Depending on how a breakup went down, exes unfollowing each other on social media is pretty standard. It's normal not to want to see any of your ex's posts if you're having a hard time getting over them, and vice-versa. But if your ex is still following you on Instagram, don't freak out. Experts say it probably doesn't mean anything too deep.
If you're scrolling on the 'Gram post-breakup and find that your ex is still following you, even after you've unfollowed them, you might be a little surprised — especially if you both agreed to unfollow each other. But if neither of you mentioned anything about social media and what these platforms were going to look like for you after your relationship ended, then any unexpected behavior from them can be hard to read.
As far as social media behavior following a breakup is concerned, prominent relationship therapist Dr. Gary Brown tells Elite Daily that "Much of that depends upon why and how the relationship ended." For instance, if the breakup was messy then maybe following each other on social media might not be the best idea.
According to Brown, an ex following you on Instagram could mean that they miss you, either romantically or just as a friend. "Perhaps they truly are over the romantic aspects of your relationship, but they cherish your friendship and want to continue to include you in their life," Brown explains. "It could also mean that they are not over you, and may be still clinging to the hope that the two of you will get back together." Yikes. If you're sure that there's no future for you and your ex, this could get real awkward.
But don't freak out, because it's really not always that deep. As Brown says, "Unless you and your ex talked about this in advance, it may be difficult to know what it really means." Sure, it might mean that they're still interested in seeing you and your life, but "It could also mean that they forgot to unfollow you," as Brown points out. "It isn't always easy to know."
In short, an ex following you on Instagram doesn't necessarily mean anything other than the fact that they forgot to unfollow you. If it makes you uncomfortable, don't be afraid to hit that "block" button. After all, that's what it's there for. According to Brown, it's typically best to not follow an ex on social media in general, and for them not to follow you. "Give yourself some time to heal from the loss, no matter how it ended. Hanging on to each other is only going to complicate your ability to grieve your loss, and move on with your life."
As Brown says, depending on how your relationship ended, it really might be best to not follow each other on social media. But if your ex is still following you, try not to spiral — it might not mean anything. Worst comes to worst, block them! Thank u, next.