When my best friend’s boyfriend broke up with her, his parting gift was a barrage of declined future Google Calendar events.
“Give me cuddles”: declined.
“One year anniversary”: deleted.
Future together: permanently erased.
When they were still an item, the pair would send each other dinner date calendar invites with jokes in the descriptions. Occasionally, he’d accept tentatively, which would make her laugh and pretend to be upset. Little did she know that one day these calendar invites would one day be a source of genuine upset. She described the feeling as “death by a thousand cuts, man.” Taylor Swift would probably agree.
“Maybe the shared calendar was actually his way of basically telling me ‘F*** you’ and that he still had a life.”
For my friend, an already heartbreaking situation was rendered unbearable by a stream of iPhone notifications quite literally removing her presence from his future life. “It was pretty rough,” she told me months later.
If you’ve never heard of a shared Google Calendar (or GCal for short), then allow me to explain. Some couples use a joint calendar to make sure they don’t forget important things like date night, dinner plans, or parties they will attend as a couple. For couples in long-distance relationships, they can be used as a way of scheduling meet-ups and even, errr, sex sessions.
My friend’s Google Calendar isn’t the only heartbreaker. When Hannah — who prefers to use her first name only — split up with her boyfriend of 3.5 years, their shared Google Calendar added to her heartbreak. “We had so much planned in the shared calendar including lots of family events with his family,” she said. “The worst thing was that he obviously didn’t realise he was still adding ‘events’ to the calendar after we’d broken up.”
Hannah found it difficult to see her ex adding to their joint calendar after the breakup because it meant she knew exactly what he was up to and where he was.
Her ex was inputting events like going to the pub and family BBQs. “Luckily there weren’t any dates scheduled,” she told me. “But ‘the pub with XX’ was with someone I’d never heard of in my life!”
“It was also quite painful seeing all of the things we’d planned for the future which we’d no longer be doing,” she added. Hannah decided to unshare the calendar and blocked her ex on everything so he couldn’t get in touch. “I was so relieved,” she said. “I didn’t want to know what he was doing.”
Hannah had some doubts about the calendar’s contents. “Maybe the shared calendar was actually his way of basically telling me ‘F*** you’ and that he still had a life — but I do wonder if a lot of the events were made up,” she added. She has since decided she won’t have a shared calendar again unless she’s married.
In the throes of a breakup, getting a load of notifications can serve as a painful reinforcement that your future will no longer be spent with that person. Scott Muska had only been with the woman he was dating for a short period of time when he was offered a job in another city. “We decided to stay together, though, and the calendar became kind of important,” he said.
“She was traveling a lot so she would share her calendar with me so I’d know what city or country she was in, what flights she was on, and when we would be in the same place at the same time,” Muska added. “We would also write these ridiculous calendar invites for sex dates that were pretty fun.”
“It was a strange way to watch some of your future plans dissolve.”
The day they broke up, Muska got 20 email notifications, each of which alerted him to a cancelled event. “It was a strange way to watch some of your future plans dissolve,” he said.
The post-breakup calendar dissolution isn’t always a one-sided decision. When Vicky — who prefers to use her first name only — parted ways with her partner of seven years, they came to the mutual decision to bid farewell to their shared calendar. “It was the first thing we did. Before sorting out our mortgage!” she told me.
“It was a mutual thing, but it was because whenever I booked a gym class it’d go into joint calendar automatically and he text me,” she told me. “I still have his football team’s season calendar on there because that was a separate calendar and I can’t bear to delete it.”
The pair also unfollowed each other on phone tracking app Find My Friends, an act Vicky described as “removing contact and association” with each other. “It kind of reaffirmed that we’re not together and he now has a life that I don’t know about,” she added.
Not everyone chooses to sever ties with shared calendars following a breakup, however — I imagine plenty of separated couples with kids would find this a challenge. Kirsten Parnell still has a shared calendar with an ex due to shared dog ownership.
Interestingly, the calendar they use for post-breakup dog management is the very same calendar they once used when they were still in a relationship. “It feels quite weird, to be honest,” Parnell told me. “It hasn’t been helpful to know so much about what each other is doing, post-break-up.”
Ultimately, Parnell feels they have little choice than to keep the calendar. “We have to stay in contact because of the dog, but after seven years, seeing each other make new plans and have fun with other people causes a bit of heartache,” she added.
For some, extricating oneself from a shared Google Calendar can feel like confirmation that a breakup is final, that there’s no chance of getting back together. For others, it can bring welcome relief from knowing what an ex is up to when you don’t want to.
In the words of Burt Bacharach, breaking up is so very hard to do. Google Calendar isn’t making it any easier.
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Fuente: / Source: mashable.com