Ask Stef: Do You Stay Friends with Your Exes on Instagram?


Stefanie Marshall

Dear Stef,

Do you stay friends with your exes on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat?

Still Following

Dear Still Following,

This is a question I often ask myself. Whether it be a long term relationship or a person you briefly dated, their presence in your social media can be daunting. Especially if you’re like me and you check it regularly. I definitely believe the kind of breakup you experience influences what action you should take when it comes to social media afterward.

The more brief the relationship and casual the breakup, I find the more room there is for social media interaction. Perhaps you dated for a few months and decided it wasn’t working. You ended amicably, friendly even. I think continuing to stay “friends” via Facebook, Instagram, etc. is completely acceptable in those situations. No one is risking feelings being hurt, and it’s simply another person passing by on your feed.

However, when the breakup is intense and sad and brutal, social media only hinders you from the ultimate goal – moving on. I’m a firm believer, especially when you’re the “dumpee”, that you should sever all ties, social media included. There is nothing helpful or healthy about the ability to keep tabs on your ex via the glorious Internet. It’s only hurting your own feelings, and it’s unnecessary torture for your already broken heart.

Sometimes cutting those ties, even ties as trivial as social media ones, are the most important in mending. As that old saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. And while it might not be THAT easy, it is absolutely easier than seeing your ex having the time of his life cliff diving in Hawaii via Instagram while you eat an entire gallon of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream and watch The Notebook for the 87th time (Is that just me? Oops).

Always err on the side of your own heart and its well being. One day, when your heart is whole and healed, and you and your ex are in happy, healthy places, perhaps there is the possibility of a friendship – even if it is just a Facebook one.


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