Newly single? You may be wondering if you should remain friends with your ex on social media—particularly if you know that you’ll obsess over what they post (or don’t) in the following weeks.
But much as it may be gratifying, monitoring their online activities incessantly can also bring about a lot of self-loathing. Plus, you really should be focusing on moving on. So what then?
No hard and fast rule
Suffice it to say, whether or not you should still be friends with your ex on social media depends on several factors.
“There is no hard and fast rule. Some people can successfully maintain friendships, online or otherwise, with an ex, especially if they were friends long before they dated, were together only for a short time or if the relationship ended amicably,” says Jean XM Chen, a psychotherapist at Relationship Matters.
“However, for other people, staying friends with an ex on social media may not only hinder them from grieving the end of the relationship, but also create problems between them and their future partners.”
Cindy Leong, co-founder and chief dating coach of Divine Connect, reckons that you should only remain friends with them if you know where to draw the line.
“It depends on the maturity level of both parties. It’s OK to still follow each other, but if you guys end up texting too much or sharing intimate details, it can be unhealthy,” she says.
Consider your motives
It’s not at all a bad thing to want to remain friends with your ex on social media. But it’s important to know exactly why you want to do so.
“You should think about your motives and intentions. Is it because you’re in denial about the end of the relationship? Or is it because you want to keep them around as a backup option?,” says Jean.
“If these are the reasons why you want to stay friends with them on social media, it will likely be a bad idea to do so.”
Think you’re better off unfollowing your ex on social media? You do you. But should you let them know that you’ll be doing so?
“Giving a heads-up would be polite as it won’t seem like it was done out of anger,” says Jean.
But while that’d be a nice thing to do, it’s not necessary. After all, you should be prioritising self-love, whatever that entails.
“To each their own—you don’t have to give a heads-up. After a breakup, it’s most important to focus on personal healing. If it involves unfollowing someone without telling them, by all means,” says Cindy.