I woke up today, lit up a cigarette and opened The Daily Mail. An article immediately stood out. It was titled Why you MUST ‘unfriend’ your ex: Are we risking psychological damage by spying on former flames on Facebook?
It stated that as many as half of Facebook users – approximately half a billion fragile souls, were risking psychological damage by having their ex pop up in their newsfeed. My brain was further engulfed in comparisons like “knife through the heart”. As a final verdict, the journalist advised me to “face it: it’s time to prune that friend list.”
Never one to be satisfied, I scrolled to the readers’ comments section.
“I recently read on facebook that my ex boyfriend had become engaged to the girl he met after me. I was depressed for a week.”
“It’s true! I cried when I saw my ex posted a picture of his dinner and I saw a woman’s blouse…. I unfriended and blocked him from my page so there was no silly tit for tat.”
Not gonna lie, I chuckled a bit. “Holy human Insecurity,” I thought, “when will you unfriend Denial?”
“You’re getting too big for your boots,” my brain answered, “remember March?”
March. I had spotted a picture of an ex with a girl. Not only he had hooked up with her, but she seemed to be my polar opposite. My reaction, per usual, was mature. Level headed. Lady-like. I drank four liters of beer and sent a polite, eloquent message: “Once men have tasted caviar it baffles me why they settle for catfish.” This, of course, was a quote from Gossip Girl. Now, can you say “adult”?
Fair enough, I had gotten drunk and embarrassing. It was fairly easy to accomplish, and, frankly, was not the first time.
Should I have unfriended my ex instead? Wasn’t unfriending just like getting drunk – a temporary escape and denial of reality. It was a quick fix for a long standing problem. For a raging inability to move on. To let go.
Do not waste your time with unfriending, blocking or stalking. From an evolutionary standpoint, the chances of your ex dying alone are small. Sooner or later, he/she will find someone new. Suffer through this fact now. One. Two. Three. Enough suffering I think.
Now after you’ve suffered, it is time to accept. Acceptance is key. Every problem you’ll ever deal with requires acceptance. I bet you’ve watched these films about addiction recovery groups where they go like, “Hello, my name is Bill and I am an alcoholic.” Well, hello, you are who you are and you are jealous. Stuck in a moment. Ex-holic.
The final ingredient is detachment. The main reason you experience pain is that you perceive your ex getting with someone as an event that is part of your life. It bloody isn’t. I’ll go as far as to say it is none of your business. Imagine if you started suffering for everything that is none of your business – your neighbour’s cat’s death, the weight fluctuations of fashion models, Arnold Swarzenegger’s infidelities. Now what an awesome life would that be!
I am tired, believe me, tired of quick fixes, temporary solutions, escapism, denial. If these were bricks, I would have built a mansion. And it would be haunted. Haunted by the ghosts of everything I tried to escape, tried to smother.
It is time to summon your own ghosts. And point them in the direction to hell.