It's embarrassing to mention publicly, but after a particularly upsetting breakup, I became obsessed with the idea that the relationship wasn't really over because he hadn't unfriended me on Facebook. It didn't matter that he had said the words "we're done" and unceremoniously walked out of my life for good. Since we were still "friends" online, I nursed the fantasy that there was still hope for our relationship. I clung to this delusion for months, checking daily to see if he had deleted me. Every time I saw that we were still "friends," I felt that his return was still possible and even likely. That is, until the day when I saw that he had finally unfriended me for good.
Weirdly, I remember that day better than the actual day we broke up. It became the catalyst that finally got me out of fantasyland and back to reality. If I had been more proactive and cut off the contact myself, I might have saved myself lots of time that would have been much better spent actually getting over the breakup.
If you're going through a breakup and haven't hit delete yet, here are seven reasons why you should delete your ex on social media right now:
1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you have recently gone through a breakup, your ex is probably on your mind enough already. If you're struggling with getting them out of your head and moving on with your life, the last thing you need is to see their recent vacation pictures or status updates.
Staying "friends" makes it so that reminders of them can come suddenly and often, tempting you to think about them when maybe you weren't at that particular moment.
2. Curbs The Urge to Contact
Once they're finally off your mind, it's less likely that you'll be tempted to contact them. If they're right there in front of you all the time, it's easy to rationalize that you should text or call to mention something (anything) that is going on in their life. Often, when it would be healthier to maintain no contact, the temptation to say hello when they mention the new person that they're seeing can just become too great.
3. Helps Avoid Cyber Stalking
There is a difference between stalking them and innocently seeing their updates without seeking them out. Even if you block their status updates from showing up on your page but remain friends, their profile is still there, open for you to go look at whenever you're feeling weak. No one wants to admit to combing their exe's profile for signs of potential reconciliation in a moment of weakness, but heartbroken people do it all the time.
For everyone who believes that their ex trotted off into the sunset and never thought about them, this simply isn't often the case. If they're on your mind already, it can get tempting to go through all of their updates looking for a clue that they want you back, or some kind of news about their life. When you delete them, you reduce the temptation for both of you to backslide.
4. Speeds Your Recovery
A lack of constant reminders makes it easier for you to pull within and heal from the breakup. To heal, you need less of your ex, not more. If you stay "friends" or keep following them, you're just drawing out the process of truly getting over it.
5. Reduces Drama Online and IRL
Not knowing what they're up to makes it so that you can't have a meltdown about them dating someone new, moving out of state, or a myriad of other things that you can get worked up about. The less information you have about your ex, the better.
That way you aren't tempted to try and show that you're doing great without them or send them telepathic messages through your status updates. The less non-essential information that the both of you have about the other in the wake of a breakup, the less likely it is that their status update about their new flame will send you over the edge.
An added side effect of deleting them is that you'll then be less likely to vaguebook information meant for your ex that will irritate your friends and family in the long run.
6. Eliminates Comparison
Since you know much less about what they're up to, it prevents you from falling into a comparison spiral at the drop of a hat. It's common to wonder if you're doing better/worse than your ex, if they're dating someone new, if they got that new job they wanted, etc. Deleting them makes it so that you can't judge their "progress" versus yours after your split.
7. Creates Mystery
If you're flirting with trying to get your ex back, know that going cold turkey and deleting them makes it harder for them to simply look at your profile to find out how you’re doing. If you aren't "friends," they can't look at your carefully curated "happy life" and deduce whether they should or should not contact you.
Deleting them takes away the opportunity for them to get a "fix" on seeing your information but not actually saying hello. This way, if your ex is going to get in touch, it will be because they wanted to get in touch. It won't be as a result of your campaign to show the world how you're doing or because your status update from last Thursday triggered them.
Have you deleted your ex? Tell me what you think in the comments below.
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