4 Ways Staying Social Media Friends Makes Breakups So Much Worse

by Natalie Condon

Social media is both a blessing and a downfall for society. It allows us to be connected at all times, get the fastest updates on current events and share our innermost thoughts and feelings with thousands of people whom we don’t even know.

But, when you’re trying to get over an ex, social media can bring about some of the worst points of your day.

It seems simple enough: Just click the little button that says "unfriend," "unfollow" or "block." It takes all of one second to do, and you’ll be free from the constant anxiety of having to see your ex emerge on your timeline.

But, it’s not that simple. You constantly second-guess whether this is the right thing to do, especially if the breakup wasn’t a dramatic, screaming-in-the-rain-esque fight that ended with one of you hating the other.

Your breakup was mature, but it still hurts. And, you don’t want to seem immature.

So, you leave him as your friend, then find yourself looking at his page a little too often for a little too long, and then, six months and 50 bottles of wine later, you're still crying to your friends as to why you just can’t seem to get over him.

But, the truth is this: By keeping your ex on social media, you will never get over him.

You unintentionally see all of his major life events (happening without you):

The big job for which you helped him perfect his résumé? He got it. His sister, with whom you were so close? She got engaged, and no, you're not invited. All of the events you were previously there for, by his side, are now happening without you. And, of course, it makes you sad.

You remember the countless hours of discussions you had with him about all of these things, the conversations about what would happen if any of them were to occur and how you would handle it all as a couple.

Suddenly, they’re happening, and you aren’t there anymore. You aren’t where you thought you would be a year or six months ago.

You are seeing him grow into a different person, and all of these milestones take you further away from the time you two spent together. It solidifies the fact that you two aren’t together anymore.

By seeing these life events on your timeline, you are forced to go back in time to replay the memories. You also then start to wonder why you haven’t completed the things you talked about, but he has.

By unfriending, you aren’t saying you don’t care anymore about him; you’re just saying, for my your personal growth as a person, you can’t see the events happening for him without you by his side.

And, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If the breakup is bad, staying connected could make it seem like you still care.

He cheated on you, lied to you and you two have sworn you will never talk again. You know, in your heart, it is done for good, yet you stay connected on every form of social media, making it look like you care what he’s doing with his life.

Every time he pops up on your news feed, your happy mood turns into a sour one. Cool, you’re off in Vegas with all of your frat brothers for a graduation trip? Sick, you’ve gotten a job you probably don’t deserve.

Your mood can instantly dampen just by seeing anything that has to do with him. Save yourself the negativity and unfriend him. You could also prove a point to him by saying, "Listen, I’m done with your sh*t forever."

You aren’t dating anyone, and he is.

Some time has passed, but you still find yourself trying to get through the sleepless nights and the almost reflexive feeling to cringe when another guy touches you.

You can’t bear the thought of dating someone else; this breakup has stripped you of not only your boyfriend, but also your best friend, and you are grieving. The last thing a grieving person needs to see is a picture of her ex with his arm happily around a new girl.

Talk about getting the wind knocked out of you.

You feel like the one who's doing the right thing by taking time to be alone and figure yourself out, and you're shocked he seemingly got over you so quickly and moved right on to someone new.

You spend your time stalking who he is with and what he is doing, wondering if he’s with some girl on a Saturday night or has turned a one-night stand into something a little more serious. When you finally realize all of your fears are confirmed, it doesn’t help you at all.

Now, you can't stop thinking about how their relationship is, how serious it could be and what the future looks like for him. Obsession is unhealthy.

"Out of sight, out of mind" is incredibly true.

Although it feels like the scariest thing to do and you’re questioning if it’s the right decision, there comes a time when you need to press that unfriend button.

Specifically, that time is when seeing your ex on social media starts to impact your life and your feelings, and makes you feel like you’re going crazy.

When you free someone from your life, especially if you live in different cities or states, he is instantly gone. Sure, you may run into him occasionally, but for the most part, he is out of your sight.

And, when someone is out of your sight, your mind starts to free up a little bit, too. Yes, the first couple days of will be hard and you will find yourself wanting to check his accounts more than ever, but, as they say, the first few days are the hardest.

After you get past a week, you will start to feel a sense of relief. You can live your life however you want and can post whatever you want — something you couldn’t do before for fear of being judged by him.

You have more time to focus on yourself, or on finding someone new. If you decide to stop following your ex on accounts, but allow him to follow you, you also have the opportunity to show him what a great life you have and how much he is missing out on by being without a great girl like you.

There is a quote by Chuck Palahniuk by which I have always sworn: “Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good f*cking life.”

Let him see your good f*cking life. He lost the right to care the moment you two broke up.

When you’re spending your time thinking about what he is doing, or unintentionally seeing it, you aren’t focusing on the person who needs attention the most: you.

You don’t seem immature for unfriending. In fact, it's quite the opposite. You’re saying, "Hey. I’m not doing this as a form of revenge, to prove that I’m more over it than you, or that I’m vindictive. I’m doing this because it’s not going to help me to move on if I’m constantly seeing your face every day."

Maybe, down the road, you two can reconnect. But, for right now, you have to be free.