For the first time in my life, my only connection to my ex is through my phone; pictures, words and a bit of digging. Of course, we have mutual friends, but they are loyal to one side and in order to keep those friendships intact, the other one’s name is taboo.
He’s unfollowed me. He no longer sees my gluttonous food choices carefully filtered through an app he taught me to love. He no longer reads my countless 140 character comments about work, progressive ideals or my latest blog post. He no longer tracks my movements through an app I loathed until he came around. We are still “friends,” but only because there are settings eliminating me from popping up just as I’ve begun to slip away.
I emailed him about a place I’ve never been but knew he would love. He’s stronger than me; he won’t respond. Maybe he’s not stronger; maybe he’s busier.
I try and keep busy, countless plans, binge watching Netflix TV shows we both vowed to hate and ones we loved. Faking being alright also becomes a full-time job; trying to prevent your heart from racing every time he posts a picture of filtered buildings or tweets about sports. Unfollowing him severs ties, and the realization that the person is gone forever hurts more than the torture of seeing his life without you.
When you break up, there are new social norms you’re ‘required’ to follow; changing that cute profile picture of the two of you on a hike to your sexiest photo of you and your best friend. Removing a Facebook relationship status in a subtle way to avoid popping up on other people’s NewsFeed and getting comments from people you haven’t spoken to in years asking if you are alright.
Like all break ups, in good time, things will start to hurt less. Checking updates and pictures less-frequently, avoiding sharing images and thoughts to prove you are doing great as you begin to actually do great. Once again, your social media becomes real, or as real as it can really become. Life’s no longer a manipulation to prove that you are better off without him, since you finally stopped hysterically crying in sweat pants at home Instagramming a cute picture from weeks ago of a night out on the town.