As if breakups weren’t hard enough, there is a new phase added in between the “sweatpants and wine” phase and the “hallelujah, I’m free” phase. You can no longer wipe your hands clean of a past boyfriend without reliving every romantic and stupidly cheesy moment you had together via the digital time capsule of doom—social media.
What were once photos posted to make single women jealous on your timeline, are now heartbreaking memories from your past that make the wine so much harder to put away.
Gone are the days of shredding photographs and burning love letters. The past will forever haunt you though every loving comment, every silly meme of an inside joke, and every god-damn picture of you both. Every post from him reminding you how beautiful you are and how much he loves you is a blow to the heart and must be dissolved into the digital abyss.
Facebook uses their CIA-style facial recognition the instant you post, but can never do it in the reverse. So we are stuck clicking through every photo over the past X-amount of years, reliving the kisses shared on mountain tops, vacations in the Caribbean, beer festivals, family parties, 5K races, weddings, snowball fights, and even those pictures from a Taco Tuesday dinner night.
You must go through your photos as well as those you are tagged in from others. You’ll scour through comments, posts, check-ins, videos, tweets, hashtags…all in an exhausting effort to erase the painful reminders of a past love.
The process is an emotional bungee jump but vital to moving on. These photos will no longer stare at you from your Instagram page and you will announce to the world that your past has been wrapped up and you are ready to start fresh again; plus your Jake Gyllenhaal doppelganger of an ex won’t intimidate new lovers.
After spending laborious hours cutting my ex out of my social media presence, I felt free and empowered. The more I deleted, the easier it became, and the more I accepted the break up. I no longer had those glaring reminders of my past and instead a clean slate for a future relationship. I am grateful for every memory I had with my ex and will hold them in my heart forever, but don’t need the physical reminder held up in a digital space. Don’t be afraid to take out that glass of wine, sit down at your computer, and erase what’s been holding you back from moving on.
See. Feel. Delete. Repeat.