While social media can be a really great way to find inspiration, share photos with friends, and watch countless cute animal videos, it can also provide you with a window into your ex's life. Insta-stalking your ex can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about them. If you're in a relationship, you might even take a quick peek at your SO's ex every now and then. But what if you find that your significant other comments on their ex's Instagram posts? If your partner and their ex are still friends, it might not bother you at all — or it might really get under your skin. If it upsets you, there's a healthy way to handle this situation.
I spoke to April Masini, relationship expert, about why someone would comment on their ex's Instagram posts, and she said the reasoning behind the behavior depends on the type of comment. "Flirty comments mean different things for different people. Some people flirt all the time, so a flirty comment doesn’t mean that they are interested in anything more than simply flirting. For other people, flirty comments mean they’re trying to get something going."
A negative or unkind comment has a totally different connotation. Masini says, "Negativity is a way of staying connected, so if your partner is commenting negatively on an ex’s Instagram account, it’s a sign that they are not finished with this person. Silence means they’ve moved on. Negative comments means they’re still invested." Whether your SO's comment is positive, flirty, or negative, it still might bother you, so here's what to do if that's the case.
When you bring this up to your partner, Masini suggests approaching the conversation calmly and specifically asking them to change their behavior. She says, "Tell them how you feel. Ask them for what you want. Do not escalate this into a war. Make sure you don’t moralize. Don’t point fingers. Try to explain how you feel, and what you would like, and be generous."
It's also important to try to understand why your partner would want to comment on their ex's posts. Masini says, "Tell your partner that you understand they have a history with this ex, but for now, it’s making it difficult for you to move forward because you feel left out and you don’t feel united with your partner."
It might be tempting to reach out to your partner's ex and talk to them about it, especially if you know the ex or occasionally see each other. But Masini believes this issue should stay between you and your boo. She says, "Never, ever approach the ex and try to control that person’s behavior. That’s the recipe for a disaster. If you’re having a problem with this, keep it between you and your partner." Besides, it's not the ex's fault your SO comments on their posts.
On the flip side of this issue, perhaps your partner comments on their ex's Instagrams and you aren't bothered by it. Could this reaction be a bad sign about your feelings towards your partner? Masini says, "You could be so secure in your relationship that your partner giving attention or even flirting with an ex, is not a big deal to you."
Another reason this might not bother you is that it could be completely normal in your mind. You might even be doing the same thing with your own ex on Instagram. Masini says, "You may feel that this is what everyone does with their exes, and what your partner is doing is not a negative behavior as far as your relationship goes."
But at the end of the day, if your SO's comments on their ex's Instagram gets under your skin and you can't let it go, having an honest and calm conversation with them about your feelings is the best way to resolve the situation.