On unfriending an ex

(Cross-posted on Tumblr.)

Yesterday, I wrote about being in the painful, agonizing, heartbreaking position of the “breakee”, e.g. someone who’s on the receiving end of a breakup, and how I’ve been coping with the loss of a romantic relationship. That person and I had been “friends” on virtually all popular social media out there and we used to use a few of them on a regular basis to maintain communication.

Maybe it was naiveté, or maybe immaturity, that forced me to make a promise to that person of not unfriending (or whatever the equivalent of that is) that person on social media. I said to that person that we would remain friends, both in real life and social media, after the breakup. I said, innocently, of how it would have been “foolish of me to unfriend someone worth keeping as you are. I want us to stay friends on Facebook and everywhere else.” Yes, it was ugly. Yes, I wish I had not said those words. And so, with the intention of keeping the promise, we remained “friends” on social media after the breakup and it stayed that way for months.

But now, after weighing the options, I’ve made a decision of not keeping the status of “friends”, e.g. “unfriending” or whatever its equivalent is, that person on Facebook and on other social media, with the full knowledge that I’m breaking a promise.

This decision is based on two reasons.

  1. It’s the sane thing to do. Like most breakups, and especially for the “breakee”, the urge to check on how the ex is doing is unbearable. I’ve failed so many times in that, and each time I did check on the ex, the feeling of longing kept coming back. And when that feeling came back, it would take days, or even weeks, to go away again… only to find the urge reappearing. And by then the cycle of hurt started all over again. The same applies to suddenly seeing the status update of the ex on the timeline. I just can’t see how that doesn’t drive someone crazy. So unfriending the ex on social media is the only sane thing to do. It won’t completely stop the ex from suddenly appearing, of course (because social media), but at least by unfriending that person, the probability of such an event happening is greatly reduced. Not to mention the pain of seeing a status update that says that person is seeing someone new. Oh man, now that’s a scary thought.
  2. Neither of us attempted to maintain contact anyway. At this point, there’s no other reason to contact each other than for the sake of maintaining the relationship itself. But none of us made such contact, meaning that probably the relationship is no longer worth keeping.

Yes, it’s possible that by doing this I may be seen as naive and/or immature. Yes, the person in question may be jeering at me if that person thinks that it’s naive and/or immature. And that’s okay; that person, or anyone else for that matter, can react however they want. This decision is personal, solely for my own sake. Because I believe that in order for me to completely move on from the breakup, it’s a step that I have to make.

However, I won’t deny the possibility of re-adding that person in the future. If one day I were to meet again with that person and start a new relationship—which will most likely not be of a romantic sort—then, if necessary, I’d be more than happy to reestablish social media friendship.


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