**About two years ago I wrote this and just never used it. I only remembered I had it tonight! I'm pretty unaffected by this issue these days, because I mean, you have to actually date to have exes. I do hate to let things go to waste though, so if you have recently gone through a break up you might enjoy this!**
Ahh young love. The world is alive with endless possibilities. The smallest interaction feels like a monumental step towards the unknown, enticing you into love. The first date, clumsy kisses, personal jokes that leave you in stitches. The precise moment when you stop being ‘you’ and ‘I’ and become ‘us’. All of these private, intimate moments painstakingly played out via social media for everyone else in your life to suffer through. It’s enough to make anybody old enough to have initiated a courtship via a landline, sick to their stomach.
It is especially horrible if this level of activity is coming from an ex and their replacement you. There was once a time when remaining friends was less like a commando level obstacle course and more an occasional bump in the road. You might run into each other getting coffee, when one hazy morning you forget who got that particular café in the divorce. Perhaps you'll spot them in all their sweaty glory when you drag your miserable self back to the gym you signed up for together. There's always the chance you'll both be invited to a mutual friend’s something or other. At times like this, all that's required is a short, polite conversation, during which you both significantly embellish the amazing things you're doing and how happy you are. If one or both of you does have a new someone, you only have to endure looking at their face for a matter of minutes before one of you makes your excuses and leaves.
Life with social media has turned us all into semi-stalkers, whether we like it or not. Bombarded by a steady stream of extreme close up, big grinned selfies of my ex and his new girflriend, I sent him a very nice email explaining the reason I would be deleting him from Facebook. The satisfaction I felt as I sat back to enjoy an ex-free newsfeed was fleeting. Despite my best intentions I was still kept up to date with his every movement via posts from his family and our many mutual friends. ‘Block them’ is the advice I get from my friends, ‘Just get rid of all of them.’ Surely deleting all these people is not the answer. I still love them, just not him.
The ex of my nearest and dearest, was ‘checking in’ everywhere with his new girlfriend. Restaurants, car parks, supermarkets. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised,’ I said. ‘If he checks in to her vagina soon.’ My cousin actually did that. We knew he was coming home to reunite with his old flame when he checked in at the airport, excited to ‘see his girl’. Several hours later, his check in at the pub that read ‘Sex done. Time for some beer’ told us everything had gone to plan.
I admit, I'm prone to an over share with my friends. I regularly push the boundaries of good taste at the dinner table, Shaun's exhaustive collection of our group's most memorable quotes is testament to that. However our group operates with a cone of silence and trust. I feel comfortable sharing the details of my awful dates and awkward sexual encounters because I know the information will not be disseminated to all and sundry. Do I pick up the phone and call my former lovers every time I shag someone new? No, because it would be inappropriate and unwelcome. Yet somehow, notifying 500 of your closest ‘friends’ online of your every romantic movement is OK. We get it, you’re getting some. Keep it in your Facebook pants.
Image via someecards