Social Media and Break Ups
In this day and age, not only do we have the possibility of running into our ex's when we're out and about, but the ever-present social media makes checking up on them a constant option. You're killing time waiting in line or unwinding after work and the thought of "what is he/she up to" creeps into your head, and finding out is just one click away.
Your relationship ended and you find you can’t stop yourself from looking at their Instagram account. You have that urge, you tell yourself that you are only going to look just one more time. You open your ex’s social media account and next thing you know, you have evolved into the best private investigator. Your heart hurts. You see new photos and your ex smiling and having a great time. Logically you know looking at the social media posts is painful and won’t help, but the temptation is so great. It is like a drug. You know it’s bad for you, but you can’t resist the urge.
If you have the temptation to reach out or look at your ex’s social media, you must take these steps. This gives you a roadmap of what to do to shake the cravings and divert your attention somewhere else.
What to do when you have the urge to look at your Ex’s social media account:
- Accountability – You need a team supporting you to get “sober.” Pick up the phone and call your friends or family. Get your fiends support and have them help you stay off his/her social media. You need to have your people keep you accountable. Be honest! If you do have your accountability group, call them. Think of them as your life line and they will help you take a detour.
- Think of the consequences – The next step is to think this all the way through. If you act on your temptations, what consequence might happen? Think of what this is doing to your heart, your mind, your day, your life. Remind yourself of all the bad things of the relationship and why it didn’t work out. Consider the consequence that if you stay “hooked” to your ex (aka – the drug), you can lose your family and friends.
- Delay for 15 minutes – If you have completed steps 1 and 2 and still have the urge to send your ex a text message or look at their social media, you must delay yourself for 15 minutes. Tell yourself that you can’t make any move with your temptation for 15 minutes. WAIT 15 minutes.
- Distract – While you wait the 15 minutes, you MUST distract yourself. Get involved with something else that is good for you. Work on a project, clean your house, go for a walk, play with your dog. Distract, distract, distract. Chances are, you’ll forget about checking out the social media page while you get absorbed in something else.
- Harness Positivity – Gather all the positive thoughts that will remind yourself of the good, the hope, the light. Notice the positive things going on where you are right now. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, you have a roof over your head, and you have people who love you.
Now that you did all 5 steps (and didn’t just read through my bullet point list), do you still want to act on that temptation? If you do, you have the choice to act on it. Don’t be discouraged if you do. Just remember to do these steps each time that urge comes, and in time you will no longer want it. This is now in your hands. It is your choice. This is ultimately your life and you may need to go through these ups and downs to figure it out.
I hope these 5 Steps To Stop Looking at Your Ex’s Social Media Account were helpful.
Let me know of any other tips that help you stop looking and get over your ex!
Article by Sarah O’Leary, AMFT#123449 (supervised by Erin C. Falvey-Hogue, Ph.D. LMFT#45322)