After a breakup, it’s normal to miss your ex boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s normal to want to see what they’re up to, and even do a little sleuthing of their recent Instagram posts. Though it may be normal, it’s definitely not healthy.

Looking at your ex’s social media can be a way to find closure, or keep them around in your life through a phone screen. For some odd reason, human beings care about what their exes are doing, who they’re with, etc. It may be because it helps when you’re missing someone to see their face again. Breaking up with someone causes its own form of grief. You miss the person, plain and simple. Whether you were broken up with or did the breaking up, you can still miss someone with whom you shared a part of your life. However, if you want to heal and move on from your relationship, checking in on them is not going to help. 

Here’s How to Stop Checking in on Their Social Media

10 things to consider before looking up your ex.

  • Before you scroll, stop and think

Ask yourself, what are you hoping to gain from seeing them on your phone screen? Will it bring you the peace you need? The answer is probably not. If you give yourself a quick pep talk, you may notice that you no longer feel the need to check out their social media. 

A paper with writing on it and ink pen.
Writing your feelings down can be a great way to let go and heal. Image courtesy of Unsplash.
  • Write a letter

Writing can help get out a lot of emotions that you may have bottled up. This is why there are so many breakup songs. Writing down your feelings and what you want to say to them may help bring you the closure you need. You could even direct the letter to them, not that you have to give it to them, but it may help you get through whatever you’re feeling and allow you to tell them how you feel on paper. After you’re done, you can keep it, burn it, throw it out, whatever feels right. You may even want to turn it into a song.

  • Chances are, they’re looking you up, too

Sometimes when you’re scrolling through their profile, you may feel weird, pathetic, sad, etc. What may help is to remember that what you’re doing is common, so common that your ex is probably doing the same thing. Depending on how you feel about them, it may make you want to stop what you’re doing so you aren’t stooping to their level.

  • Redirect your attention

When you feel yourself typing their name into Instagram, stop. Redirect yourself to another, less harmful activity. Some things you can do instead are call your mom or your friend, turn on your favorite sitcom, open up a book and read, go for a walk, or listen to music. This will stop the habit you have of checking in on them daily. If you redirect your focus enough, you eventually will stop routinely checking in. Studies have shown that being in nature can help your mental health in more ways than one, and can help you through times of stress, grief, and can even promote self-control. Being in nature can allow you to clear your mind and focus on other things besides your ex partner. 

A woman holding her phone.
Stalking on social media can be hard to resist, especially when you’re missing someone. Image courtesy of Unsplash.
  • Block them

You can’t check in on someone who you have blocked. If it comes down to it and you just can’t help yourself, you may have to quit cold turkey and block them. This way, you’re forcing yourself to move on and start your healing process. Blocking can feel extreme, and especially if you ended on okay terms, unnecessary. However, your mental wellbeing comes first, and if you can’t seem to stop checking their socials, you may have to cut yourself off. 

  • Remember why you broke up

You ended things for a reason. No matter who broke up with whom, it happened, and it wasn’t for nothing. If you find yourself missing them and wanting to see their face or what they’re up to, remember why you’re not together. Maybe they had annoying habits, or they were not treating you right. Whatever it is, recall the negative aspects of your relationship, and use that to deter you from wanting to check in. Sometimes it’s easy to remember all the good parts of somebody, and forget the bad ones. If you’re feeling regretful, like maybe you wish you hadn’t ended things, don’t let yourself forget what went wrong.

  • Revisit the dating pool

When the time is right, you may be ready for someone new. Whether it’s a rebound, a distraction or something more, sometimes finding someone new is a good way to get over someone else. Not to say you should jump back into a relationship, but it wouldn’t hurt to scroll through a dating app. This can help by distracting you with other people, making you think less and less about your ex and more about a new person you find attractive.

  • Remember that it’s only social media

Social media only shows one side of people’s lives. Especially since you knew them for real, remembering that social media isn’t real can be very helpful. If you’re experiencing a longing feeling whenever you see their posts, remember that they may not be as happy as they seem.  They are probably feeling the same way you are, but you can’t see it on a screen. There’s no point in torturing yourself; it’s not going to change what happened. 

  • Do things you haven’t done since before you dated

Sometimes, we sacrifice parts of ourselves when we are in a relationship. When it’s over, we may feel an empty space in our hearts where the person once was. One way to heal that is to remember who you were before that person. Are there things you haven’t done because of them? People you haven’t seen or talked to? Hobbies that they didn’t enjoy so you put on the back burner? Doing some of these things can help you to see that life without them can be good and feel whole again, if you just find yourself again. 

  • Make a gradual change

You don’t have to quit overnight. It can be hard to miss people, and sometimes seeing what they’re up to can make you feel good for a moment. It’s okay to give yourself time to stop. Start with checking once every other day, and then once every few days, once per week, etc. Gradually, you will feel less inclined to check up on them because you’ll slowly get used to life without them and without their socials. This will allow you to heal without more pain caused by quitting cold turkey.

A woman laying down deep in thought.
Getting over someone doesn’t have a time limit, and can sometimes feel impossible. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Sometimes, you may just not be ready to say goodbye and let go. You miss them, and you can’t resist typing their name into the Instagram search bar, or viewing their story to see what they’re up to. There is nothing wrong with missing someone, but when it starts to make you feel worse, it’s a problem. There’s also nothing wrong with taking it slow, as long as you have an end goal in mind. Saying goodbye to your ex can be difficult, and because of social media, it’s hard to resist the ability to check in anytime. You may even see them on their friend’s or family member’s social media pages. Sometimes, you may have to consider blocking them all. If it’s going to save your mental health, it’s worth it.

Nov 13, 2022