eHarmony Doesn't Know How to Manage Your Break Up on Facebook Like I Do

The following is text from an email sent to me by eHarmony. Now, let me ask you something, do you want break up advice from the people who do things like support Focus on Families or do you want break up advice from a woman who has dated roughly half the male population of NYC? Yeah, if there is anything I know how to do it's deal with a break up. My commentary is in italics. Enjoy.

1. Facebook is not your diary. Just because you’re on an emotional roller coaster doesn’t mean that those ups and downs should be available for public consumption. Journal in private. Cry with close friends. Just stay away from your computer when you’re tempted to chronicle every stage of the breakup. This is good general advice, but yeah if you're sad and need company, put it on your fb. It's more important your needs are met than you sit in your room alone crying because heaven forfend SOMEONE ON THE INTERNET SHOULD KNOW.

2. Don’t post sappy breakup songs. Put them on your iPod and go for a jog instead.Who the fuck jogs to sappy songs? Fuck that. GO TO KARAOKE. Put on I Will Survive. If you're thinking ahead, bring a boa. I'll bring the tambourine. Come to think it, if you can, rustle up some gay friends and have a total "break up" themed karaoke night. Sing Cry Me a River and Pink's So What and whatever the hell else makes you feel fabulous and fun. Because you are.

3. Avoid denial. Take down that profile pic with you as a couple. Don’t post a message on his wall as if you’re still friends. Remove your relationship status (with as little fanfare as possible). That's not avoiding denial. You can do all those things and still hope you will get back together. You shouldn't, but you might. This is more "Deal with the breakup in a business like fashion." Dissolve your public association. In addition to this I suggest the Big Box of Sad. Put everything he gave you, pictures of you together, whatever things you associate with him into a box. Maybe put it in storage, maybe stow it under your bed. Maybe throw it in the East River. Your choice. I've stowed stuff until I was OK with it and then took it out, I've stowed stuff until I worked through my grief and THEN threw it out, and I've thrown stuff out immediately. Each break up is different and you need to weigh that, but definitely cutting down on remembrances in the immediate aftermath is a good idea. Make the decision quickly, and act swiftly.

4. Resist the Facebook rebound. Don’t post photos of you with cute members of the opposite sex. Don’t message other exes or cute single “friends” out of discomfort for your new singleness. If you catch yourself posting anything that you hope will make your ex jealous, don’t do it. It’s a transparent move that will only make you look bad. FUCK THAT. Post what you want. If you're out with a hot guy having the time of your life or you stumble over Aaron Eckhardt and he agrees to have a pic with you in his lap, POST THE HELL OUT OF IT. When one of my exes dumped me, three days later I had 2 dates in one day and I posted it on fb. Not because of him because I was like "Woooooooooooo go me. I forgot I was a hot mama." And you know what? It drove him nuts. Later that night he was on his knees in my apartment crying. Didn't make me look bad at all.

5. Don’t post cryptic notes about your ex or your emotional state. In fact, as a general note, don’t post cryptic notes on Facebook ever. If you don’t want people to know why you’re sad, don’t insinuate that you’re blue. I dunno. I tend to think a little mystery is fun. Pretend your life is the Da Vinci Code if that distracts you for a bit. Plant clues as to which of your friends is actually the descendent of Jesus.

6. Don’t get friends involved. Don’t comment on wall posts by any of his/her friends. Don’t force mutual friends to defriend him in order to stay in your good books. If you have to hide statuses for a time, do so. Look, here's the thing. Friends are going to be involved if this was a long term relationship. They are going to feel like they have to choose sides no matter what. Don't take this to FB but with close mutual friends,  sit down and have a talk about what this means. If you would prefer not to see your ex for a time at parties etc let them know. In short, be an adult.

7. Don’t betray your ex’s trust. Keep it classy. Repeat this motto: No slander, no revenge posts — ever. Oh fuck that, fuck that, fuck that. Slander is not the same as betraying someone's trust especially if they betrayed yours first. Don't slander or libel people because that's the against the law. Also don't harass or stalk them for similar reasons. However, if your ex betrayed your trust by, say, telling secrets of yours to a gossipy friend and now the whole world knows (Not that I've had that experience *cough*david*cough*), you have no obligation to keep his/hers. For example if something comes up in a fb thread and it's relevant for you to disclose that your ex used to visit hookers while he was married. Have at it. Again, I ONLY advise this in the case 1 he's already betrayed your trust 2.there is a natural context for you to make such a disclosure. And by  natural context, I mean absolutely every opportunity you can remotely twist into being appropriate for you to mention it.

8. Don’t try to convince him to return, or publicly beg for forgivenessOf course not. He's the one who should be apologizing while crying and rending his garments.

9. Don’t use statuses and photos to announce that you’re having the best or worst time ever. Don’t try to make your ex miserable. (Nor should you be assuming that she/he’s reading your Facebook wall. You shouldn’t be reading his/hers.) Again, screw that. If you're having a bad day, sometimes you need commiseration. If you're on a date with David Tennant (which is weird because he's married, but he played a Time Lord so maybe it's all good) please tell your friends about your best day ever.  Basically, post on fb like your ex doesn't exist. Because to you he no longer does. Break ups are basically a very personal death. This person has died TO YOU. So hey, post what you want. This is about you and what you want and need to heal.

10. Never admit to Facebook stalking. If you find yourself checking out his Facebook page, never comment that you’ve been there. Better yet, don’t check his page. Don’t write a status about the picture he just posted or the life he’s leading without you. Well this seems incredibly obvious to me. You should probably block him, if not permanently at least for a short time to give yourself space to heal. If you don't, don't get thrown by what he posts immediately post break up. I once had a boyfriend tell me in the aftermath of a break up (the first serious relationship I ended) that he was actually ok with it because he wasn't that into me anymore. It hurt, but you know what? It was like 8 years before he got another serious girlfriend so you know don't believe the hype. Give it time. Eventually he'll get his epic karmic bitchslap and by that time you'll be canoodling with some other hot twit. That's the great thing about people. No matter how many you date, there are still more out there for you find.

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For the most part I agree with your additional comments. eHarmony is keeping the advice pretty conservative.

That said, I'd probably debate #7 a bit. After a breakup, if the other starts slinging mud and letting proverbial skeletons out of the closet, I guess it would be "game on". I took the original advice as to not be the person to start that mess. And if the breakup was caused by a betrayal of trust, if the betrayed is keeping their "mudslinging" only to what that betrayal was as they work through it, frankly, I'd be inclined to give them a pass unless it went really overboard. In other words, if it's relevant to what caused the breakup, it's fair game. So saying that Sarah schtuped the pool boy is fair game (if that's why you're breaking up). Saying you've been manhandling Joe with a strap-on for the past three years... not so much.

I look at it this way... how someone treats their "ex" is a good indication of how they'll treat their future significant others when/if they become an "ex".

What I'm trying to say is this: If you protected this person's trust within the relationship and they betrayed it and then dumped you, well, you don't have to take the upper hand. I know, I know. Don't sink to their level is the common advice. I think there's a middle road where you can you totally not be a vicious gossip, but also no longer have to protect their interests. Perhaps I'm biased on this one because so many people, lovers in particular, expected me to guard their secrets even AFTER being epic fucking dicks to me. I mean, David humiliated me more than any other man and I STILL essentially protect him here. I don't think after the abuse he visited on me I should feel obligated to do so or guilty if I choose to share. If he was really concerned, well, hey maybe he should have thought about that before he decided to permanently inscribe his name in the annals of people who have hurt me the most in this life. And yet still, here I am. Not really outing him, but not really keeping his secrets either.
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