After a gut-wrenching breakup, have you been wondering, ‘Is it okay to be friends with your ex, especially on social media?’ That is a totally valid concern. Social media pervades our lives in crazy ways. Watching his Instagram stories, seeing what he is up to or knowing where she has been traveling – none of this is easy when you are trying to get over your ex.
The answer to this question really lies in how ready you feel. You do not want to see one happy photo of her with a new guy and spiral uncontrollably into sadness. Gather the strength and courage first to get to a point where you can remain unaffected by the goings-on in your ex’s life. Maybe then it is worth considering being friends with your ex. Let’s look into this a little more.
Should I Be Friends With My Ex On Social Media?
Stacey once ran over to Kristen’s house right after her breakup. Cuddling with her best friend and putting on a rom-com is how Stacey found the strength for dealing with heartbreak. Soon after, Stacey started scrolling on her Facebook and saw a post by her ex-boyfriend, Reggie. She immediately asked Kristen, “Should I block my ex on social media?”
There has been a partial migration if you could call it that, of life, online in the last decade or so. Social media, which began as just a platform of communication has mutated into a parallel life. We find dates, food, parties, sex, entertainment, jobs, services, news, information on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
We literally cannot live without them anymore. It really is a parallel life, one that may or may not be an exact reflection of your personal life. So there pops the question again, is it okay to be friends with your ex online?
Should I delete my ex from social media?
When so much of our life is spent online, how do we navigate it with real life? I’m speaking specifically about breakups. The ones that leave you completely shattered and hopeless that even the smallest triggers can completely break your heart.
Is it okay to follow your ex on social media? Well, the answer is that it depends. There is no rulebook as to how one should deal with one’s pain. We are all wired very differently and process pain in many ways and forms.
Related Reading: Dating After A Breakup- The 9 Step Perfect Strategy
Should I unfriend my ex and be bitter?
Some people can differentiate clearly between social media profiles and real life. For them, a certain sense of distance exists between their Twitter account and day-to-day life. These are often the people who don’t post every single detail about their life online.
They might post a picture that they felt like sharing but you might not see selfies of every outfit of the day or #ootd as it is popularly called on social media. Using Snapchat dog filters and sending streaks to 30 people every day might just not be something that they do.
So when breaking up with your girlfriend, you have to consider whether it is a good idea to keep up with her social media presence and continue sending her those Snapchat streaks. You must really think about is it okay to be friends with your ex online, not because you want to be bitter and distant but because you need to be in a healthy headspace.
Should I stay friends with my ex for the information?
Then there are those for whom social media acts as a window of information. They might have broken up but still want to know the comings and goings of their ex’s life. I’m not talking about cyberstalking here, although there is a fair number of people who indulge in that.
When asking yourself, is it okay to be friends with your ex online, these people don’t necessarily want to talk to their ex or get back together. They simply want to have the option of keeping up with them. They are not hurt by watching them but are rather intrigued to see what they are doing.
For these kinds of people staying friends with their ex is a matter of pragmatism in a way. Which is a remarkable and intelligent thing if you think about it.
Related Reading: When Do Guys Start To Miss You After A Breakup?
Should I block my ex on social media to be authentic?
Then there are those who archive their lives online. They want their social lives to be a complete and authentic reflection of their personal lives. A YouTuber, for example, who posts content about their life online for themselves and others to consume. It’s an odd kind of exhibitionism and voyeurism, similar to what you find in reality shows.
For these people, their social media presence reflects their life’s events. They want to be as authentic as possible, and thus if their ex-lover is out of their lives, they might just be out of their social media circle too. They’ll unfollow each other on Twitter and Instagram and rarely mention each other again.
Painful reminders on your feed
An Instagram photo of your ex showing up on your feed can sometimes be a painful reminder. It can remind you of the good times. It can also remind you of the very worst of times. In this case, you might not want this constant reminder and want to make sure that you are not confronted by their presence everywhere.
After a breakup, you want to stop feeling sorry for yourself and bring positive reinforcements in your life. Not staying friends with your ex online is a way some might protect their heart.
It’s a public announcement
However, since social media now encompasses such a big part of our lives, unfriending your ex is not a simple decision. Sometimes there’s a sense of finality there. Some people have way too much time on their hands and will notice if you have unfriended or unfollowed your ex.
Since it is called the social network, remember that this activity will be a public display of your break up. Yup, people will know even if you do not want them to.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, you have to make sure that you are prepared for any questions you might get from others. I get it, you wish people had enough tact to not ask you about your break up, but sadly they don’t, so while this may seem frivolous, you still have to think it through.
Then there are the friendly exes. Whether you have children together or have remained friends, you are someone who saw the relationship as a beautiful experience. The question, ‘Is it okay to be friends with your ex online?’ becomes a non-issue in such cases.
If you have been lucky enough to retain the friendship, social media can be the perfect place to keep it going during the phase when face-to-face meetings with your ex can be awkward. Well, kudos to you!
Related Reading:15 Reasons Why Being Friends With Your Ex Doesn’t Work
Is It Okay To Follow Your Ex On Social Media – Our Verdict
Staying friends with your ex online then depends on a lot of things. It depends on your attitude toward social media. It also depends on your equation with your ex. Most importantly, it depends on how you are feeling and how much your heart can really take.
Some people are really good at blocking negative emotions in the face of a stimulus and some crumble like ice cream on a sunny day. Think deeply about where you are and how much you can deal with. Know that there is nothing wrong with blocking an ex for the sake of your peace of mind.
If you are facing this dilemma, remember that there’s no correct answer and you have to do what is best for you and how you want to cope.
It can be if you have recovered. If you are in a good headspace, feeling healthy, happily single and ready to be friends, then that is fabulous news. However, if you think you need some time off, then you must take it or else you will just wreck the friendship.
Sure. That happens quite often. Exes sometimes just need some time apart to reorganize thoughts but once they are friends, they realize what they have been missing all along. This makes them want to get back. Read here for how to win an ex back.