Not long ago, I initiated an in-person split with a long-term boyfriend — a nebulous "I don't feel the way I need to to make this work" situation that ended in a storm of nerves, tears, and unsatisfactory explanations. Even worse, when it was over, I knew I had to do it three more times — on Facebook, Friendster, and MySpace.
I'd seen friends engage in uncoupling 2.0. Some did it quickly, like tearing off a Band-Aid. But to me, it seemed juvenile to rush to the keyboard and update my relationship status while the mascara was still running down my cheeks. I decided to let a grace period pass before I dealt my new ex three more punches to the gut (and announced to the world that I was available).
Then, nine days post-breakup, I got an out-of-the-blue text from one of his closest confidants. "It's okay to update your Friendster and Facebook pages," he wrote. "In fact, I think it would help." It was his way of saying I was keeping hope alive where there was none. I took the advice and, in rapid succession, changed all three profiles to "Single."
Facebook captured the moment best. After issuing the warning "Your relationship will be canceled," it branded my page with the little icon of a sawed-in-half red heart. A breakup completed.
Photo by Justin Horrocks