We’ve all been there. We’ve opened our Snapchat app, wandered over to the long list of Snapchat stories and contemplated whether we should open his.
The boy who broke our heart. The boy who left us behind. The boy with whom we had some kind of connection, but the timing or situation was never quite right. Maybe we used to exchange snaps all the time, maybe we used to talk for hours, or maybe he was just a fantasy in our romanticized, idealistic minds.
But whatever our history, our present is nothing. We know that it’s nothing. But we still are friends with them on Facebook, we still follow them on Instagram, and we are still connected with them on Snapchat. And so we want to see their story. We want to glance at their adventures. We want — for even just a few seconds — to re-enter their lives. So our finger covers over their icon, our mind tempts itself with this duplicitious drug.
And we do it. We do it every time.
Ten seconds at a time, we absorb their current life. We feel like we are there with them. We smile at their videos, laugh at their exciting adventures, and treasure their adorable selfies. We feel connected to them again, we feel like perhaps it isn’t all ancient history. But it is.
And so these little tastes of the past become torture. For a few seconds a day, we hold our heart to the white-hot grill and press down. We remind ourselves that we aren’t in those snaps anymore, we aren’t in their life anymore.
And for better or for worse, we have to embrace that. We have to stop following their every move on social media. We have to stop worrying about what they are doing, or if they are meeting someone new to replace us. We have to stop watching their Snapchat stories.
By obsessing over their lives, we are crowding out time for our life.
We are holding ourselves in the past and in pain instead of moving on. No relationship is going to be rekindled because our name shows up on a list of people who viewed their story. No flame is going to be reignited, no romance is going to come of it. But we are going to get hurt by forcing ourselves to live every single minute of their curated happiness without us.
Social media can be great. Post a selfie of you having a good time this week. Send snaps to old friends who have lost touch with, or some best friends who care deeply about you.
But do not — do not — look at his Snapchat story.