4 Annoying Steps Added to Break-Ups in the Past Few Years
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.
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.
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.
Get Your Own Netflix Account
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.
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.
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.
Give In and Sign Up for Tinder
It's time. You've dealt with the sadness part of the relationship ending, and now you're ready to begin a new one, which will inevitably wind up being even sadder, and the cycle will continue until you finally find someone right or kill yourself. But how do you find someone? I was out of the single game for so long I just flat-out didn't know where to begin. How does one meet people these days? At an EDM concert? By wearing hipster glasses and a vest?
Boba tea and a spin class?
I had no idea. And so, like with all great questions, I sought my answers online. Namely by signing up for Tinder. And it feels a little dirty at first, I must say. I'd never done any online dating before, and giving in and downloading the Tinder app kinda felt like I was waiting in line at a pharmacy to load up on Viagra. And, of course, once I had the app, the real panic set in. What do you write about yourself? You don't get a lot of room to describe who you are and what type of person you're interested in meeting, so it's like an utterly vapid poem, and every word counts. And what tone do you take? Do you try to come off as the Sensitive Guy, the Jokester, the Dude Who Just Wants to Fuck (which is probably every dude on Tinder, especially the Sensitive Guy)?
I tried to lay into my stand-up comedy resume, listing some shows I'd been on, like Chelsea Lately, hoping to hook any girl who might have at one point seen me on the show and gotten a little wet.
That's probably never happened.
I know it's pathetic, but so am I, so there's really no coincidence going on here. Then I had to choose the pictures. The only good pictures I have are my headshots, but you don't want to put up a professionally done photo, because that's like saying, "Yeah, without makeup and lighting I pretty much look like a giant pile of shit." Even though this is true, you don't want to help them come to this conclusion any faster than they inevitably will on their own.
And once you're on Tinder, if you're a guy, get ready to be tricked into having conversations with prostitutes. Almost every girl I've matched with on this dumb app has lured me into a conversation and then out of nowhere hit me with a text saying, "200 roses for 1 hour." I'm not a math genius, but that sounds like I'm gonna have to pay for something. Now, as a touring comedian, I'm not above paying for sex, but if I've already wasted hours texting you clever banter, I feel I should at least be getting a discount. Three roses and a half tulip? Six daffodils? One marigold for a hand job?
Get Drunk and Monitor Your Ex's Social Media Accounts
As with any attempt to move on from anything, there will eventually come a time when you slide backwards, and in the world of the breakup, this too has a technological component. One night you're gonna start missing the hell out of your ex. You're gonna look at old photos, you're gonna think back on old times, you're gonna bury your nose in that one pair of panties that you jammed into your pocket as you were moving out of her apartment.
Inhaling deeply until you pass out? No? Just me?
And then, of course, you will wind up on her Facebook page. And here's what's fucked up: even though you know that you have been manipulating your own Facebook page to portray the idea that you are now living a great life and meeting tons of hot chicks, and thus instinctively know that she must be doing the same, you'll still fall for it and become sad and enraged. When I finally gave in on a lonesome night and scoured my ex-girlfriend's Facebook page, I completely spiraled. I started searching for every guy who had his arm around her in these pictures. I started looking at her friends' pages for other evidence of her being a filthy whore.
Or just a normal, well-adjusted woman moving on like she's supposed to do.
I compared the smiles I was seeing on her face in these pictures to the smiles on her face in pictures she had taken with me, trying to weigh how legitimate they were. It was bad. Very bad and very sad. Eventually, I got on Tinder and hit search, got zero matches, contemplated texting back one of the prostitutes from earlier, talked myself out of it, then contemplated doing it again, talked myself out it, and then ultimately turned my phone off, climbed onto my air mattress, and watched Anthony Bourdain eat an omelette in Kenya as I fell asleep. But, sure enough, the next morning I woke up, logged onto my Facebook page, and posted, "Epic party last night! Huge thanks to the L.A. Lakers Cheerleaders for having me over!"
The battle rages on, one sad, desperate click at a time.
To see more from Mo Mandel, check out Barmageddon Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT and 9 p.m. CT on TruTV
For more from Mo, check out The 5 Defining Characteristics of a Great Place to Get Drunk. And also check out 6 Factors That Secretly Influence Who You Have Sex With.
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