Put this under Things You Should Not Do If You Want To Remain A Happy Person: finding out what your ex is up to now.
To preface, I’m not talking about the person you dated for a month who you kind of cared about but never enough to commit and / or introduce him to your friends. If you want to look through that guy’s Facebook or Myspace, go ahead. Seeing him with his arms wrapped around another girl will probably do nothing but make you kind of glad you’re no longer seeing someone who thinks weird neck tattoos of skulls are cool.
But look, if you loved the dude (or chick), and it kind of ripped your heart out when things ended, do yourself a favor let them remain a mystery. Don’t try to find them on Facebook if you’re not already connected, unfriend them if you are, don’t ask mutual friends about who they’re dating, and for the love of god, DON’T GOOGLE THEM.
I am a naturally nosey person, but after The Big Ex and I split up years ago, I refused to seek out information on the girl he started dating a mere few weeks after our 4 year stint ended. I knew my friends had info, I could tell by their eyes whenever they tried to jump away from the subject, but I never pressed them. And when information was accidentally spilled to me, I made a conscious effort to change the subject and told people “I really don’t care to know”. It was hard, because I did care to know, but I knew that need for knowledge was coming from a macabre place in my brain that loved to torture the rest of me. He was happy with someone else. That was painful enough. I didn’t need to know if she was prettier, thinner, or more talented than I was, and I certainly didn’t need to see any pictures on Facebook of them making out on the streets of NYC.
If you’re still smarting from a breakup, even if it’s years later, the more information you find out about your Ex, the more crippled you’re apt to become. So you find out he or she is living happily in some small town in California — you probably won’t be able to travel the entire state without schizo-ing out a little that you’ll run into them. If you find out they’ve moved on to a new partner while you’re still single, those lonley nights are apt to become a little lonelier — because what are you doing wrong that you haven’t found someone else too? And what if their name pops up on a Google search next to some crazy award or accolade? Even though you’re awesome…watching someone who hurt you continue to prosper just don’t feel good.
Since there’s an exception to every rule, most likely there are people out there who can read the Encyclopedia Britannica on their Ex and feel fine about it. I have never been one of those people, and I’d wager there are a few people like me out there. So look, to all of you sensitive types, I know you want to know what the Person Who Kinda Broke Your Heart is up to, but for your own health — do something else instead. You’re a good person, you’re doing great things, and someday you’ll find someone else. Don’t waste your time soaking up the sucky, soapy water of heartbreak all over again.
[Agree with these thoughts? Have rentching examples? Share!]