I had a conversation via text last night that I should have had a year ago when my relationship that spanned the previous four years ended. I’m clearly a glutton for punishment, but even today I refuse to believe I was wrong about the relationship. We had something very special, something I’m not sure I’ll find again. I’ve said before, true love is when the one you love and the one who loves you are the same. Whether this was true love, I guess I can’t ever really know. I think it was. But apparently I was the only one of us who felt that way.
I realize that “unfriend-ing” someone on Facebook seems a little silly to take so seriously in this situation, but in this age of social networking, sites like Facebook are an actual element of our social lives. I would contend that who we surround ourselves with online is as significant as who we surround ourselves with offline. I believe that the interactions we have online are almost more real in some regards, because the forced distance and lack of face-to-face interaction mitigates the filter we normally apply to avoid offending someone.
So this was the conversation, which took place over SMS a few days after I took the step of unfriending my ex on Facebook.
R: Why did you remove me as a friend on FB?
Me: Because I finally realized that you had relegated me to being a far less significant part of your life than I want to be. And that, after a year of trying to adjust, it’s time for me to stop feeling left out or left behind. Instead of watching you go on without me, I’d rather just shut the door. I need to be able to live without a constant reminder of what I no longer share with you.
We still have about 50 Facebook friends in common (including family members), and we only live a few blocks from each other, so we will undoubtedly run into each other. But I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it.