Breakups are usually shit – crying, screaming into pillows until your throat goes raw, anger to the point you have to restrain yourself from buying a baseball bat, or just general disappointment or resentment.
But aside from the long journey of self-healing and all the drama in between, there’s one aspect that is a newer addition to the long list of stuff to work through…
Your digital connection to your ex.
Here a simple, honest guide that might help you get through this part of the healing process.
1. UNDERSTAND IT’S NORMAL
First, you’re not the stereotypical stalker that’s portrayed in movies. You’ve gone from seeing them often or all the time to not seeing them at all. That cut off alone can be hard to deal with. Wanting to know what’s going on in your ex’s life is a natural response after a breakup.
You want to know what they’re doing. If they’re quickly moving on to other loves or lusts. What other people are saying about you. What THEY are saying about you. You want justification or protection.
It’s not something you should linger on. It’s a stage you need to get past.
2. DELETE THEIR PROFILE
This one should be no surprise. Whatever your main communication is from them – get rid of it, block them. Even if the parting was somewhat “friendly” there could be unknown elements that can trigger unexpected reactions and feelings.
3. BLOCK THEM FROM OTHER SITES
Next is to purge the rest – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, whatever – and no cheating by looking up their @username for references and tidbits. You can also ask them to block you back to make it easier.
4. TAKE A TOTAL BREAK
If it’s bad enough that you can seem to stay away from their life updates, stepping away from social media entirely and working on rebuilding yourself might be the best choice. Straight up delete the apps from your phone if you have to.
The good news? You can come back to it whenever you are ready again. Just leave your friends the message “Taking a break, be back whenever” etc.
SIDE NOTE: if you can total digital disconnect through camping is a great option.
5. BLOCK MUTUAL FRIENDS
This doesn’t mean you’re taking sides.
You can politely tell the friend you’re blocking is because you need to heal and seeing updates from your ex might hinder the process. But, you’re more than happy to stay in contact by other means – whether phone calls, meetups, or other social media that your ex is not on.
SIDE NOTE: Don’t forget to get rid of any of their family members from your feeds. Anything you write WILL get to them and feed into the interaction.
5. LIMIT CONTACT
This one is if you CAN’T totally cut off communication. Maybe there are divorce payments, maybe you have similar social schedules that you want to try and avoid each other while you heal.
I put this article in the “sex-tips” section of the blog because it has a very real example I’ve gone through myself. My ex and I are part of the BDSM community in our area, and I’m a member of the Shibari group – the players that go to these places often overlap. We tried to sort out who would go to what event through FetLife. In the end, he made it so complicated, that I said to myself, “Fuck it, I’ll go to what I want.”
It might not paint the clearest picture, but if you HAVE to contact them through whatever app you use, keep it short, to the point, and without emotion.
6. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME
Like everything else in the breakup process, it’s best to think about just that day. Focus on not looking THAT day. It will slowly get easier.
7. PRACTICE SELF-CONTROL
This is side point of “take it one day at a time. Actively tell yourself, “No, this will not help me. This will not help me heal or get over them.”
8. FORGET OTHER’S OPINIONS
Most of us don’t own up to our side of the shit we did in the relationship. People paint themselves as the saint, the generous ex who will help you no matter what even if you’re broken up, or even play the victim. It’s not to say that some breakups don’t have an actual “victim” or someone who got it worse.
Don’t expect all your ex’s friends (mutual or not) to be on your side. Your ex will have painted their own picture of the fall of the relationship and of what you were like or what you did (truths, half-truths, essential details that are conveniently omitted, or straight out lies). They might be saying terrible things about you – and you do NOT need that in your life.
Your friends, family, and the ones who support YOU, are the only ones you should care about.
9. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
I’ve heard through the grapevine that there’s an app to help you control your social media consumption or limit or block your ability to search for your ex’s digital footprint. Every little bit helps. I believe it’s called AppDetox.
10. TAKE UP A NEW HABIT
Distractions are always helpful. Take up a new hobby or get to something you couldn’t do because your ex didn’t want to participate. Take a class, find new friends, go to a gym, whatever.
11. HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Remember those friends and family I mentioned? Let THEM be the ones you talk to and “stalk” their medial. Use the time to reconnect. Email them, call, let them be the ones you focus on.
12. UNDERSTAND EVERYONE HEAL DIFFERENTLY
It is an unfortunate reality that everyone heals and different times, different speeds, and through different methods.
Someone might drop off the face of the earth … or flaunt the string of men or women they’re screwing their way through and posting graphic details. You don’t need to see that or whatever angry rants they write about you. You don’t need that added pain. It’s not a reflection of you, it’s their own “healing process” (healthy or unhealthy).
13. ENJOY YOUR ALONE TIME
I’ve used the word “healing” a lot, but it’s true – you’ve suffered a loss. Being single is a great opportunity to rediscover who you are – whether it is something old you’ve forgotten or new things you didn’t even know about yourself. Focus on the evolution of the new and improved “you” – not wasting energy on someone’s Twitter feed.
14. GET BACK INTO DATING
When you’re ready, and only when you’re ready, getting back into dating is another way to forget about what’s going on in your ex’s life. Just be careful about rebounds etc.
15. REMEMBER, SO MANY FISH
So this one didn’t work out? Yes is hurts like hell, and you want to stalk their feeds to make sure they are as miserable as you, but the concept of “there’s only one for your” “or they are the perfect one” is something out of a fairy tale – and it doesn’t apply to real life. Your relationship has ended, but there will be someone out there that will treat you better.
Focus on learning how to spot the “good ones”, learn personal red flags, find out what you need to improve or what you denied yourself, and understand what you truly need from a relationship, so next time you’ll get someone who actually fits with you.
Also, if you want more useful articles, you might like these…
- Sex After Divorce – 4 Things That Will Affect Your Libido
- Rebound Sex – The Positives and Negatives
- 15 Signs He’s Cheating – Learn to Spot the Red Flags
Any other suggestions you want to add to help people cut off their social media ties to their ex? Share in the comments!