There was no digital limbo where our connection could continue to exist. I’d never even left so much as a pair of earrings behind at his place.He didn’t tag me in weird memes out of the blue or send me text updates about his pregnant sister-in-law. To this day I don’t know why my ex never reached out after we broke up. But, it’s important to acknowledge that there were a lot of circumstances that made this total ice out easier for me. He disappeared from my life instantly and all at once.He taught me about beer, and I taught him a little French. That was almost two years ago, and we never saw each other, spoke, or texted again.
Even after I unfollowed him on Instagram, I would pull up his account (it’s public) and study all the photos of him with his new girlfriend(s). I cringe to think of how many sleepless hours I spent wondering why, exactly, my ex never got in touch with me after we broke up. Our text history was inadvertently deleted when I lost and replaced my i Phone.
The proof was in the highly filtered pudding: He had moved on. All those questions I asked myself late at night were finally put to rest with the hardest breakup pill to swallow: It wasn’t really about me.
I looked through my phone at our text history, at the cheesy selfies of us kissing or riding his tandem bicycle through the streets of Philly. But still, the temptation was there, and I know stronger women than me have fallen prey to the torture of watching your ex move on via Instagram and Facebook.
I wallowed in the memories of the good times (pretending not to see the red flags that often present themselves in hindsight) and threw massive pity parties for myself that involved lying in bed for hours binge watching his favorite show on Netflix. Soon enough, we had been broken up longer than we had been together. The pity parties were replaced with rational consideration of the faults in our relationship while running along the East River.
But I thought it was an important question, which is why I want to analyze it with you. I made the conscious decision to move on instantly.
The only “right” answer is “whenever it feels right, as long as you’re not hurting anybody else.” The thing is: you might be surprised when you’re hurting someone else. The best example I can provide is from my own life. To me, it was the equivalent of being fired from a job. I was in no position to be a boyfriend to anyone but my beloved ex-girlfriend. My need to move on superseded her need to be with an emotionally available guy…. If so – if you’ve mourned, if you’ve healed, if you’ve made peace – then you’re ready whenever you say you’re ready.Was the divorce amicable and are both parties on good terms?Are you actively involved in each others’ lives as “friends”? How long was the relationship failing before you broke up?This felt like something akin to being hit over the head with a frying pan forged from my own insecurities. If moving on came this naturally to him, and he was doing it so publicly, how could I possibly appear to care?As the months went by, I did what sad, dumped people do. My pride kept me in check and prevented me from making embarrassing late-night phone calls and sending texts that I’d instantly regret if he didn’t reply.I know now that if we had stayed in contact without ever getting back together, I probably still wouldn’t be over him.