Monday, January 11, 2010

Digital Footprints & Bitter Love

As some of my favorite relationship bloggers tell the stories of the online dating world (check out an ongoing series in Sex-Lies-Dating and a recent post by Single City Guy), I realize that technology and the ability to stay connected really does govern our interactions. We get 24/7 engagement to people and their social networking profiles... And we get to choose how much or little we want to see of them. I mean, can you see how this would seem to give away to online stalking?

And the crazy thing is -- we justify it as being "interested" in the developments of a person's life. Simply brilliant, if you ask me.

So, in the case of a break up or a crush isn't returned (trolling for dates is one thing -- things ending or never happening is another), we're talking painfulness to the max. That's why when a friend and reader, MissDTM sent this New York Times story along, I just shook my head in complete agreement. When you have the instantaneous nature of the internet, letting go is anything but easy.

My friend Amy, who broke up with her ex a little while back, has started seeing someone new. And, while she's really into the new guy, her ex, Charlie, continues to pop up from time to time, which gets awkward since they share so many of the same friends. In any event, she noticed that a whole bunch of photos surfaced on Facebook -- many of them including him with her friends, and even a couple with his new girlfriend. While she's over him, (and with a new man) it didn't make seeing those photos any easier, especially given the similar circles they run in.

The truth is, while I am a HUGE fan of the new digital age, the downside is that too much contact won't allow for the type of healing and distance you many need, especially from an ex. With newsfeeds and constant updates, you can go months without talking to someone but know exactly what they're up to. Now that's intense.

It's times like this I almost wish we weren't as advanced as we are. Almost.

Image Credit: JupiterMedia


  1. Thanks for sharing. This is definitely true when people are on FB and Twitter all the time. It takes some restraint, but it's better to stop looking at your ex's profile, etc. I had a friend who looked at every pic, post, etc. and it drove her nuts. Not a good thing.

  2. Agreed! The problem with staying too connected is that it doesn't give you a chance to breathe and distance yourself! And, what good is that?

  3. Agreed. I dated a guy last year that I fell in love with and we connected on Facebook shortly thereafter. I became close with his 17 year old daughter and she friended me as well. Once our relationship ended, while he quickly unfriended me, she remained connected. It's painful to see pics of her dad and his new girlfriend together, to see the girlfriend comment on the daughters wall, etc. It makes it hard for me to get over it.

  4. I agree. The internet has made it very difficult to move on once a relationship is over. I'm currently dating someone who has asked to be included on my friends list on Facebook. I am now able to see everyone he adds as his friend, including attractive (or semi attractive) females. I used to get angry whenever I saw a young lady added to his list and then I got over it - we're not in a relationship so why should I stress when I do the same thing?

    Anyway, I've since made the fast, hard rule not to add men I'm dating/talking to as a friend on Facebook. I do worry about what will happen when/if that first guy and I stop talking. Guess it's best to just remove exes, and anyone associated with them, from your friends list.