Why Does My Ex Want To Be Friends On Facebook? 7 Interactions We All Have With Former Partners On Social Media
Social media has brought a lot into our lives. Information about our best friend from third grade. New ways to take photos of ourselves. A fascination with how food looks, in addition to how it tastes. The election of Donald Trump. Oh — and keeping our exes in our lives way past a relationship’s expiration date. While all the other influences are certainly interesting, it’s that last one that cracks me up the most. Seriously — there are just some social media interactions we all have with our exes. Some of them are funny. Some are weird; some are totally accidental. But some are just downright harmful.
“After you get out of a long-term relationship, it’s a great idea to take some time to reconnect with yourself and figure out what’s next,” relationship and wellness coach Shula Melamed MA MPH, tells Bustle. “What do you want in a relationship? What do you want out of your life? So going back and checking in in an obsessive way on a daily basis makes me wonder if you’re really letting go.”
So that’s a good place to start: With not obsessively checking in on your exe’s social media. I know, I know, it’s hard AF but seriously, for your own peace of mind, it’s important. Getting dragged back into their presentation of their life on social media is a surefire way to make sure you never get over an ex. But beyond the serious stuff, there are also just some silly things that inevitably happen after a breakup. Here’s a combination of serious and silly social media interactions that we all have with our exes.
1. Liking Their Instagram Post From 10 Weeks Ago
You know that feeling of panic: The accidental Instagram like. “The accidental Instagram like is bound to happen,” Demetrius Figueroa, founder of the dating advice blog and podcast Tao of Indifference, tells Bustle. “You’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, and haven’t unfollowed your ex because you don’t want to seem petty, and instead of scrolling, you accidentally like their photo. Or worse, you’re snooping on their feed and accidentally like something from several weeks back. It’s bound to happen, and it’s a cringeworthy mistake to make, but one that can be quickly undone.”
But of course, you’re not the only one who does it. “The flip side to this is that yes, your ex will, at some point, like one (or many) of your Instagram posts,” Figueroa says. “It’s just as awkward when they do it too. If your ex is exceptionally thirsty, expect a few eye emojis posted on your best pictures. If you post videos on Instagram, expect them to view all of them and never comment.”
2. LinkedIn Telling You They Looked At Your Profile
Every couple of years, I get a notification that a guy I briefly dated years ago was looking at my profile on LinkedIn. We're not connected on any other social media (that's how brief it was), so it cracks me up every time his name and face pop up.
“Do you think your ex has ever actually seen you use any of your on-the-job skills? No?” Figueroa says. “Then I guess it will be pretty weird when they endorse you for those skills on LinkedIn. Oh, and if they aren’t connected with you already, I can promise you that at some point they’ll view your profile and probably try to connect with you.”
3. Stalking Their New Partner
This one is one of the hardest to resist — stalking your ex’s new partner on Facebook or Instagram. Obviously you want to know everything about them, even though it’s a terrible idea.
“You see them hanging out with a new person and wonder if they’re seeing this person and get into hole,” Melamad says. “Is that really helping you with your process? Or are you just strumming your pain?”
4. Late Night DMs
“Do you have a Twitter account and do you have an ex who uses Twitter?” Figueroa says. “If you said yes to both, congrats — they’re going to slide into your DMs. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but at some point you’re going to see their face in your DMs asking how you’ve been, and what went wrong between you two.”
5. Awkward Facebook Congratulations
Whether it’s a birthday, a new job, or even an engagement, you’re either going to hear from an ex or reach out to an ex for some big event that they plaster all over Facebook. If you’re on the sending end of things, you’re probably trying to act like you’re mature and cool with your ex “living their best life,” even though you (not so) secretly wish that their entire existence felt like waiting in a hot subway station during the peak of summer. If you’re on the receiving end of things, you’re totally thinking, “Yeah, they still want me.”
6. Seeing Them On A Dating App
“There must be some sort of law of internet dating that says that no matter what, if you and your ex are both single, you will see them on whatever dating app you use,” Figueroa says. “I can promise you that if you have an ex, especially one who you sort of loathe, they’ll show up either as someone who viewed your profile, or a potential match. The less you like them, the more likely they are to show up while you’re swiping.”
7. Unfollowing After A Breakup
Both Figueroa and Melamad agree: The best thing you can do when it comes to interacting with your ex on social media is unfollow them. Especially right after a breakup, it’s just too easy to get sucked in to obsessing about their life. Give yourself the time and space to heal a little bit by breaking off all connections — even Instagram.
Social media isn’t going anywhere — and neither are our exes. But if it’s any comfort, we’re all having these same social media interactions, good, bad, and hilarious.