Breakups are tough. There’s no getting around it. Feelings are raw and exposed. You go through manic bouts of self improvement; exercising, trying new things, and focusing on work, which are immediately followed by tears, watching Dirty Dancing, and diving headfirst into a gallon of ice cream.
Although I’m technically a “millennial”, I’m one of those that spent my formative years without the presence of social media. Yes, AIM was a part of my life (RIP), however Facebook didn’t show up until the end of college. Breakups in school followed a normal course of events. You and your ex would go to your breakup time-out corners and avoid each other as much as possible. You may hear rumors that she’s been hanging out with Billie quite a bit, but you had to verify that with several sources before you could publish the story. And even then, you could convince yourself that this new reality probably wasn’t true.
With the advent of social media, you no longer have to annoy your friends with “Hey, so, have you seen Shannon?” questions. You can go straight to the source to find out your harsh reality. Instagram stalking has replaced Dirty Dancing. I’ve found breakups in the social media age still follow a similar template. Just a much uglier one.
Stage 1: Reminiscing
Sifting through the memories is a dangerous game. It causes you to remember the happier times. A sweet pick and roll entry pass to Pek for the finish, or a bounce pass through Dirk’s legs to Tolliver for the game winning three...
Watching this still brings a smile to my face. It makes me wonder why we broke up in the first place.
Stage 2: Saying Goodbye
This stage isn’t always displayed across all of the media platforms. Sometimes it’s just a text or email (if you want to go old school) declaring your appreciation for your ex. When it does hit the Gram, it can be like ripping the band-aid off. It’s over. Now you have to deal with it
Basketball brought me here 6 years ago. I didn't know much about Minnesota, and now I'm proud to call it home. You never know what this journey will bring you, and I wouldn't change a bit of mine over the last 6 years. I remember arriving here like it was yesterday. I stepped out of the airport and was overwhelmed with your support. It's something I'll never forget. What we have in Minnesota is special and you don't know that until you live there. You helped me to grow as a player, but more importantly as a person. I learned a lot, met incredible people who became part of my family and will always be in my heart.... especially you, Flip. I gave my best night after night. I'm sorry we couldn't make the playoffs because you deserve it. I am grateful to the Timberwolves organization and all of my coaches, trainers and staff. Finally, I want to thank all of the amazing teammates I was fortunate to play alongside for the last 6 years. I wish nothing but the best for you guys.
Stage 3: Self-Improvement
Seeing your ex go through post-breakup changes can be tough. During the course of the relationship you may have said things like, “you should grow your hair out, I think it would look great,” or “yes, I like tattoos, you should go for it,” now replay in your brain as you scroll through social media posts.
Stage 4: Reality
When you see the new boyfriend for the first time, you’re slapped in the face with the cruel reality that your ex has moved on. The new guy may have been popping up on her photo feed for the last couple of months, you may have gone down the Facebook rabbit hole by digging into his profile, or you may have just buried your head in the sand and denied anything was happening. When it becomes official is when the real pain sets in. You realize what you lost.
Knowing that your ex is dishing out assists for some other team isn’t the easiest thing to deal with. You hope that he/she is happy. That’s the mature thing to do, right?
On the plus side, knowing that the relationship is officially over gives you the go-ahead to play the field again. You don’t have to feel guilty for having a wandering eye. You can hit the Bumbles or Tinders or even Instagrams to see if there’s someone else out there.
Oh! Who is this? Can he shoot? Sort of? Cool, I think I’m going to send him a DM.