Breaking up is never fun, even if it’s mutual. Moving on is hard—not only do you have to leave behind the past, but you have to part with the future you’re no longer going to have with that person. So how does one grieve the loss of a lover, a friend and a future they are no longer going to have?
For starters, you can take all steps to take make sure reminders of your ex don’t show up as often as they used too. So, perhaps delete their number from your phone, delete the pictures you had, digital or otherwise, find new friends to hang out it and don’t circle around theirs and last but not least, delete them from your social media accounts.
Related reading: 3 Reasons Your Smartphone Could Be Ruining Your Relationship
The latter is no easy task and might in fact seem like the hardest. You might feel that keeping them as a friend is the ‘mature’ thing to do, but according to a study called Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking if you truly see no future with the person, it may actually be better for your own health to remove them from all social media ties.
In fact the study claims that creeping on your ex via social media isn’t healthy for you.
For most participants, “these findings suggest that continued online exposure to an ex-romantic partner may inhibit post breakup recovery and growth,” the study suggests. “Even after accounting for the contribution of offline exposure and well-established personality and relational predictors.” The reason being that continuing to stay friends on Facebook ended up in “frequent monitoring of an ex-partner’s Facebook page and list of friends,” which eventually led to “greater current distress over the breakup, negative feelings, sexual desire, longing for the ex-partner, and lower personal growth.”
Read: 7 Ways to Channel Your Inner Rage During a Breakup
Hitting the unfollow button or de-friending your ex might seem hard but there is proof now that it is most likely the best option for you to keep from snooping into your ex’s life. Making it easier for you to make room for someone new to enter your life when you are ready. Constantly reminding yourself of an ex can end up making you miserable; especially if you see that they have moved on with someone else. The people who spent more time clicking through their ex’s pages had a harder time moving on and had a higher chance of ‘hooking up’ with them again, just to fill the void.
So to prevent returning to the ex out of desperation and to save yourself a lot of potential heartache, be bold enough to unfriend your ex. Start to create a new universe for yourself and you never know who might stumble upon it.