You know how it goes: One day I was living with my girlfriend and her pet poodle, three years into what I thought would be the last romantic relationship of my life, the next day I was single, sitting in a sublet and staring at my suitcase wondering what to do now. So, with no other option aside from firing up a big bowl of psychologically restorative meth, I began to unpack. Well, technically I unpacked my computer, typed in a porn site, and funneled my emotions into some good old-fashioned masturbation.
After I was done, I instinctively went to clear my history, when it occurred to me that I no longer had to do that. I no longer had anyone in my life who cared what I was looking at on the Internet, aside from perhaps the Federal Government, but luckily I don't get off on children or bomb-making, so they aren't much of a concern.
And this minor technological change in my day-to-day life, this new freedom to ogle porn stars without having to quickly scrub away the evidence, was just the first of many technological changes that I would soon experience as I began going through the stages of the breakup. Here are a few more.
#4. Fancy Up the Facebook Page
As anyone who has ever gone through a breakup knows, as soon as the relationship ends a race to see who can move on with their life faster begins. The word goodbye might as well be a starter pistol. You both quickly sprint back into the single jungle, signing up for gyms, losing weight (in my case waxing your back), and trying to line up a hot date that you might just be lucky enough to be victoriously making out with when you run into your ex for the first time since the split. "Hey, it's so random running into you! This is Roxanne and her twin sister Jezebela. They're from the bisexual part of Sweden."
But, thanks to Facebook, there now is no reason to leave this chance encounter to chance. You know your ex is going to be monitoring the progress you're making in the single world by snooping on your social media, so right away you find yourself making it look like your life is freaking awesome. Three weeks after my girlfriend and I broke up, I noticed that I'd begun taking pictures of myself with my arm around any attractive girl that I could find and throwing them up on my timeline.
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I didn't even know most of these girls, but as I came to find out, in bars it's pretty easy to just talk to a girl for a second and then have your friend snap a photo before she knows what the hell's going on. And I live in L.A., so I can pretty much go up to any girl and ask her to take a picture with me and she'll convince herself that it's because I recognize her from the three lines she had on CSI in 2009.
#3. Get Your Own Netflix Account
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It's gonna happen. This sad night will come. You'll climb onto your air mattress, because despite having moved into your own place two months ago you still haven't gotten it together enough to buy a bed. You'll log onto Netflix to watch your nightly show, because despite having moved into your own place two months ago you still haven't found anyone to have sex with you. And Netflix will say "password denied." It happened. Your ex finally changed her password. The ultimate technological "it's definitely fucking over."
It's the Red Ring of Death for relationships.
When this happened to me, my first reaction was shock. I couldn't believe it had come to this. I kept re-entering the password over and over, thinking I'd made a mistake, but no, she'd done it. She'd taken our dog, our apartment, and now she'd even taken Anthony Bourdain.
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We said he'd always be ours!
Having to sign up for your own Netflix account really hurts. Because, make no mistake, my ex going out of her way to change her password was a hostile action. Me watching Netflix did not take away from her getting to watch Netflix as well -- that's the beauty of Netflix. One person in your group of friends can sign up, and then you can all watch every single movie ever made for the rest of your lives. And yet at some point my ex decided that she wanted to take even this small joy away from me. At some point she decided to lash out, like a selfish married heterosexual who fights against gay marriage, having all that they desire but going out of their way to keep others from having what they desire.
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Perhaps this is an unfair comparison and a dash of hyperbole, but you get the point.
For a few days I just watched YouTube videos, determined not to let her win. I even tried reading a book in a moment of pure, sad desperation, but eventually I signed up for my own Netflix account, put down my own credit card information, and went on with my lonely viewing life. It's not the same, but at least I can once again end my nights by watching Anthony bite into exotic meats as I sadly slurp Top Ramen, my tears mixing with the broth, making it even saltier.