“Should I unfollow my ex boyfriend on social media?”
This is a question that I get asked… a lot.
In the last decade, the “to follow or not to follow,” has become post-breakup, modern day Shakespeare, and I totally get it. It’s one of the first things you think of after a breakup because there are some serious pros and some serious cons to doing a drive-by unfollowing of your ex boyfriend or, continuing to be cyber “friends,” despite your heartbreak and agony.
It sucks because it hurts too much to THINK of him, let alone have to see his “I’m-so-happy-I move-on-so-easy-and-you’re-so-forgettable,” Valencia-filtered existence on your Instagram feed. No…but, yes…but, no… but f*ck. You feel like you don’t want to be Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. friends with him because you don’t want that constant, let-me-just-shoot-myself-now reminder, but then its like you also want to “be strong,” and remain friends as a potential slap in the face to him for what he’s missing out on (because you knowww you’re going to post hot pics).
So, there are clear benefits to both. What do you do?
Should you unfollow your ex boyfriend on social media?
Okay, let’s break this down. Besides the opportunity for your ex boyfriend to see what he lost/what he’s missing out on, what are some of the other reasons we just can’t hit that unfollow button:
- You’ve have the totally normal response of assuming the head position of the FBI-investigatory-unit, and
trackstalk the living sh*t out of your ex boyfriend and every little move he makes on social media. You’ve become the living (read: CRAZY, DELUSIONAL but totally justified), version of the ‘Every Breath You Take.” If there was a video montage of the countless months of my life I’ve spent DEEEEEEP into the stalking, the soundtrack of the montage would be that song. It’s incredibly toughimpossible to let go of and unfollow because of two reasons. One, it provides a passive window into the life of your ex boyfriend and it’s also is the.last.little.connection that you have to him and just like a kid that’s overgrown her binky, you don’t want to let go. Two, when you’re creeping, you’re either hoping to find something that hurts or disgusts you so much that you’ll “get over,” your ex boyfriend (you won’t, you’ll just get more sad and miss him more and embarassingly try to get validation from him. This will give you license to take no action in your own life because you’re now even more depressed, down on yourself and insecure), or, you’re hoping to find something, anything that shows that he’s just as miserable as you are and maybe… just maybe… he misses you too?
- You’re trying to be “mature” and “a good person” and you think that if you unfollow your ex boyfriend, that will just prove to him and all of your mutual friends that you’re weak, not over him and that it hurts too much. You have way too many sh*ts to give and get anxiety over how other people (family, mutual friends of yours, etc.), will perceive you.
- You didn’t have that bad of a breakup and don’t want to seem like you’re overreacting.
I get it, I’ve been there and there was no way that I could alleviate the pain and anxiety over it all. I obsessed over everything.
Even if you’ve had the most mature and friendly breakup known to man, both people still need time after the breakup to let the dust settle. Unless you are superhuman or you’ve already moved on, there is no way that seeing your ex boyfriend’s posts, likes, and comments on other girls photos is going to do any good. But then again, you tell yourself that it’s worth it because you really want him to see how hot and “happy” you are too.
Your breakup has now been reduced to who can out-fake, out-happy, out-mature and out-do the other and most of the time, your ex isn’t even aware that you’ve saddled him up to play in the competition (because he’s too self involved).
It’s taken me a lot of time and a painful amount of humiliation to finally get to a point where my words match my actions (that’s called having character), and now, if I do go through a breakup, that means that I break-up. I’m don’t get all Tony Soprano about it, but when the relationship ends, that means that access to my personal life in ANY kind of way is indefinitely shut down.
Every time I was in FBI-stalking-mode, it wasn’t the social media or my ex boyfriend that was hurting me, it was me. I was the one that kept reopening my own wound on the
daily hourly and gladly filling it with salt and then crying over the inevitable sting.
In my opinion, the best thing you can do after a breakup is to unfollow your ex boyfriend on all social media platforms or at least hide his updates from your feed.
“Should I delete photos of my ex and I on my social media? It’s my history. I don’t want it to just be gone 🙁 “
Personally, I would suggest deleting all photos of your ex boyfriend on your social media. I share (and over-share) a LOT of aspects of myself, my life and my past, but I do keep who I am dating, my family and friends relatively private on social media. Maybe one day I’ll change, but I’ve always been a very private person in that regard. If you’re concerned about “losing” the memories, guess what? It’s 2015 and you can save those photos elsewhere and go look at them in the future when you’ve reached a place of indifference and peace, not every damn time you log on to anything. Also, I personally don’t think it’s respectful to the next guy you date.
Don’t worry about how you’re coming across to your ex boyfriend and to others. Worry about YOU and your own emotional health because if you keep neglecting it and obsessing over the social media movements of someone that is okay with you not being in his life, you are literally cutting at your own self worth and potential.
When to unfollow your ex on social media:
- If he’s a f*cktard. An emotionally unavailable ex boyfriend that treated you with a consistent lack of respect and love should inhabit no space on your friends list. Period. You wouldn’t continue to follow a friend, a classmate, or a coworker that treated your like crap, would you? Remember, you’re the CEO of YOU. Act like it and know when certain people need to be fired from the company.
- When your ex boyfriend is using social media to get info on you/hurt you/create drama/create jealousy and/or when you are doing the same. There is nothing worse that feeling like you can’t be yourself. When you feel like you have to censor what you post and you think of your ex boyfriend before posting, liking or commenting on anything, your profiles are no longer YOURS and you rob yourself of the one thing that ATTRACTS people to social media profiles: authenticity. Your ex boyfriend, especially if he’s emotionally unavailable, will twist whatever you put out there and use it to stroke his own ego anyway. Why put the opportunity out there on a silver platter? And if you can’t stop won’t stop with the social media stalking, it’s time to unfollow. I KNOW how hard it is, I KNOW how addicting it is and I am telling you, I have wasted YEARS of my life staking the social media lives of exes (and girls I don’t even know!) instead of living my own life. Many of these guys are married now and all have, I am sure, moved on and so have I. What was the point? It’s hard because with social media, you can essentially assume the identity of someone that’s “classy and strong and moved on (like I did),” but you’re literally checking their sh*t every 10 minutes. And THAT is a sh*tty way to live because you’re not acting in accordance with your being.
Should I unfollow our mutual friends / his friends?
- If your ex is using them to get info on you or get to under your skin, most definitely.
- If they’re not really your friends, yes.
- If it hurts you and causes added and unnecessary drama and pain, yes.
- If you know they’ll go tell/show your ex what you post, YES. (I KNOW this can be fun, but build your self esteem by not engaging in these stupid games with pathetic people and stop validation seeking. Who cares if your ex boyfriend and his friends that couldn’t see your worth, sh*t stir and share your profile? Don’t engage. Yes, it’s hard but you’ll have so much more self respect and they’ll still have nothing reminiscent of what actually matters in life).
You have to decide if you want to do the hard work and reclaim your power, your self esteem and self respect or, if you want to willingly be the murderer of who you are destined to be. And let me tell you, who you are destined to be is so.much.more than a set of eyes, ears and fingers to type that are dedicated to monitoring the social media life of someone that couldn’t recognize your value because they can’t even recognize their own.
Did I every make my exes jealous when I remained friends with them on social media? Maybe. Was it worth it? Hell no.
I can’t tell you how amazing it is to post whatever the hell you want to without having to think at all. Do the hard work and gain the character and the self esteem by conquering the hardest thing (yes, unfollowing is HARD and it can be traumatic), and stick up for yourself by ACTING in your own best interests.
WHO CARES what other people think? ANYONE that is going to think you’re weak, or that you just want to start drama, or are making a big deal of nothing, etc., by unfollowing, is no one that you need to be close with.
Since when did NOT wanting a daily stab in the heart and doing what’s best for you mean that you’re weak?!?
You’re not in the relationsh*t anymore. You do what’s right for you. Be kind and let your actions speak.
If your ex boyfriend really misses you, wants to see you, know what you’re up to, and gain any kind of access to you, translate through your actions (by unfollowing!) that he’ll have to do a hell of a lot more that turn on his cell phone and log on.
You are worth so much more than this stupid crap.
Every time that you miss your ex boyfriend and you want to see what he’s up to, come here where you are safe, empowered and in such badass company. You’re part of a tribe 🙂
I’m going down to San Diego (my hometown) today for Thanksgiving! I’ll have 2 new posts up for you guys to read over the weekend.
So thankful for each and every one of you.