We’re all mature adults here, supposedly. But every time a break up occurs, there’s some unspoken, unannounced race that begins, no matter how old you are or how serious the relationship is. The battle: who moves on first, visibly, and with proof. The reward: your own ego and your pride.
At first, the two people go into hiding, still a bit sensitive about the other. Each person is licking their wounds and avoiding the light. But after awhile, as if a switch were flipped on. Someone will start the first attack. Whether it be posting pictures on facebook, or leaving comments on mutual friends’ pages, or going out incessantly with friends and then making sure the ex gets word of it. Then come retaliation from the other side. Also posting equally incriminating photos, also going out, and trying to outplay the other person’s fun. And then its the rebuttal from the first side. Trying their best to go above and beyond the ex, and making it more prominent and obvious.
Of course, not everyone goes to the extreme, but even in the slightest way, there’s a race. An unspoken, horribly silly, yet terribly significant race.
When we see our friends do it, we coax them to stop and try to tell them to not let it get out of hand, and really, you’re just living for another person. But when I’m in it myself, its hard not to get upset when I see him post up things, and it makes me wonder, “Are you starting the first attack? Have we really succumbed to this? Or is this just the inevitable evolution of a break up?” Then I think, “Wait, maybe I should also post things up about how much my friends are doing for me and how free I feel now, etc etc” But then I’m trying to use every ounce of self control I have not to post in my facebook status “Him and I are broken up because he cheated”.
There’s a race. But I guess everyone competes in it differently. Sometimes its direct and malicious, other times it just indirect and accidental. But somehow, I can’t get it out of mind… that despite the direct intention and motivation to hurt, I think both parties know very clearly that the things you do right after the break up, still affect the other person greatly. So the only thing left to see, is who makes the first move, because saying “Its my life and my business. They shouldn’t care what I do. They need to move on, just like how I am.” just shows that you’re trying to get ahead, regardless of their feelings. And if I’m the type that’s willing to make my first attack, regardless of your feelings, then I’m an inconsiderate person, who never deserved your affection in the first place.
Someone who is willing to hurt another person for their own advancement, when the reward is nothing but their own pride and ego, is someone who will never be selfless and loving enough to have a strong and healthy relationship with.
The behavior after the break up is probably more important than our behavior during the relationship. It gives the most honest and clear picture what of is really deep inside each of us.