Should you stay friends with an ex on social media?
This is a caveat for almost all relationships: exes and old flings on social media.
Remember, you’re reading MY opinion– so just know that this is coming from a complete bias view that only concerns what HAS worked for ME. I’m not catering to everyone, how boring of a written piece would that be? This is solely from MY experiences.
That being said, I think staying friends with ex-flings on social media is asking for potential drama. For unnecessary insecurity.
I’m going to start with a story that JUST happened.
Dan and I have a very trusting relationship. We know each other’s passwords, often say things like “will you look this up for me on Instagram?” and hand over each other’s phones… etc etc. We have nothing to hide.
Last night, we were scrolling through Dan’s timeline. Sometimes we just scroll through each other’s timelines to look at what the other person sees all the time, is into, etc. He sees a lot of Violet Fogger’s lives (Most of who I follow!) and I see a lot of memes and old college friends on his end.
So we’re scrolling through his feed and up comes this really gorgeous girl. I ask who it is and he’s like, “Oh, that’s actually someone I should probably de-follow. I hooked up with her a few times. Right before I met you actually.”
OF COURSE, I WAS CURIOUS. I’ve talked about this before- I’m that girl who likes to think her man never even talked to a girl before he met her. LOL. 😛 So I looked at her profile and I saw that Dan had liked a photo of hers while we were together.
Logical me knows that it meant nothing. That he’s nuts about me. Would never cheat on me. Doesn’t think of anyone else BUT me. That he was probably just being nice or subconsciously scrolling through and liking every photo that comes his way.
But emotional me? “Does he still want to keep her attention?” “Does this girl think my man is still into her?” “Am I not satisfying him enough?” “What if I don’t stack up next to her?” “What if he’s sad they didn’t work out?” etc etc etc.
NO, I didn’t get mad. I didn’t tell him to de-follow her (but he did.) It’s not something I’d hold against him. I’m so so SO happy he is honest with me. It makes me trust him more. But as I fell asleep, I felt… and I hate to say this…. I felt insecure.
Don’t jump up my ass and say something like “it’s just Instagram! It’s just a damn picture!” I know this!! But I’m allowed to feel how I feel. Again, it’s not like I blew up at him! It’s not like we have jealousy issues- we don’t.
I’m grateful Dan de-followed her without me asking him to.
My belief in staying friends with an ex on social media:
(This includes old flings!)
Social media IS INGRAINED in our generation. Your life on the gram isn’t the whole scope but it is part of it. Keep the past in the past when it comes to love. The only time you should call upon old love or past flings should be with your own memory, perhaps tangible mementos that don’t alert the other person when you are visiting them. And these mementos? Your significant other needs to be okay with them.
For instance, I have a box from my first love. My teenage love. Dan knows all about it and… frankly doesn’t give a shit.
****Scratch that, Dan just read this and he actually didn’t know about the box, full on put the computer down and said “you have a box babe? What’s the box?”…. he doesn’t like it. 😛 I respect Dan, so I’m getting rid of it when I’m home next.
Texting an ex, getting coffee to catch up, LIKING THEIR PHOTOS…. no. I am someone who is NOT okay with that. I am from the camp that believes a relationship thrives at its VERY HIGHEST when the only lover you are focusing on is the one you have right now. NO EXES.
I mean, I even hate when exes of MINE like my photos. Especially if they have a significant other! Like, get out of here! Don’t give your girl any reason to feel insecure! I hate that!
I think liking an old fling’s photo or ex’s photo is a sign of disrespect. It makes the ex think that person still cares or is attracted to them. Even if they don’t, it makes their CURRENT significant other think their lover still cares or is attracted to them.
But Katey, what about if we shared years of our lives with this person? What if we owe so much of who we are to this person? I’ll be honest: I don’t give a f*ck. Thank that person for their time, honor them by being kind in your breakup, and leave them with closure. For them and yourself and your future love. That relationship ran its course. Why make the waters murky with uncertainty? Close the door.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be nice to the person if you see them. That doesn’t mean you can’t speak kindly of them if they ever get brought up. But let me be clear…. you shouldn’t go out of your way to see them, or get their attention- if you aren’t single.
I am so staunch about not talking to ANY EXES when I am in a relationship. I don’t care what the circumstance is. I don’t wish happy birthdays. I don’t check in. I don’t send condolences. That might sound cold in some regards but it assures my person that I’m not living in the past. They will never have a seed of doubt in me.
With Dan, I believe he has the right to know that I would never make him feel jealous or seek out attention from any other man (especially an ex) other than him. He has the right to be with someone who protects our relationship, our love. Social media shouldn’t be a big deal, and perhaps it’s a problem with our generation, but facts are facts and social media activity DOES matter.
Some people are okay with their significant others being friends with exes. I am not. It’s not that I’m insecure, it’s that I truly need a relationship to ALWAYS be present or forward moving. That is a NEED of mine that I can’t be luke-warm on. Revisiting the past has always been dangerous in my experiences.
I had an ex once that stayed friends with every single ex and old fling of his on Instagram and he liked and interacted with all of their photos. And guess what? Because of this digital tether, he’d often get texts from them. Thus always having their presence in his life- making less room for me. I knew he was never cheating on me. But you know how this STILL made me feel? I’m sure you can guess.
If Dan had an ex or old fling who posted sexy photos of herself all the time, liked his photos, he liked hers (even occasionally), who he still thought was beautiful… I wouldn’t be down for it. I’d feel uneasy. (Side note- if you want to laugh about liking an ex’s new girl’s pic, you gotta read this.)
I have friends who are COMPLETELY OKAY with their men staying friends with exes. It’s healthy for them. It’s not a concern. That’s awesome, and I see how that can work for some people.
It does not, and will never, work for me.
My point is this: we all need different things in a relationship. Dan and I both don’t want each other being active friends with exes or ex-flings. It gives us comfort and security. We had one fight once over an ex and it was such a big deal in our relationship that we were like, “holy shit, this is a boundary we need to set NOW in order to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED. Set boundaries!
If your significant other is staying friends with an ex (real life or social media) and it bothers you and they don’t do something about it- then I honestly don’t think that person is the one for you. I don’t think they are making you a priority.
OR– you simply aren’t the right person for them. They need someone who is okay with them being friends with their exes. THAT’S OKAY. But if one of you won’t budge then you need to move on. Be with someone who either sides with you completely or meets you in the middle.
I realize I am very black and white with this. Very cutthroat. But… keeping this ideal for me has ALWAYS served me well.
I promise you this- the relationships in which the man I was with never had contact with exes or old flings… those relationships rarely had drama. I always felt more secure. I always felt like we had a future.
The ones where they stayed friends with exes? Even just liked their photos? Always drama. Always insecurity.
What’s your take?