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5 Reasons Why You Can't Stop Checking Out Your Ex's Social Media

The pain of a breakup is something that many of us have gone through. What makes breakups so painful is not only the fact that you mourn the loss of a relationship, but also the loss of the hope you had for the future, the dreams you shared together. You often feel anger, hurt, disagreement, longing, and a lot of other feelings that you are not ready to face.

Breakups often cause you to fear loneliness and the thoughts that you will never love again. They can also make you question yourself and bring up regret over past losses or trauma. When the breakup pain is still fresh, it's usually tempting to do anything just to not feel it. One way to deal with the pain after a breakup is to check ex partners' social media. When you have not yet gotten over the agenda and you are not comfortable with the loss, it may be a temporary relief or distraction from the painful, but it ultimately prolongs the grief process and serves as a painful reminder of what you have lost.

Research has shown that following your ex-partners' activities on social media can increase breakup stress and potentially prolong the difficulty of getting over the agenda. The results of the study showed that participants who continued to stay in touch immediately after breaking up with their former partners on Facebook and / or monitored their pages were more likely to experience an increase in separation distress and feelings of longing for ex-partners, as opposed to participants who chose not to stay in touch on the aforementioned social networks. The results of another study also found that when participants looked at pictures of their ex-partners, the same areas of the brain were activated that catch fire when someone experiences physical pain.

When the breakup is still fresh, it's not uncommon when you feel the urgent need to check ex profiles on social media. If you find it difficult to refrain from following / checking / snooping on ex-partners, consider whether any of the following may be contributing to this:

1. You distract yourself from the emotional pain of breaking up.

Intrusive thoughts about breakups and frequent checking of ex-partners' social media can serve as a distraction from painful emotions that you have not yet expressed or processed.

When you concentrate on thinking about checking your ex's social media, looking at his ex's pages / profiles, or thinking about what you saw when you last checked them, you may not allow yourself the space you need to feel your emotions. When there is no space to feel / work through your regret and sadness, it can eventually extend the healing process.

2. You are not ready to let your ex-partner go free / you disagree with his decision to end the relationship, and social media helps you feel connected to your ex.

At first, it's hard to come to terms with the idea that this person who was such an important part of your life, memories and stories is now someone you no longer have contact with. It often takes time to settle in and get used to the new reality. Even if you logically know that you are no longer together and watching your ex's social media is not the same as seeing him in real life, you may initially feel better at some level.

Remember that seeing photos and videos of your ex-partners may feel good at first, but ultimately it can lead to feelings of jealousy, negatively affect your mood, and prolong the difficulty of dealing with loss and starting a new chapter in your life.

3. You feel confused about the breakup and try to figure out "why?"

When a breakup is unexpected or unwanted, you may find yourself in a spiral of emotional pain and grief as you try to make sense of what happened. You may be asking yourself too many questions and not finding enough answers. You can check your ex's social media for clues to explain what happened and if it was someone else who was the cause.

Ultimately, social media is promotional clippings of what someone wants to show to the world. They often don't reflect how we really feel at the moment, and we don't usually share difficult life situations.

You may think that if you could only find the answer, you could move on or protect yourself from similar situations in the future. By focusing on finding answers, you only delay the process of experiencing "mourning" after a breakup.

4. You want to know if they are happy without you, or which one of you is doing better.

Breakups can make you question everything, including the sincerity of your ex's feelings, especially if you've been surprised by the breakup. If the breakup is still fresh and you are suffering, it is only natural that you want to know if they are also suffering.

The problem is, you won't find these answers on your ex-partners' social media pages.

Ex partners can deal with pain in their own way (completely different from yours), e.g. trying to show the world how well they are doing after a breakup and posting smiling faces or various successes on social media. Comparing your experiences and how you deal with pain / grief to social networks and highlighting your ex's reels can contribute to negative self-perceptions and possibly exacerbate the painful feelings you are experiencing.

5. You are hoping to go back to your ex partner.

If you can't come to terms with your partner's decision, you usually begin to defend yourself against the pain by displacing the breakup and viewing it as a temporary disagreement or separation, while hoping to get back together.

Following your ex on social media can create a deceptive sense of security.

Beloved, in the next post you will find tips on how to deal with the irresistible temptation to check / follow or watch your ex's social networks.

Stay warm


This text is intended for informational and psychoeducational purposes only.

It is not intended and cannot replace therapy, psychological counseling, diagnosis, or treatment.

Below is the link to the research I mentioned:

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