In the early 2000s, dealing with a breakup meant packing up all of the photos and mementos from your relationship, throwing them in a box, and hiding it all away in your closet. In 2020, however, recovering from heartbreak often looks more like establishing some boundaries from your ex’s social media. Whether you turn your phone off or put your old boo on mute, knowing how to digitally disconnect from your ex after a breakup can help you start to heal ASAP.
“After a breakup, I always recommend my clients start with removing all of the emotional triggers around them,” Pricilla Martinez, CEO of Regroop Life Coaching, tells us. “Nothing is more detrimental to your healing than thinking your ex moved on from you when you’re still in the middle of dealing with all of your pain.”
According to Martinez, looking at your ex’s social media can give you the impression that your ex wasn’t affected by your breakup as much as you were. While everyone handles heartbreak differently, no one wants to feel like they’re competing for the title of “Who Cares The Least.”
If you need to recharge after heartbreak, here are 12 tips to digitally disconnect from your ex.
1. Limit Your Contact With Them
For Trina Leckie, host of Breakup BOOST podcast, the best way to disconnect after a breakup is to limit all the digital contact you have with your ex, from texting and calling to looking at their social media. “You have to accept that the relationship has come to an end and make your healing the priority,” Leckie tells us. “When you keep someone top of mind, you don’t give yourself a chance to distance yourself to get your emotions in check and get the clarity you need.”
2. Mute Their Account
If you find you keep peeking on your ex’s page or you can’t resist clicking on notifications from them, Martinez suggests putting your ex on mute. “I would say you should mute their account until you are fully ready to unfollow them,” Martinez says. “If you aren’t ready to completely cut them off, mute their account, so it doesn’t pop up on your feed.” Putting their texts on “Do Not Disturb” may also help you, so you don’t get a notification if they do reach out, and can choose to respond on your own time when and if you feel ready to.
3. Consider Unfollowing Them
If you’re still following your ex after a breakup, it can be easy to catch yourself lurking on their page a little bit or overthinking everything they’re up to. As Martinez shares, showing your ex the digital door, (i.e., unfriending or unfollowing them on social media) can help you get some final closure. “If you’re not interested in having a connection with this person, then why follow them?” Martinez says. “If you really want to close that chapter, you don’t need an update on their next partner, their job, or what they had for dinner.”
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Block Them
If your relationship ended badly and you never want to talk to your ex again, or you’re really struggling to get over the heartache, Leckie says it’s OK to fully block your ex from social media and from texting or calling. “The goal is out of sight, out mind,” Leckie says. “That way, you aren’t tempted to check on them, and you won’t constantly be wondering if you are going to hear from them.”
5. Archive Your Pics (Or Fully Delete Them)
Honestly, bless Instagram’s archiving feature. If you’re tired of seeing old couples pics of you and your ex but aren’t quite ready to delete everything, archiving your photos is the IG equivalent of throwing a box under the bed. You don’t have to see it, but it’s not gone forever. Of course, if you’re really feeling done, it’s OK to delete photos, too.
6. Kick Them Off Your Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu Account
If you and your boo shared a bunch of online accounts, consider this the time to change all your passwords. You don’t need to see what movies they’re watching or what annoying things they’re buying on Amazon Prime.
7. Stop Sharing Your Location
Seeing that your ex is getting sushi at that place that you told them about is just going to make you upset. Disconnect from Find My Friends, Snapchat’s Snap Map, or anything else that tells you exactly where they are.
8. Unfollow Or Mute Their Friends
Know what you don’t need to see? Your ex’s best friend’s IG Story of your ex out at the “club.” If you follow a bunch of your ex’s pals, consider unfollowing or muting them for a while. Or forever.
9. Unfriend Them On Venmo
You may think this is extra, but what’s really extra is going on Venmo to pay your roomie for your electricity bill and seeing your ex Venmoing that person you always used to fight about (because they would flirt in front of you) for “drinks” at your favorite bar.
10. Get Them Off All Your Astrology Apps
I don’t care what Co-Star says, they are not your perfect match, and you don’t need to see what intentions they are setting for today.
11. Unfollow Their Spotify
You may have forgotten that you even followed them on Spotify, but you will always remember spitting out your coffee at work when a playlist titled “Screw My Ex” came up in your Spotify friend activity.
12. Don’t Forget Finstas
Your Finsta, their Finsta, their friends’ Finstas… when you start muting or unfollowing, don’t forget about everyone’s second account. You won’t regret it.
Recovering from a breakup can be hard for everyone. Still, getting some digital distance from your ex can help you heal faster. And sometimes, emotionally recharging means letting your phone die for a bit.
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