Today marks a significant moment in my own personal LA history…I actually UNFRIENDED my ex. I never checked his page, I doubt he ever checked mine. He had all his info blocked from me and I had all my info blocked from him. And yet, I don’t think either one of us had the guts to unfriend the other based simply on courtesy. No one wanted to hurt the other’s feelings.
Well, forget about courtesy at least in the realm of social networking. Why we feel an obligation to certain people is beyond me.
In the case of my ex, every once in awhile his profile picture would rotate onto my friends list and I was reminded of him. And as insignificant as that was, it still irked me. I really don’t want a constant reminder of my past transgressions. Who does? And with Facebook, you can’t ever let the past be the past. People from yore crop up constantly, and I don’t think it’s healthy.
In the good old days, if you ended a relationship, you ended it. You cut all ties, you said your goodbyes and you never saw that person again. It hurt for awhile, sure, but at least you had the luxury of time and distance between you that resolved any left over pain. You were able to heal, and more importantly, you were able to forgive yourself and move on. In today’s world it seems you no longer have that luxury. You’re tied to people through social networking sites whether you want to be or not (I’m sure I’ll see his little profile pic pop up now more than ever on “may we suggest a friend?” Heck, no.)
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to unfriend the ex for a LONG time but I didn’t have the heart. But forget about heart. This is business. I am allowed to reject people, as long as I do it kindly. I am allowed to make decisions based on my well-being. I am allowed to create boundaries and see to it that those boundaries are being respected. I hate to say it, but it’s true, people are expendable.
Certain people in this world you owe your life to (i.e. your children), but generally speaking you do not owe anyone anything but a little common courtesy. And this is part of the trouble with co-dependent and addictive thinking. We never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We feel obligated to people, no matter how rotten they are to us, just because they’re rotten people, or because of no fault of their own. Whatever the reason, we feel accountable. After 8 months of dating, my ex broke up with me by saying he never loved me. Ouch! That was hard has heck to hear. And though I no longer blame him or feel any anger toward him and totally get that sometimes two people simply don’t work, I now recognize that I don’t owe him anything, especially a connection on Facebook.
So, maybe he’ll wake up one morning and decide to check my profile page and see what I’ve been up to, and when that happens, and the page comes up blank, he may feel a tiny shred of rejection. I would feel a little bad about that. I still have a heart. But maybe, just maybe, he’ll feel a sudden sense of relief himself that the relationship has finally come to its proper end. Who knows! Whatever the case may be, I feel a little freer today, like I just experienced a really relaxing, de-stressing massage at a five-star spa.
My unsolicited advice today? Do a little spring cleaning. See what you can throw away, who you can kiss goodbye. How does that make you feel?