Cut Toxic People Out of Your Life, and Off Social Media

Author: Maria Pappas, The Dating Game

As millennials, we know that it’s the biggest blessing and the biggest curse to be as connected as we are.

Especially when it comes to dating.

When we need information about someone, we have it at our fingertips. But, when we don’t want to know what someone is up to at all hours of the day, well… that information is still right there for the taking. So, when you freely take it… that’s when things can get dangerous.

Though it is not easy, I advocate for disconnecting when you need to, and not feeling badly about it, either. It’s also important to understand and accept that disconnecting isn’t easy.

Take, for example, getting to know someone. Most of us, when we are first getting to know someone who we think we might be interested in dating, try to get as much information on that person as we can. But then you find yourself on your crush’s roommate’s dad’s Facebook at 3 a.m. (hey, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it… JUST KIDDING! DON’T TRY IT!) At that point, you should consider reevaluating your need to know everything. There is such thing as knowing too much. My advice: Get yourself off there. A good, old-fashioned date can do the trick.

Or, on the complete opposite side, take breaking up with someone. You might feel like the weaker person when you unfriend someone who you are upset with. You might consider it petty to delete all of the pictures of you and your ex from your Instagram page. Or you might be worried about someone saying you are pathetic for constantly checking if someone watched your Instagram or Snapchat story.

Sometimes, it’s just really difficult to constantly be seeing what someone else is up to.

Or having people constantly question what you’re up to. My advice: delete, delete, DELETE exes after a breakup if things did not end on okay terms. Or, if you just find yourself checking their social media pages a few too many times a week. No excuses needed other than your own well-being.

I find that because I am so connected, there is evidence of people I’ve had in my life everywhere, even if they’re no longer in my life. 

So, delete the picture of your ex that you keep sneaking a glance at to decide if maybe you were taller than him in those heels.

And the stupid selfie video that you listen to just to remember how cute her voice was.

Get rid of it, and don’t look back. Don’t pretend that your habits are healthy when they’re not, because you’re not doing yourself or anyone else a favor.

It’s hard to know when to delete someone from your life, and when you decide to do so, it’s hard to feel comfortable with it. There are so many places that you can find one person: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, your message logs, even your email (old school, I know). So if you do decide that someone needs to be gone, or that you need to stop looking at something, there is one hard and fast rule: you must commit.

Don’t leave one Instagram, don’t leave that Snapchat in your memories where you know it’s hidden but no one else does (because you know it’s there… you know).

To reiterate: it’s okay to delete. In most cases, it’s better. Not when you’re deleting things out of spite, but when you’re deleting things or people who bring out the worst in you.

Because some things are unhealthy for us to keep, or to keep looking at.

Your unhealthy habits need to die. You need to treat yourself better than that.

Breakup

When it Feels Like a Breakup, Except it’s Not

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Real Life Stories

Things they don’t tell you about losing close friends: Sometimes, it takes a while to get over your loss, similarly to how a breakup feels…except it’s not a breakup.

It takes a lot for me to dismiss people from my life — I tend to have a bit of a long fuse and give people second and third and fifteenth chances to get it right.

But once I decide you’re out, you’re out for good. Your chances have expired. You have no more money in the bank. I deleted a number of people I went to high school with off my Facebook friends list. They lost their chances. And while this thinking may sound harsh, I want nothing to do with them anymore.

However, that doesn’t make the “breakup” any easier, at least not initially.

“But they took advantage of you. You should be happy!”

Truth be told, I’ve echoed the same sentiment when I’m the person offering the helpful advice and the shoulder to cry on. That is absolutely correct. They did take advantage, and maybe, with time, I will be happy and realize that our “breakup” was the best thing that could have happened.

I’m already thinking of all the newfound time that I’ll have as a result, and of spending that newfound time with people who appreciate all of me. People I can trust. People who I have every confidence will fight for me. People who will never betray me. People who will never make me look or feel like an idiot.

 

But even knowing all of that, it still hurts. Sure, it’s possible that it hurts more for highly sensitive people, but I have every right to still feel hurt.

Yet I still find myself listening to a five-year-old mix CD that one person in this cohort made for me way back when, before things were different. I drive past the exit for one of their houses on my way to work and feel the telltale lump in my throat every single time, on the ride to work and on the ride home. I see their Facebook updates and can’t bring myself to click “Unfriend” just yet.

To have this on the record: I didn’t want it to end this way.

I miss what used to be, and the people they used to be (or, I should say, the people I thought they were). I close my eyes at night and cannot fall asleep because memories play on a loop in my head. I still wake up sad, knowing that I have to deal with the feelings of loss and betrayal and even humiliation all over again — they haven’t packed their bags and left town.

But one thing that I do know (as someone who has experienced these types of “breakups” before), is while it’s going to get worse before it gets better, it’s going to get better. Writing, of course, helps. Chats with friends help a lot, and being surrounded by people who know that I can’t just blink and be “over this” — and that I have their support — helps even more.

Yet, I have to keep reminding myself that it gets better, and that instead of focusing on who I’ve lost, it’s important to focus on who is still here and hasn’t left my side for one second.