Being Friends With Your Ex On Facebook Could Ruin Your Relationship, Science Says

by Jamie LeeLo
Boris Jovanovic

Wow. Social media sure does make breakups extra messy.

Imagine a day where you broke up with someone and then, like, never saw them again. Or stalked them on Instagram. Or saw where they checked in on Facebook. Or knew how to reach them instantly at any time through a variety of social media platforms.

Sounds damn glorious, doesn't it?

Well, a recent study from Kansas State University revealed staying in touch with an ex on social media isn't only hurting you, but it could be detrimental to the new relationship you might be in, according to ScienceDaily.

Joyce Baptist, associate professor of marriage and family therapy in the School of Family Studies and Human Services explained,

Social media can enhance romantic relationships when it's used to stay in touch throughout the day or honor your partner's achievements, but there are pitfalls to avoid that could damage the relationship.

In the study, one thing Baptist and her researchers examined was how "boundary crossing" affects relationships.

In this case, "boundary crossing" means keeping lines of communication open with a previous fling or someone a person finds attractive. This is different from "boundary violation," which can be defined as emotional or physical infidelity (cough CHEATING cough.)

The study of nearly 7,000 couples who used social media found that couples who are more open and accepting of boundary crossing tended to have more problems in their relationships.

The key to solving this issue, according to Baptist, is to have an open discussion with your current partner on the boundaries and guidelines you have on staying in touch with exes.

She clarified, "It's an important conversation for couples to have as a preventative measure."

Basically, even though a person may have allowed their partner to cross a boundary initially, it didn't necessarily mean that person was happy with their partner doing so.

And Baptist said that, over time, their perception might shift, and your partner may begin to feel like you're prioritizing connecting with an old flame over your current relationship.

Furthermore, Baptist explained every relationship has a natural ebb and flow, and the moments where you're feeling most vulnerable are likely the times you're going to reach for an old lover to confide in. But apparently, "reigniting an old flame could destroy it."

At the end of the day, Baptist claimed the most important question to ask yourself is, "will reaching out to this person enhance my current relationship or hurt it?"

And her best advice for dealing with this kind of thing? "If you are serious about your relationship, cut off those ties."

Oof. Harsh.

Citations: Want to 'friend' an old flame on facebook or flirt online? Social media researcher says think about your current romantic relationship first (ScienceDaily)