Is it the horrible online profiles? The endless emails that lead nowhere? The awkward first date with someone you've only "met" online? The strange text messages, or the ones you wish you never sent?
For me, the toughest thing about modern dating is....the breakup that never really happens.
Nowadays, when you date someone, they become part of your online existence. You're friends on facebook, and twitter and foursquare, and - who knows where else? Do you unfriend them? You could, I suppose - but that's your network. It's your life, in some ways. And unfriending is like saying they were never there to begin with - like they didn't matter.
But if you keep them around, you run the risk of seeing things you don't want to see - and knowing things an ex shouldn't really know. Sometimes it pops up when you least expect it. Just when you thought you didn't care anymore - you realize, you do.
Maybe you don't really care about him. Maybe it's just that seeing him with her is upsetting because it's a reminder of where you're not. Not because you want to be with him - but because you know you're not where you want to be.
Or maybe it bothers you to see others be so nice to him. Not because he's not nice, because he is. Not because he doesn't deserve friends, because he does. Maybe just because it hurts sometimes that he was so mean, so hurtful and so cruel - and he got away with it.
The thing is, modern dating also means we have modern friendships. We have more chances to connect; to find friends, and a support group to rally around us when we need them. Sort of like a virtual version of what my friend Sassy Singleton writes about here.
That happened to me over the weekend. I was down - really down - about some things I was seeing about Big. A friend stepped in and really cheered me up. She reminded me that I'm better off without him; and she's right. I am. I guess I just needed the reminder.
I guess the thing is - we could disconnect from the ex. But in this world of online connections and virtual friendships, it's really more about adapting and making that a part of the healing process. Thanks to the online world, we reap the rewards of those added friendships.
Part of growing is learning to take the bad with the good.