But staring at their Snapchat stories or scrolling through their Instagram for hours isn’t going to help you feel better.Research shows that constantly clicking on your ex’s Facebook page can disrupt emotional recovery after a breakup by creating more distress, negative feelings, sexual desire, and longing for your ex. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking, 2011, Jul.;14(12):2152-2723.Still, if you find the allure of looking too distracting or hard to handle, it’s time to unfriend and unfollow once and for all. “When someone breaks up with you, that means they don’t want to be in a relationship with you.” It may sound like tough love, but remember: You want to be with someone who wants to be with you.
“If the answer is no, then staying friends with your ex may not work,” Breines says.And if you're sneaking around and not telling your new S. that you’re in touch with your ex, that's definitely a bad sign.Ask yourself these questions, and if you’re still convinced of a possible friendship, go right ahead.If you aren’t convinced, step away because being friends with an ex can actually make your life a nightmare.Being friends with an ex is a complicated decision that can go both ways.
On one hand, life could be perfect even after the breakup.Or maybe you want to remain friends with an ex because that’s an easier option than cutting ties abruptly, or because you still feel emotionally attached to them. “If you feel any emotion when you think of your ex—if you’re angry, pining, frustrated, or unsure—that means you’re still connected,” Orbuch says, which signals you have some emotional baggage you need to unpack before you think about reaching out.Those reasons are exactly why staying in contact with an ex —like totally, 100 percent neutral, an emotional zero on a scale from one to 10—then it may be possible to stay friendly with them in a healthy and functional way, Orbuch says. If there are legitimate reasons to remain cordial (for instance, you have mutual friends, children, or you work at the same company), then by all means be civil toward one another. And if you were friends before, research proves it possible to go back to being friends again—regardless of who broke up with whom.Even if you don't want to admit it, it means you’re wishing you were with them. Surveys find that about 88 percent of people creep on their ex's social media profile.The most masochistic part of it: Although it may make you sad or upset to look at their profile, it’s your subconscious yet cruel way of helping yourself still feel connected or associated with that person, Orbuch says. Which isn’t all that surprising—after all, blocking someone who used to be a big part your life feels very final and very sad.But if you're hanging onto the hope of getting back together, giving them the wrong impression, or risking your current relationship, that's another story.