NEW YORK — You thought you found your one true love online, but now you've been dumped by text or defriended on Facebook without a peep of explanation. Hours of bad TV in your bathrobe haven't helped. Your friends are tired of your whining.
Forget a pampering makeover to help heal your broken heart this Valentine's Day. Go for a "digital breakover" instead, using a growing number of tech tools to save you from yourself or to sob on a safe shoulder in the ether.
Online dating sites and apps for hooking up on the go are abundant. Only one of the Apple app store's recent top 12 downloads for the iPhone was about something other than romantic love, but breakup tech hasn't kept pace.
Melissa McGlone, 46, in Alexandria, Va., turned to The Ex-App after a three-year relationship ended recently with an unceremonious text. After a weak moment or three of electronically stalking her dumper, she used the text, call and email blocker to hold his digits at bay until she could resist temptation on her own.
"I no longer humiliate myself by trying to contact him," said McGlone, a divorced mother who was 18 years out of the dating scene when the two first met.
The free app took off last March with about 3,000 downloads in the first nine months. Unlike other blocking tools, The Ex-App also tracks the number of consecutive days spent NOT trying to ferret out a former love.
In New York, 28-year-old Amanda Green relied on the well-established Dear Old Love Tumblr blog after she was dumped on Independence Day 2009 a year into a relationship. The site for the lovelorn describes itself as an anonymous safe haven for "short notes to people we've loved (or at least liked). Requited or unrequited." A selection of notes from the site was later turned into a book.
"It's a refuge for those of us who know our friends are getting tired of listening to us, or those of us who don't have a confidante at all," said Green, who posted there regularly. "It's also a reminder of how universal these feelings are."
For Green, it was a place to let go. Hard.
"But I'm in a much better place now. I think I deal with this stuff better now. I'd like to think Dear Old Love has something to do with that," Green said.