WIPE OUT: WHEN TO DELETE SOMEONE FROM YOUR PHONE AND FACEBOOK

The last time I took to my keyboard the morning after a big game, my post was brimming with Giants references and sports metaphors. Did I mention they won? Maybe you’ve heard, it’s kind of a big deal. So, today it only feels right that there be a similar tie-in, only perhaps this time I’ll wax poetic on the other side of the victory coin.

Just like I’m sure today millions of New York fans will rise and shine with a spring in their step (and most likely signs of last night’s celebration still visible), despondent Patriots fans will awake to the urge to blot out last night’s crushing defeat. You win some, you lose some. But if you’re on the latter team, sometimes you’d just as soon wipe all evidence of said loss from your memory – in real life, and in your virtual one.

This is germane to the topic of romance, too: If you’ve ever parted ways with someone post-hook up (however extensive) and you just can’t seem to erase all the evidence, perhaps it’s time to throw away their digits and de-friend them for good. Why do we collect these relationship relics? They never do us any good.

Case in point: ever notice how attempting to eliminate someone in your phone or Facebook triggers a prompt question like, “Are you sure you want to delete so and so?” It’s a cruel tease, but it speaks to our hesitation. If your gut says it’s better to say goodbye, go with it. We never go wrong when we listen to our instincts.

When should you do that, you ask? It varies. For some it’s best to expunge them from your relationship record immediately upon things going south – or silent. Whether the person disrespected you or things just plain fizzled, once it’s clear that it’s over, why wait? Just make sure you don’t add them back – that’s the tricky part.

I have a friend who periodically deletes guys from her phone so that she won’t be tempted to text or call them in moments of drunkenness, I mean weakness. For a lot of women, having that direct line to your past is like walking around with a live grenade in their purse on a Friday or Saturday night. It could go off at any time, and there will be damage.

Still others need to feel ready before pulling the plug on their old flames, even if their love has long since flat-lined. It’s like tearing off a band-aid – best if done swiftly – but often with a good amount of psyching up to do first. Whether it’s a week or a month that lapses doesn’t matter, just marinate in your misery as long as you need to until you’re ready to press the delete button – but make sure you do it.

Why am I so certain? Because if men are even remotely like women, you will not want a constant reminder and portal into the life of someone who no longer wants you. Whether it’s being forced to see her name as you casually scroll through the contacts in your phone book, or watching her come up in your news feed on Facebook, you’ll never be free if you don’t blot out these sucky little souvenirs, trust me. Why torture yourself?

If it suits you, you can do it in stages. I’ve actually vanquished people in graduated levels before. It’s like dipping your big toe into the Independent Badass pool to test the waters before diving right in – a necessary precaution from time to time. Sometimes these baby steps have involved changing the name in my phone book so that I don’t have to see it spelled out (before I’m ready to sever all ties – a wuss move, admittedly).

Other times I’ve just hidden someone from my friend list – an even bigger wuss move, and futile. You’ll still be tempted to check their page to see if they’re dating someone new – better to just delete them altogether and eliminate the drama.

In rare instances, I’ve just leveraged my disgust and deleted someone straight away. Anger is a powerful motivator, if you can get pissed and stay pissed long enough to make your departure permanent, I’d highly recommend it. You may or may not have had a say in how things ended, but this way you can at least cut the cord on your own terms.

But if ire is your catalyst, always make sure to let it go immediately after. Life’s too short to hold grudges. Moving on is the best revenge…well, that and looking awesome next time you see them. Even if there’s no ill will, sometimes it just feels good to clean house. Whatever the impetus, I implore you – be like Nike, and just do it.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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