Breaking up is never cut and dry. From ending a simple friendship to the dissolution of a complex relationship, breaking up these days takes on a whole other new level of disentanglement. Sure, we give the clothes back, the pictures back, the books, the records, we divide property, we divide children, friends, assets, the business, you name it – but what about that Facebook friendship? Do we delete them? Do we block them? What is appropriate protocol during a break up?
Maybe it’s difficult to block your ex, especially if you have children or assets that are shared. It’s difficult to block an ex if you are on good terms, and have decided to remain friends. Technically on good terms or trying to be, it would seem that being friends on Facebook should be allowed, right?
No. Not necessarily. In many cases there is the healing period. This is the time where each individual who has decided to move on, needs time and space to move their brain and muscle memory out of that relationship. You divided up all your belongings. You wouldn’t want to drive by their house everyday, would you? Well, you might if you were stalking him/her, and not over the relationship. Stalking is actually common. Whether it happens after a breakup or during the relationship does not matter. And let’s face it, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter allows stalking to happen that much easier. We stalk because we are so used to being in that relationship, it truly feels weird to not be with them anymore. The thing to keep in mind is, however, that just like driving by their house or place of employment, or seeing them out at a public place would set you back a few steps, if you really do want to move on, you would do so only when you absolutely had to, such as with children or other assets and belongings. Those instances are never easy. Many people look to them with anxiety, fear or panic. Checking their Facebook, Twitter or dating profiles does the same. It keeps you locked in the relationship emotionally. In today’s day and age of Facebook stalking, breakups are less cut and dry than they ever were.
Much like dealing with an unwanted online porn addiction, you can set boundaries and limit with yourself and see if this works for you, but are you going to get upset, even if you are good friends, if you see a picture of their new boyfriend/girlfriend at what was once your favorite restaurant? Chances are you will. And, if you are too afraid of being rude, well then simply block them. They will never know the difference. Do it for yourself. Stop the indulging before it gets the best of you.
I recommend severing the Facebook, Twitter and social networking ties at least during the period of healing. This is generally for a 6 month period, after which point you can assess the situation. This won’t be true in all relationships, but in those relationships in which we feel we need the most healing, this is probably a wise step to take.