You Don't Have to Social Media Stalk Your Ex
How to Not Stalk Your Ex on Social Media
Social media has changed the game when it comes to relationships—and how they end. It’s less possible to have a clean breakup and just avoid your ex when you may be bombarded with images of him or her on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. You may even find yourself peeking at your ex’s accounts to find out what the person is doing. But this can be bad for your health and compound the pain of the breakup.But by limiting your social media contact and distracting yourself with other things, you can not stalk your ex on social media.
Limiting Social Media Contact
Recognize that your stalking is normal—but painful.Although you may think that checking up on your ex on social media is stalking, it is actually a completely normal behavior following a breakup. You may want to see who your ex is with and what the person is doing in the hopes that your ex feels as miserable as you. But this can create a bad cycle of using social media for reassurance that ultimately makes you feel worse.
- Be aware that if you are using social media to find out where your ex is and then find him or her, this is actual stalking and potentially illegal. If you find yourself doing this, you may need to seek professional treatment.
Block your ex from all social media sites.The expansive world of social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram give people incredible access to the lives of others—including those you may not want to see. Blocking your ex entirely from any of your own social media sites may most extreme way to not stalk your ex, but it is also the most effective.
- Be prepared to deal with either your ex or mutual friends asking you why you took this action. Your decision may hurt your ex or mutual friends even. However, explain that the pain of your breakup is too much and this was the best decision for you and not meant to hurt anyone.
- Realize that another added benefit of blocking someone is that you often need to refriend or refollow the person. The sheer embarrassment of having to ask permission to see so that you can stalk the person may keep you from doing this.
Unfriend or stop following your ex.A less extreme way to not have the temptation of stalking your ex is to unfriend or unfollow the person on social media. This can help prevent you from accessing your ex’s sites, limit how much of the person’s life you see, and also minimize how badly you feel.
- Prepare yourself to deal with invariable questions just as you may with blocking an ex. You can also use the same explanation, “Honestly, I need a break. Maybe in the future I can follow my ex on social media. For now, I need to just not see or be able to see what Gregory is doing.”
Limit your ex’s presence on your news feed.If you’re concerned that blocking your ex might hurt the person or leave others questioning you, limit what you see on social media. You could simply unsubscribe from your ex’s posts or other features that might alert you to what your ex is doing.Some social media sites like Facebook will even automatically prompt you to limit exposure when you change your relationship status.
Stop following the feeds of mutual friends.Depending on your network of friends, your ex may appear in statuses, location updates, and photos on social media sites. These may upset you, especially if you find out your ex is with a new partner or having a ball without you. In order to avoid seeing your ex's name or image, consider un-following the social media feeds of mutual and/ or close friends.
- Play off anything you may miss if you don’t want the person to know you’re no longer following his or her feeds. If a feed is mentioned, just say “oh, I must have missed that” or “I only got a quick glance because I didn’t notice it until I was at work.”
- Consider being honest to mutual friends. You can say, “I’m so sorry, but it’s just too painful to see Gregory in your news feeds. I really value your friendship and know he does, too. For now, I’d love to catch up with what you’re doing in other ways.”
Practice self-control.From time to time, you may be tempted to poke around social media and search engines for your ex. One innocent search or view of a news feed could lead you to a night of questioning about things such as whether or not the person who liked your ex’s recent profile picture is a relative or new love interest. By reminding yourself that it’s better for you to avoid your ex’s social media and web presence altogether, you aid the process of closure. A little self-control in this regard can give you more control over yourself and your emotions.
Remove contact information from your devices.Many smartphones, tablets, and other devices connect phone numbers with social media presences. You can prevent yourself from stalking your ex by removing the person’s contact information from devices. This can not only keep you from looking up your ex in a moment of weakness, but will also remove an ever-present reminder of the person.
- Write your ex’s contact information on a piece of paper if you may need to contact the person. This keeps you from having the reminder of the person as well as the temptation of looking up his or her sites.that you won’t see every day and store it in a safe place.
Distracting Yourself from Your Ex
Remember why you broke up.If you find yourself pining to look at your ex’s social media sites, pull out a sheet of paper and write down a list of reasons why your relationship didn't work. This can keep you from jumping to conclusions and missing a bad relationship.
Avoid mentioning your ex.Relationships can be intense and a partner can be a significant part of your life. It’s natural in relationships to mention your partner and you may be tempted to do this even after you’ve broken up. However, this can remind you of the person and make you want to find out what he or she is doing. Consciously not talking about your ex can distract you from thinking about the person.
- Remember that it’s normal to mention an ex—especially if it is about a good time—sometimes. Avoiding any mention about the person with friends may feel awkward for everyone involved. If you need to bring up your ex as a way to process your feelings, do so but avoid making it a regular habit.
- Ask your friends to avoid mentioning your ex around you. This may remind you of your ex and could make you want to find out further details on social media. There may be situations, especially with mutual friends, where your ex’s name is mentioned or even discussed. If this happens, step away from conversation until there is a new topic.
Lean on your support system.You may not be feeling great after a breakup. But this can be a great opportunity to lean on and reconnect with family and friends. They can help distract your and provide support if you need it—even to take your devices away so that you can’t stalk your ex.
- Be open with your support system about your feelings. You can even let friends and family know that you’ve been following your ex on social media. They can offer you a open ear and advice, or remind you that talking about your ex is hurting you. In addition, your support system can do activities with you to distract you from your feelings and social media.
Enjoy your “me” time.It can take a lot of time to get over a relationship. But concentrating on yourself can help distract you from your ex. Do stuff that you couldn’t do with your ex, which can help you realize that you don’t care what he or she is doing or have feelings for the person.
- Do things like getting a massage or attending a yoga class, both of which can help you focus on you and relax. Spend time reading books that you didn’t get a chance to do with your ex.
- Try new activities that your ex doesn’t do. This can distract you from checking social media and reinforcing bad feelings. For example, you may have wanted to learn how to cook but your ex hated the idea. Taking a class and mastering different dishes can take up a lot of time that you may have otherwise been stalking your ex on social media.
Get to know new people.Give yourself a chance to distract yourself from your ex and any mutual friends by meeting new people. In fact, you may even have a better time with new friends and acquaintances and entirely forget about stalking your ex on social media.
- Meet new people at new activities or by joining a group of something in which you’re interested. For example, join a running club or go to a different happy hour in a new place. Group activities are a great chance to meet new people and divert your mind from your ex.
- Flirt with new people you meet. You might not be ready to date, but a little harmless flirting can boost your self-confidence and distract you from your ex.
Video: 11. Don't stalk your ex's social media!
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