In the age of social media, continuing to follow your ex after a breakup can truly be NBD, especially if things ended amicably. But there's a difference between following your ex on Instagram and engaging with them constantly. If your partner still comments on their ex's Instagram posts, you may start wondering if this consistent communication could mean something more, or if it's just harmless commenting. Well, the truth is, it could go either way, but you won't really know unless you ask.
"As we move through life, we move through relationships. Each new relationship has new compromises, new meaning and new ways to work with your partner," Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Elite Daily. "Social media is a double-edged sword. It allows us to stay connected with people in our past, and thus it allows us to stay connected sometimes in a way that people in our present are not OK with. Being connected with exes via social media works if, and only if, the intentions are right, the motives are sound, and your new partner is informed and OK with what you are doing."
If your partner commenting on their ex's posts bothers you, you may end up having to sit bae down and talk to them about it. But before you decide to have that conversation, there are two things you should take into consideration: What is your partner saying? And why does it bother you that they're commenting? "What is the nature of the comments? What are they about? How frequent are they? Are they benign?" Dr. Klapow says to ask yourself. "You have to decide for yourself how upsetting, if at all, the commenting behavior is to you. Are you upset that they're commenting at all or are you upset about what the comments are, how frequently they are happening, and what they might mean? There is a difference."
If after you've analyzed the comments, you've come to the conclusion that you'd prefer your partner cuts contact with their ex, consider turning to introspection. "You need to understand what exactly, if anything, you do not like about the commenting," says Dr. Klapow. "Once you figure that out, then it’s time to communicate with your partner." When you have this conversation with your partner, it can be incredibly important to be specific about what bothers you about the commenting and why. "The more specific you can be about what you don’t like, why you don’t like it, and how it impacts the relationship and your feelings toward your partner, the better," he states.
It may be best to give your partner the benefit of the doubt going into the conversation. "A person probably doesn’t think much about commenting on an ex’s Instagram until they find out that it bugs their current partner," Dr. Jason B. Whiting, licensed marriage and family therapist and researcher of deception and conflict in relationships, tells Elite Daily. So, try not to assume your partner is commenting on their ex's posts with any malice. They may think it's a harmless act, and it very well could be.
Dr. Whiting suggests discussing the underlying issues about why it bothers you more so than a specific comment. "It is better to talk about trust, security, and connection rather than what was said, or argue about the ex," he says. CEO of Regroop Online Life Coaching, Pricilla Martinez, agrees with Dr. Whiting. "Addressing the larger issues that are leading to your concerns will be essential to making sure that your relationship stays strong and healthy," she tells Elite Daily.
While your partner commenting on their ex's posts may worry you, there may not be any reason for your concern. "It doesn't necessarily mean that there's cause for immediate alarm," Martinez says. "If the nature of the posts are innocent, related to mutual friends, or generally acceptable whether you're speaking to an ex or someone in an elevator, then there's probably nothing to worry about." On the other hand, if your partner is commenting on more provocative or even emotional pictures, then you may want to call attention to it, especially if it has happened on multiple occasions.
That being said, "commenting alone does not mean they have something for their ex, and that is why you need to discuss it with them," Dr. Klapow says. "They may have feelings, they may be friends, it may be out of habit, [but] you don’t know until you talk to your partner." Communication is key, and while you may feel mildly intimidated by their ex, it's important to remember you are a total gem! And if your partner doesn't see that, then you deserve better anyway. Keep on shining, babe.