signing off with a ‘have a nice weekend’ – and it’s only Tuesday!
Modern communication is supposed to make us closer, yet all you want to do at this stage is to distance yourself from the one person who might have hurt your heart. It’s time to bring back the pigeons to send messages. Or telegraphs. Hell, even at this stage an encounter on the street when you are least prepared almost sounds more appealing. Yes, modern communication – it makes it literally virtually impossible to move on.

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