In the days, weeks, or months post-breakup, you might find yourself keeping tabs on your ex via social media — who they're with, what they're doing, how they're doing, the works. And it's possible that your ex might be doing the same, watching you live your life without them. For some exes, seeing you doing you may be too difficult to handle after a breakup, which could result in them feeling the need purge you from their feed, as disheartening as it can be. You may even be tempted to text your ex if they unfollow you on Instagram, and that's OK, but it might be better to avoid doing so, or at the very least figure out what's making you want to text them.
"If you feel the need to reach out to your ex if they unfollow you on Instagram, I would suggest asking yourself why," Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach tells Elite Daily. "What does having this person unfollow you trigger in you, and is it something that is best explored on your own rather than shared with someone you are no longer in a relationship with?" It can also be important to try to see things from their perspective. You may not have a problem getting a glimpse at what their life is like without you, but they might be really struggling to do the same.
"It is hard for them to see you [and] your life because they miss you, or they are still hurt by the breakup, or they just need a real break from knowing about the everyday features of your life," Melamed explains. And if that's difficult for you to accept or it makes you sad, that's totally understandable, but again, remember, them unfollowing you could just be how they're trying to cope with your breakup. "You can take it personally if you want to, but in the end, it is their right to curate their digital experience in any way they see fit," she continues. "It's OK to feel hurt or rejected, but know their decision could have a lot more to do with them than you."
The same way that communication is key when you're with someone, it's also key when you're not, Damona Hoffman, relationship expert and host of the Dates & Mates podcast, says. "Being unfollowed is your ex's way of communicating that they do not want to have contact with you," she tells Elite Daily. Maybe they wanted to tell you they needed some space to be able to heal properly from the breakup, but in that moment, the idea of talking to you might have seemed even more unimaginable than just unfollowing you. "Chasing them down with a text will not only not get you a reply but also make you feel worse," Hoffman warns.
While there are certain situations when texting your ex is OK, after finding out they've unfollowed you on Instagram might not be one of them. I know how badly you may want to text them to ask "WTF," but the truth is, they're probably just struggling to get over you, and seeing you move on with your life might be heart-wrenching for them. As hard as it may be for you to accept that your ex no longer follows you, for right now, it might be what they need. So, try to give them the benefit of the doubt, the space they need to move on, and have hope that one day, you'll be on good enough terms to follow each other again.