When it comes to whether or not you should unfriend your ex, we are yet again following JLo's lead. After her romance resurgence with Ben Affleck, Lopez has officially wiped away all photographic evidence of her prior relationship with ex-fiancé, Alex Rodriquez. Gone is their Instagram friendship and all posts from their time together.
In light of the news—and the end of an era—we find ourselves wondering if we should follow suit. Is it a good idea to unfriend your ex on social media, or should you just let their updates fester in your feed and annoy you and/or cause you pain every time you sign in?
Even if a quick encounter on the best dating apps can turn sour, or if you're parting ways with a partner you've been with for years, it can be hard to judge whether or not to meddle with the virtual relationship.
Fortunately, the dating experts have all taken a similar stance when it comes to putting a kibosh on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok connections. Here's what you need to know.
- Is getting back with an ex ever a good idea? This is what experts have to say
- Is a combo of sexual positions and emotional investment the key to real intimacy?
- Online dating tips: We asked the experts for their best advice
Should you unfriend your ex on social media?
Turns out, it's fine to make the move. If that final step towards detachment has left you antsy, you have permission from the pros to cut your digital ties.
"The goal is to release them from your thoughts and to get on with feeling good and reflecting on growing into your full potential of a great partner for a relationship that works well," says Megan Weks, a dating and relationship coach and the brains behind The Manfunnel Method.
Likewise, relationship expert Jaime Bronstein thinks it's a good idea to part ways if you're still harboring feelings for your old flame, but not necessarily if you both were on the same page about going your separate ways.
"If the breakup was amicable I don't see a need to delete your ex, however, if you still have feelings for them and you feel that seeing them on social media will only hold you back from moving on, then perhaps it would be healthy to delete them or not follow them anymore," Bronstein says.
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What's the danger of staying friends with an ex on social media?
Be prepared to encounter a few things you might not want to see; whether it's a new love interest or a dig at you, things might not always appear rosy in your feed. However, that doesn't mean you need to add your two cents.
"Be dignified and do not engage," says author, life training coach and psychological therapist Michael Padraig Acton. "When they throw the ball, you do not have to throw it back. A war or game needs two people, do not play! Safety at all times."
And, in general, before becoming entangled in the pressures of social media, make sure you're comfortable with the person that you're dating. Is this really what you want? If so, then you can feel confident sharing your love with the virtual world.
"The biggest pitfall in love I see clients falling into is putting pressure on newer relationships that don’t have a foundation yet by allowing their expectations to get ahead of where the relationship truly is," Weks said. "Until someone is truly invested in your life and committed to you in the way you’re seeking they do not need to receive public praise on social media."
Bottom line, friends: do what's going to make you happy and healthy—you don't need everyone else's approval.
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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