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Websites like Facebook and Twitter have made all of our lives more transparent than they were a few years ago. Even with privacy settings, anyone within our social networks can now quickly and easily access an incredible amount of personal information about us, including what we’re doing, where we’re doing it, and who we’re doing it with.
While the rise of social networking makes us all feel closer and better informed about the lives of those we care the most about, it has also created a difficult situation when it comes to managing our deepest personal relationships, especially when those personal relationships end.
What should you do when you and your woman break up? Should you stay “friends” with her on Facebook and its social networking cousins, or should you cut digital ties?
Here’s the thing, when you remain friends with your ex on Facebook or Twitter, you allow her to digitally stalk you. You let her examine your status updates with a fine-toothed comb, look at every picture, and scrutinize your every check-in.
If you think she won’t fixate on every bit of information about you, you’re wrong. Women often spend an inordinate amount of time keeping tabs on their recent exes, and remaining attached to your ex through a social networking site will deeply enable this behavior.
“Cut social networking ties
until a lot of time has passed.”
She will for a variety of seemingly contradictory reasons. Your ex will want to see how you’re doing but she won’t want to talk to you directly. She’ll want to know if you seem to be happier and better off without her, and she’ll also want to know if you’re miserable and depressed now that you’re single.
She will want to know if you’re being social or if you’re locking yourself away in your room by yourself. Your ex will want to know if you’re with someone else already, if you’re dating around, or if you’re keeping yourself single.
In essence, she will want to know whether you’re getting over her or remaining attached to what the two of you shared.
Part of her will want both outcomes. Part of her will want to know you’re getting on with your life in a positive manner, while another part of her will want you to be in a terrible state without her.
If you remain connected to your ex through social networks, you aid and abet this self-destructive behavior. By “defriending” her, you do her a favor by cutting her off from an information flow that isn’t really good for her mental or emotional state, which she’s likely having a difficult time cutting herself off from on her own.
But defriending your ex isn’t just about protecting her mental and emotional state. It’s about protecting your own as well.
Because as much as we might like to say we are cutting off the information flow “for her own good,” we all know that us men are just as likely to “Facebook stalk” our exes for the same confused reasons.
So do both yourself and your ex a favor by cutting social networking ties until a lot of time has passed and the two of you can be a part of each other’s lives in a healthy, reasonable and non-obsessive manner.