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breakups

Do you keep an eye on a certain someone’s relationship status on Facebook? Well, a new app cuts out the time consuming aspect (while upping the obsessiveness ante a bit perhaps?). Yep, a 24-year-old guy named Dan Loewenherz invented the Breakup Notifier app for Facebook a few weeks ago. The gist of the app is this: you select the Facebook friend whose love life you’ve been, er, regularly checking and instead of having to click on their profiles constantly, voilà! Now you get an email alert when their status changes.

Creepy, right?! Since the Breakup Notifier launch (and in response to a temporary block on the app by Facebook due to negative feedback), Loewenherz created the “Crush Notifier” app, which allows users to select Facebook friends they have a crush on. If the guy or girl becomes single, they’re alerted that one of their friends has a crush on them, and if they in turn ‘select’ one of these someones as their own crush, both parties will get be alerted with the other’s identify. Romantic, huh?

Both apps now cost a few dollars for use, so at least there’s a barrier present to keep the REALLY creepy ones away. Right? Or maybe just the super cheap or lazy ones.

Just an FYI, my dear readers! No judgment, and what a great story to tell the kids someday!

Would you sign up for one of these apps? Does it strike you as cute or just creepy?

I know this post is a bit late, but I just found this interesting tidbit out, and actually, I keep hearing this from friends as well. Even if it’s just a myth it’s worth the pause: If you’ve been trying to fit in a monumental Decision before February is out—don’t. Here’s why.

Call it post-January failed-resolutions blues maybe, because all the excitement of a new year is beginning to wear off, holiday bills start coming in, and Valentine’s Day hits you in the face. February is NOT a month to make any life-altering decisions. Whatever it is, it’s definitely testing my resolve on many itching-to-make-a-change fronts.

Unless you’re totally sure and this decision is coming at the tail end of lots of introspection (as in, months’ worth), another week won’t kill you, and will probably help you make a better decision.

Thinking of quitting your job or throwing in the towel for a resolution? Give it some more time.

Itching to be proactive and meet someone new? Wait till spring…you know, love is in the air and all that stuff? Did your significant other just propose? Tell them to hold on a sec (just kidding, of course).

They say timing is everything. Did you make any big decisions this month?

I know I talked a few months ago about why you SHOULD avoid your ex, but every situation is different. The ex I spoke of was, thankfully, not a member of the Facebook or Twitter species. There’s a difference between seeing someone in person and ‘seeing’ them via social media.

Apparently, the website yourtango.com is declaring an end to unhealthy online connections: they’ve declared February 13th the first ever “Break Up With Your Ex” day.

“Our mission at YourTango is to help you live your best love life, but you can’t do that when you’re tethered to the past,” says the article, and goes on to recommend that we un-friend on Facebook or un-follow on Twitter all exes or former love connections by February 14. You know, to be free of all that by Valentine’s Day.

Ah, sounds so healthy, right? Not as easy as it sounds. I know many friends who insist upon remaining friends with some or all of their exes, for one reason or another. Even if they hope to the high heavens that they never run into an ex, they won’t be the ones to break that Facebook connection.

I once un-friended a guy I sort-of dated because it seemed best not to be keeping tabs on him. Ironically, I had to see him in person nearly every day anyway due to shared activities, but the Unfriend step was like magic. It was the one thing that really got me out of that tethered-to-the-past state.

Then again, he was an absolute scumbag. (My incessant profile-viewing involved a lot of seething and un-well-wishing, NOT being heartbroken or regretful.) Scumbags aside, what is the best thing to do? Not every ex is awful, after all.

Do you categorically un-friend your former significant others, or is it done on a case-by-case basis? Or, on the flip side, do you just love having access to their profile for future stalking purposes? (Or, are you still friends with any of them?)

I always think that modern-day Valentine’s Day is sort of like that childhood pastime of daisy picking. “He loves me, he loves me not…” Just like we as youngsters put too much stock into the number of petals we counted, it seems like a lot of the old mentality still might ring true. Remember in middle school and high school when the SCA brought around the carnations that you were able to buy for a dollar and give to someone? And if you didn’t get something from your crush, you were, well, crushed! Have we really changed all that much?

It could be that we put too much emphasis on what our significant others give us on Cupid’s day (or whether we get something at all). According to a study done by David McCandless and Lee Byron on break-up trends, it looks like Valentine’s Day is just the beginning of a slow climb to peak Break Up central around spring break. (The data was collected via status updates on Facebook , which we all know is totally infallible and COMPLETELY REFLECTIVE of real life, so take it for what you will.) Not a total shocker, though. If one person has certain expectations and another just doesn’t get the fuss, clashes happen.

For better or worse, Valentine’s Day brings out emotions in us all: pain, heartache, joy, cynicism, and sheer utter annoyance. And it’s nothing if not a little ironic–even if you don’t care about the holiday, or what you get or didn’t get, there’s always someone who thinks you SHOULD care (been in a store lately?). Funnily enough, I actually like Valentine’s Day! As with anything, a little moderation and style go a long way…even for such a ridiculously commercialized day.

Whether you love or hate the holiday, it’s just two weeks away, so you better start figuring out what to do, whether it’s sending flowers to a significant other, emailing a quirky e-card to friends, or hand-making a valentine card for your neighbor (or any mix-and-match of the above). And there’s nothing wrong with boycotting the holiday altogether, either. (Um, just be sure not to leave your house if that’s the case, because you will run into someone carrying a huge bouquet of flowers and/or giant heart-shaped balloons– guaranteed.) But whatever you decide to do, do it with love!

Is February 14th a hated day of the year for you? Would you break up with someone for not getting you a special gift, or, would you break up with someone to avoid the pressure of coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gesture?

In honor of this not-to-be-hated holiday, I’ll be posting some gift ideas for all the people in our lives soon!

Steer clear of your ex, and do it in style.

I’ll be entering Ex Territory this weekend when I go shopping with my fellow HRM Sensational Single Wendy Walker for our auction next Thursday. And not a little timidly. Because no matter what they tell you, you cannot be friends with an exYou should avoid your ex as much as possible. If one person still wants to rekindle the fire, contact MUST be avoided.

I learned this the hard way. Post-breakup last fall, after polling the idea on Facebook (and getting a resounding NO), the optimist in me tried the friendship thing anyway. Dinner with the Ex. At a cozy restaurant we’d been to last when his family was in town. A few weeks before Christmas. (I swear I wasn’t trying to get back together. I’m just apparently really good at evil, cruel plots when I’m not trying.)

It was disastrous and awkward in all the ways it could’ve been. I was 10 minutes early; he was 20 minutes late, without explanation or apology. And (ironically) he was way too happy to see me; I had to shrink from an attempted kiss (really, Ex?)! He’d brought a nice, personal gift. I’d brought a nice, impersonal gift. He was expecting to get back together; I was expecting friendly catch-up conversation. The shortest dinner in our history later, he choked a goodbye and left (in tears).

Yeah, I got out of the try-and-be-friends business. But every few months since then, there’s always a call or text. I ignore, but I am really careful whenever I am nearing Ex Territory, as I’m never sure if there could be another scene or totally inappropriate attempt at PDA.

Luckily, Hampton Roads is PERFECT for avoiding your jilted lover or your soulless dumper (that would be me):

1. LOVE THY TUNNELS

Yeah, I know it can be a pain. As someone who’s lived, worked or otherwise heavily frequented Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight/Franklin, and Williamsburg, I know. But really, guess what? The HRBT, Monitor Merrimac, Downtown Tunnel, Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and Midtown Tunnel are your greatest post-breakup allies. Learn to LOVE your nearest tunnel and you are a rare creature— 90% chance your ex isn’t thinking the same thing! If you don’t have a problem putting some distance between your most frequented locales, it can be the best manmade barrier between you and dreadful ex-encounters.

Also, think of it as free therapy! (At least an hour’s worth.) Because dumper or dumpee, you might need some time with your thoughts to let the breakup dust settle.

2. FIND A NEW FAVORITE RESTAURANT

Yeah, probably not a good idea to go into you and your former-beloved’s favorite spot—at least not yet. Painful memories aside, there’s nothing that puts a more bitter taste in your mouth than an unexpected run-in. Stay away! Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants that are worthy candidates for being a new favorite. Check out HRM’s 50-50 deals on awesome local spots. I’d tell you my own local faves, but I’ve gotta be protective…just in case!

3. CHANGE YOUR WARDROBE: GO INCOGNITO

Winters that start late and snowfall in March? “Hurricanes” more timid than your last toilet overflow? Hello, Hampton Roads weather! What we lack in predictability, we make up for in intensity. Whenever fall-like weather actually begins this year, we know it’ll get cold very suddenly. So, take advantage of the region’s well-defined seasons. Hopefully you were proactive and your breakup occurred at the end of a season, so necessary wardrobe changes can be tied in with the need to look totally out of character.

There’s also no overarching fashion rule governing Hampton Roads; we dress metro, hip, grunge, conservative, sporty, sophisticated. Anything goes. I’m not saying you should change your entire look just to avoid your ex. But hey, if you’re gonna cut your hair or buy new clothes for the changes in season anyway, the opportunity is there!

4. HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS

Hampton Roads is very friendly to the social. And, it’s an awesome place to live, so people stick around for awhile. So, if you don’t have a lot of friends (maybe because you somewhat neglected them by being sucked into your relationship? It happens), reconnect or MAKE SOME.

Try not to venture into EX-VILLE without them. Because a scene is much less likely in numbers. And it’s much easier to duck behind a person than to find an appropriate you-sized object. Don’t risk it!

Do you go out of your way to avoid an ex? Does anyone have a non-psycho ex? How do you handle the unexpected encounter?