I have a lot of ex's- some of them boyfriends, some of them people I was dating for a while, some of them just hook up buddies, even some I just crushed on for a moment. They are all ex's of some kind.
The world of Facebook has allowed us to look at our ex's and judge on who they are dating, did they get fat, do I want this guy back, and so on. There is no casual running into an ex on the street anymore and wondering what they are up to. Sure when we do run into them we ask but most likely we already know the answer. I don’t know if the male population is the same way but I know us females know almost everything we can find about our ex's online. We spend so much time and energy knowing about the men of our past that we cannot always move on or find the men of our future. We can’t handle that even though we don’t want to be with this guy anymore he’s dating some really pretty girl or just got an awesome new job. When a guy has is privacy setting too high for us to see we think he’s hiding something or isn’t that interesting, we crave the drama, the dirt and the gossip.
I feel like I am constantly indirectly confronted by ex's. Just the other day I went to visit a girl that I consider my cousin because we have become so close she is like a younger sister to me. This past summer I had a fling with her brother. In my heart it was amazing I was head over heels into it, it was puppy love. On paper it was never going to work at all I was 27 he was 20, I in the real adult world him in fun and party college life. In my gut I wanted it to be more than it was ever going to be, not because of my feelings but because I was grasping at a feeling that wasn’t there. I didn’t take the relationship for what it was, a summer fling at the beach. This isn’t Grease no one had chills that were multiplying but I did want him to shape up. I wanted him to want me to text me to want to spend every moment with me and for labor day to not be the end of it. But how can you ask a 20/21 year old to be anything other than a child, a college student and not live his life. This past weekend when I saw him those feelings of grasping came back. I wanted to do and say things to get near him, to make him laugh, to want to kiss me. He left to go to party with his friends and I was a bit hurt by it. I left the weekend with mixed emotions about seeing him, but in reality I don’t think I had any real feelings for him.
Then tonight I am on Facebook looking around and I stumble upon some pictures of an ex and I, during a time we were just friends. He was someone I always had a huge crush on in college and constantly threw myself at. We had hooked up once or twice in college, always drunkenly but he never wanted more. I chose to leave my college and the town for a career before I graduated. It was only once I have left school that we reconnected as friends in New York City one night and became much closer. Of course as it happens between many a girl and guy friend things did not stay platonic and we began hooking up. At first I was like "omg FINALLY I get what I want" but then the magic wore off and I wasn’t interested any longer. We lost touch a bit and he began dating a girl to which he is now engaged. I found myself looking at photos of him tonight thinking "what did I ever see in this guy". I clearly saw something for a long time but it faded yet here I was looking at his Facebook and stalking him out when I could have been doing something more constructive like SLEEPING.
So my question is, what is it about our Ex's and the availability of social media to allow us to follow their lives without them knowing? Is it about competition, is it about an emotion of longing or wanting, is it about seeking opportunities into back into a person’s life. What drives us to set out to search and want to know about these people? How did this change from the days before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc?