As with all forms of grief, breakups have multiple phases. There's the wallow-over-Häagen Dazs-on-the-couch phase, the competitive healing phase and, eventually, the maybe-we-can-actually-be-friends phase. Somewhere in the middle, there's a special moment when you want to take every photo of you and your ex (along with all the jewelry, clothes and other tchotchkes you acquired together) and set them all on fire.
Now there's a website that can help with that post-breakup cleaning process in a productive way. Instead of turning sentimental relics into a pile of ash, Never Liked It Anyway lets scorned exes turn them into cold, hard cash.
A so-called "eBay for breakups," as Quartz dubbed it, Never Liked It Anyway is an online marketplace for all the crap you're left with after a relationship. The site lets people sell their leftovers — engagement rings, wedding dresses, perfume and maybe even a mink shawl — and vent about their anguish too.
Launched back in 2011 by Bella Acton, a marketing consultant, it's a space dedicated to getting over it while also getting paid. "We started Never Liked It Anyway to make moving on easier," Acton told Quartz. "It's a place to shed the stories and the stuff."
Acton came up with the idea after her own breakup, which left her with a broken heart — as well as a pair of plane tickets she wasn't going to use. The site fills what Acton sees as a gap in the relationship services market: Now more than ever, there are plenty of online tools to help people start dating (and even fake dating), but not so many to help them when they end.
"If you look at it, there's $2 billion in the dating space and zero dollars in the break-up space," Acton told Quartz.
But like other sites that help people figure out what to do when the relationship end times come, as well as apps, Acton's venture is also about an online support system.
Her experience also gave her the idea for the Tell It section of the site, where users can talk through what went wrong, find support and ultimately start to move on. It also inspired a Bounce Back section, which includes an advice-laden "Bounce Back Stack" of challenges to help get over a breakup, as well as a beauty box-style schwag bag to get users feeling good again.
In our increasingly social media-reliant world, such a social way of coping with a breakup somehow feels right, even if it's simply a one-sided opportunity to release our feelings to the Internet. Whether it means creating a spambot for our anxiety or selling our baggage online, there can be value to using technology to sort through our emotions — and sometimes that value is more than monetary.