How to get over an ex, according to science
Research says deleting them just isn’t good enough anymore
by Cathy Cooper
When you’ve broken up with someone, deleting them seems like the most logical thing to do. But now new research has proven the technological age has ruined the ritual of the breakup for us.
When everything is online it becomes so much more complicated. Hitting the delete button is nowhere near as satisfying. Dr Corina Sas, from the Computer Science department at Lancaster University, said: “Just pressing the delete button is unsatisfactory. The click and delete is very cruel. It does not have the qualities of ritual that help people move on.”
Anyone who’s ever had their heart broken knows the “ritual” all too well. Just watch any chick flick and you’ll see the key motions of the breakup played out. Tears, anger, resentment, regret, more tears and then letting go; emotional and physical disposal of the ex finally occurs. The psychological cleansing available to us in the past made it easy – you could destroy all the ‘physical evidence’ of the relationship and BOOM, you’ve moved on. Invite some mates over and burn the evidence, tear it all up. Breakups were a real world event, and that somehow made it easier to move on from.
Computers do not yet offer the more physical and destructive methods of moving on from an ex that so many of us crave. Dr Sas (great name) writes about how these more satisfying physical ‘disposal’ methods could be brought to the virtual world, such as icons that can tear up emails or messages to give the cathartic sensation virtually, but we aren’t at that point yet.
Personally, I wouldn’t say I’m that aggressive when it comes to moving on from a guy. I’ve never burned all their stuff or torn everything up in floods of tears, but I sure as hell do make sure it’s all gone. Keeping anything just gives you more reminders of the past, and that does more harm than good a lot of the time. I’ve known friends who felt much better after burning the whole lot though – notes, pictures, gifts – everything.
I asked some other girls how they got over their exes (in preparation for the technology that lets us physically burn their Instagrams from our retinas.
I had counselling to get over him. But I also met my old school friend and got busy.
I broke up with my ex because I realised that you should never just settle. Knowing that helped me get over him. I deleted all the photos of him off my phone. He got me a bottle of ciroc vodka as part of my Christmas present that I had been saving for a special occasion. When I broke up with him I opened it with some friends and we all got drunk.
Initially I tried the whole “to get over someone get under someone else” but that just made me feel worse about the whole situation. I soon realised that he was just a bad influence in my life and I was better by myself. I burnt the photos and got rid of all the gifts he got me and that really made me feel better. But I only truly got over him when I started to truly love myself.