It all starts with the change in relationship status. “Gertrude is now listed as single.” Suddenly, Gertrude’s business becomes everyone’s business, because: social media. This little switcheroo is cause enough for at least two people from her past, about ten that only know her through high school, and maybe her aunt in Colorado, to do some serious detective work. Why? Simply to know. They will spend the next hour or so searching through Gertrude’s profile to try to uncover statuses or pictures that could accurately depict what went wrong, who broke up with who, and how she’s feeling about it.
But Gertrude’s problem is that she’s making it all too easy to tell that she is, in fact, recently single. Here’s how:
1. Untagged photos and a new profile picture: When your ex is no longer able to be found anywhere on your page, all signs point to bitter. Your new default picture with them cropped out of it is also a major indicator, and arguably immature. But when your new picture is a selfie with some sort of melodramatic caption about moving forward and being so much better off, let’s be real: you’re sitting on your couch crying over cheesecake.
2. New hair: Nothing is more predictable of a recent single than a new hair style. Sometimes though, it’s more than just going blonde. I’m talking a full out hair chop with bangs, dipped tips: the works. This goes for any newly single person. The goal? To “show him what he’s missing.” Unfortunately, this is an all-too typical move. While you could argue that it gives you a “new identity” for that “fresh start” you think you’re about to have, please level with yourself. If someone wants you back because your hair looks different, dump them all over again.
3. Melodramatic John Mayer Status Updates: If you aren’t posting John Mayer lyrics or the ever popular, “treat your girl right or someone else will,” you’re probably posting every five minutes the itty bitty details of your not so important life. “Visiting some old friends today :)” Just because your statuses went from “spending the night with the best boyfriend in the world” to “dreaming with a broken heart” that doesn’t mean your ex is going to sit there and ponder about what life could have been like with you. They’ve already done that. Hence, “no longer listed as in a relationship.”
4. Pictures with the opposite sex: What you think this communicates: I’ve moved on and can get any guy to want me because I’ve “still got it.” What it really communicates: “I found these people in a bar and said “OMG take a picture with me so I can immediately post it to Instagram and obsessively refresh the app for new likes!”
5. Single, Party of One: Aside from the thousands of status updates about moving forward and getting a “fresh start,” you will probably post about your newly claimed party lifestyle that is so unlike you, but that’s exactly why you’re doing it.