Digging in an old box, I found an ancient that poem that I had written on a half piece of paper, folded into four squares. It is a poem I wrote about feeling wounded after a relationship, a subject that so many of us can relate to:
“I thought about turning you into a poem that traveled down the information super highway, floated down the Nile, dashed across computer screens and landing on lips. But silence seemed so much more fitting for your wrongs.”
In the age of social media, I have seen people post some awful things. A friend posted on Facebook that his girlfriend cheated on him and that is why they were breaking up. Another friend posted a diatribe about her ex so that all of his friends could see it. And then there are the terrible twitter messages and revenge porn. One man took a picture of his ex in demeaning positions and posted it all over her neighborhood. Another sent emails to his ex’s boss. Most of the major social media outlets have banned revenge porn and more than 22 states have laws making it a crime.
But even when actions don’t elevate themselves into a crime, they still can have consequences. I witnessed a mom coming up to her boyfriend’s job to confront him. The next day, he was fired, which was not only detrimental for the father, but also for the financial stability of their child.
For many of you who are navigating the world of online dating, the quickest way to exit stage left on a person that is not for you, is to pay attention to what they say about their exes. It is true when they say there is a thin line between love and hate. People who still have strong and unapologetic visceral reactions to their ex not only show you that they are not over their ex, but they also show you a glimpse of what to expect should the two of you ever break up.
We all need time to heal from a broken relationship. Some of us may need weeks or months, some of us may need years. But the best revenge is being happy. Whatever you need to do to be happy and move beyond the hurt or the pain of the past, is what your focus should be. When you are truly over someone, anger is replaced by apathy or happiness. You either have no feelings either way about them, or you are happy they have found someone new…because it means you no longer are wasting energy on anger, hurt, or vengeance. Instead, you are focused on yourself, moving on, and finding your own happiness.