Being friends with an ex on social media is a weird new part of breaking up with someone that we all now have to deal with. Just ten years ago, this wasn’t even really an issue. In the past decade social media has exploded as a way to stay in touch with people in our lives but it’s also a minefield after a break up. First there’s the whole not being in a Facebook relationship with that person anymore. That’s painful. Then, one person or the other may defriend their ex. That’s understandable.
In our hyper-connected world, we’re likely to eventually become friends with basically everyone we know or know of, right? You’ll most likely become friends with you ex again, whether it be in a month, year or decade. However long it takes, one of you is bound to request the other again, and boom, just like that, you’re friends on social media again. Being friends with an ex on social media is an emotional battlefield. Who knows what will happen? Every time you make a status, it’s like Russian Roulette for the heart.
Of course, being friends with an ex on social media isn’t always so high stakes. We tend to go through stages when we’re friends with an ex on social media. Below are the fifteen stages you will go through when you become friends with an ex. You may skip through one or two, or perhaps revert back a stage, but for the most part, they are all of the things you’ll experience when you become friends with that ex on social media.
15 Should I Request Him?
The first stage if you guys are no longer friends. If the break up was messy, you may have deleted him or he may have deleted you. Tensions were high; everything was emotional. You can’t really blame him for unfollowing you after a break up. You may have been coping by posting hot selfies that other dudes like or by posting pictures of yourself out with your girls. He didn’t want to be reminded of how hot you are or how much you love pumpkin spice lattes. Whatever his reason for unfollowing or unfriending you, it’s okay. If you were the one who unfollowed or unfriended him, that’s fine too.
Everyone should be allowed distance during a break up and no one should carry any resentment about the space you needed to take in order to move on. Now, though, you may be sitting in that stage of wondering if you should request him.
It’s an odd stage. You might not know where you both stand. You might not want him to take it the wrong way. You’re not sure if it’s a good idea but, you do it. You just feel like it’s the mature thing to do.
14 Waiting For The Acceptance
Oh, the dreaded time after you request him. You’re just like there waiting for his acceptance. You’re regretting having requested him in the first place. What if he doesn’t accept you? What if he doesn’t follow you back? It would be so embarrassing that you may have to get off of Facebook all together. Well, not really because you’d be the only one who would know but, still, you’d feel bad about it. Now, you’re second guessing it. You’re wondering if he’s going to tell his friends that you requested him and that he didn’t accept it. You feel like you’re going to throw up. You’re wondering if you can unrequest him and he’ll never get the notification of the request to begin with. You want to email Mark Zuckerberg to ask.
Then, he accepts your request and just like that, you’re friends with your ex on social media.
13 Scrolling Through To See Everything You've Missed
Now, that you’re friends with your ex on social media, you’re able to scrolled through all of the stuff you missed of their life without you, whether you broke up a week ago or a year ago. While his account may have been public, most accounts today are private for professional reasons, or at least, have a few things that are private while some posts are public. You don't want to give anyone the ability to creep your profile,
You’re scrolling through a concert he went to and you’re thinking about how when you heard they were coming to town, you wondered if he’d go because you knew he loved them. You’re reading about what he thought of this season of Orange is the New Black. You’re secretly happy that you agree with his opinion.
It feels odd scrolling through the feed of someone you knew so well but now, you don’t really know at all.
12 Scrolling Too Far Back To Where You Guys Dated
You keep scrolling and scrolling, wanting to know everything he’s been up to. Did he see the X-Men film this summer? You know that’s he’s an X-Men junkie from when you dated. You also know that he’s a J Law junkie too.
Then you scroll too far. You’ve scrolled back into the time period that you two dated. Even though you shouldn’t, you take this walk down memory lane. It’s like the scab you just have to pick at. It feels so good but it hurts too. You look at the status he made that one Valentine’s Day. It seemed corny back then but now it seems like the sweetest thing that anyone has ever said about you. You look at all of the photos of you two together, smiling, giggling. You were the picture of a happy couple. You keep scrolling until you see the early days of the relationship, the time in which he was trying to win you over. He was so charming and interested in you.
11 Missing Him
Scrolling through memory lane will set you right into the stage of missing him. It hurts so good. You’re wondering what went wrong with you two. How did you both go from that happily in love couple to being two people who weren’t even friends on social media. You’re friends with your orthodontist on Facebook but you weren’t friends with your ex on Facebook, so sad. Something about the way that you two have drifted from being the closest two people and then all of a sudden to not even really speaking, makes you upset. It is a tough pill to swallow.
You’re rationalizing everything about him that you used to complain about. You shouldn’t have nagged him for leaving his shorts on the floor and not taking you to see SATC 2 in theaters. You feel like you lost one of the very best things you ever had.
10 The Shock Of Seeing A Status
After going through his feed for six hours, you finally call it quits and go about your daily life. You need to shower, go to work, pay bills. You can’t spend the rest of your life stalking your ex, though that would be easy.
In your daily life, you forget about that whole feeling of missing him that overwhelmed you at first. You’re a modern girl. You’re too busy to sit around missing some dude you used to date. In your daily life, you scroll through your social media and you see something he posted – a status, a photo, a check in, a tweet. You stop dead in your scrolling. It’s weird to read something from his daily life. It’s weird to think of him as going on an living his life, even though you are no longer part of it.
Scrolling through his back-feed was one thing but knowing that he’s a happy hour at a bar twelve streets away from you seems like a weird nugget of information. You just have to accept that now that you’re friends with him on social media, you’ll end up knowing these minute details about his every day life.
9 Wanting To Comment On Said Status
Once the shock and awe of seeing his statuses, pictures or what have you wears off, you may suddenly feel the desire to comment on whatever it is he posts. It’s odd but the separation caused by seeing him moving on with his life may make you want to reach you. You may want to insert yourself into his life. You’re thinking, ‘Hey, what about me? Remember me, buddy?’ You may want to comment on his status about Game of Thrones, subtly bringing up an episode you two watched together. You may want to comment on his selfie, saying that you like his shirt because it’s a shirt you actually bought for him.
Whatever sparks this need, it’s a very You Oughta Know moment (“And I’m here to remind you/of the mess you left when you went away”). You just want to feel important still. You want to make sure he remembers you.
8 Missing Him: Part 2
The urge to comment on his post may bring the second wave of missing him. Now that you feel like there are so many comments you could leave on so many of his posts, you’re feeling like you two were so compatible all along. You remember the long conversations you used to have until 3 am. How much you had to say to each other. You remember the way you would text back and forth all day, never running out of super funny pictures. He was the first person you would call when anything exciting happened. You miss that banter. Does he miss it too?
You’re wondering why he hasn’t commented on any of your posts, they are so entertaining! Does he not feel the desire to reach out to you? Does he not miss you? Suddenly, you’re feel those old break up pangs. You feel alone, and unloved.
7 The Shock Of Seeing A Girl Comment/Like Something
Since you want to comment on his post, you may start paying more attention to the people who do comment on his posts. Shockingly, a girl comments something that seems flirty. She’s that pretty girl he worked with, who you feared was the Pam to his Jim. She’s a mutual friend, who you always thought he liked too much. She’s a stranger, who you’re not even sure how he met. Is he sleeping with her? Why are they commenting back and forth on this status? They could just be texting this stuff back and forth. Get a room, goddamn it.
Nobody wants to see this on their Newsfeed. You start to notice just how often she liked and comments on his stuff. It seems like she is stalking him. You fall into a hole of stalking her. You want to know all about this vixen, who is all over your ex-boyfriend on social media.
6 Not Missing Him At All
After seeing him be a little too friendly with someone else on social media, the nostalgia of having scrolled through his entire newsfeed evaporates. You remember that he had always been a bit too flirty with other girls even when he was dating you. You always hated that. That drove you crazy. The way he never remembered any of the characters’ names in Game of Thrones drove you absolutely crazy. The way he didn’t care about seeing the previews before the movies and the way he never once made his bed drove you crazy. His whole existence frustrated you to no end at once time and that feeling is rushing back to you.
How did you even date this guy? Why doesn’t he know the difference between two, too and to? Why does he write ‘lol’? You feel embarrassed for dating him, let alone secretly missing him for a second there. Glad all of that is over.
5 In Fact, You Kind Of Remember Why You Guys Broke Up
Ah, and just like that, the confusing haze of being friends with an ex on social media is totally lifted. You’ve remembered why you two didn’t work out. Even if you had a certain chemistry and a few things in common, in the long run, you didn’t have what it took to make it work. It wasn’t going to work out in the end. You two broke up for a reason and you’re okay with that.
Now, you can kind of look back fondly on the relationship, especially now that you’re friends on social media. Previously, it had bothered you that you weren’t even friends. Now that you’re friends, you feel like a mature functioning adult. The fact that you also feel some closure at this point also makes you feel like a very mature functioning adult. You think that maybe one day you could be… friends… in real life.
4 He’s In A New Relationship
Oh, hell no. How did this happen? How did he move on so quickly? Why are you friends with him to see all of this? He’s in a new relationship and made it Facebook official of all things. Facebook official! Is he going to marry her? He likes her enough to announce it to all of his social media friends. Does he know that you will see this? The nerve of this guy.
You still go out on Saturday nights with your girls, getting wasted then sleeping in until noon the next day. Sometimes you drink so much that you forget you ordered pizza and wake up to find 5 boxes of it laying on the night table next to you. The worst part is you even eat the pizza because you’re that hungover. Also, you’d never waste a good pizza. Your life is in shambles and here he is practically engaged. All of those joyous adult feelings that you felt disappear. Who were you kidding?
3 All The Stages Of Grief
Suddenly, you experience just about ever stage of grief possible.
You’re angry at him for moving on so quickly. What? Did he not love you as much as you loved him? Are you just oh so easy to get over?
There’s bargaining, sometimes with the guy upstairs or sometimes with the ex via a drunk text message. You promise to change if he comes back to you.
There’s denial. You refuse to believe that he’s in a new relationship, even if it’s on social media. You refuse to talk about it with friends. You refuse to think that he may feel just as strongly about her as he did about you. There’s no way. He loved you more. You just know it.
Seeing an ex in a new relationship on social media can throw you through a loop, even if you seemed to be doing so well. We all relapse. It’s part of the process.
2 Coming To Terms
At this point, you’ve experienced just about every emotion in the spectrum of being friends with an ex on social media. You’ve seen that he’s moved on with his life, not only in terms of seeing movies without you now but also in terms of being in a whole new relationship and possibly getting married soon. You’ve slowly become okay with seeing him check into a restaurant with his new girlfriend – even if it’s a place you used to go with him, hell a place that you introduced to him. It stung at first for sure, but it hurts less every single time you see him post about her. You are definitely getting used to the fact that he has moved on.
You’re just going to have to come to terms with him having his own life after the break up. People keep on living, even if they aren’t in your life anymore.
How did you get to this place? Suddenly, you’re fine with everything. The sheer shock and force of seeing that your ex is alive, well, and happily moving on jolted an acceptance through your body, an acceptance that before seemed impossible. You no longer stop and stare at his posts and then spend hours dissecting his every action. Now he is just part of what you see while scrolling through your newsfeed. You may even comment or like something he posts, not for any other reason than to be friendly. You’re on your way to being friends with your ex and it all started with being friends on social media. You thank the social media gods for giving you this little olive branch that you could give to your ex. You’ve accepted the break up in its entirety. Girl, you are so mature.