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Are You Still Facebook Friends with your Ex?

By Jill Vermeire, Therapist at The Meadows Outpatient Center

What’s one of the first things people do when they break up with someone?

These days the most common answer is, “Check his or her Facebook page,” right?

So why do we do this? Why do we torture ourselves? Why is it so hard to delete them and start working on healing and moving forward?

Long, long ago, in the ancient olden days before Facebook, texting—even before the internets—when two people broke up the only way to remain in touch was to…

A) Ask their friends about them,
B) Call (and often hang up—until Caller ID was invented) or
C) Drive by their house (also known as “stalking.”)

There were no “check their status” or “see who posted on their wall” options. (Technically, this could also be called “stalking.”) Unfortunately, what modern technology can do is cause us to obsess more, feel jealous more, and stay stuck in the past.

In Order to Grieve, You Must Let Go

One of the first recommendations I make to a client going through a break up is to delete that person from everywhere: Facebook, Contacts, LinkedIn, Twitter… all of it.

Often, my client will say, “But won’t they think I’m being mean and vindictive?”

Okay…first of all…who cares? They are your EX. When someone is your ex they no longer have the right to know anything about your life (Nor do you have a right to know anything about theirs). Secondly, you aren’t doing it TO them, you’re doing it FOR YOU. It’s for you to let go, for you to grieve, for you to move on.

A loss is anything we must say goodbye to. We must grieve those things we lose, and we cannot grieve something we have not let go of.

In order to heal and move forward, you MUST allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship. By hanging on to access to their Facebook updates you are only making it worse for yourself. You are keeping yourself stuck in that awful, yucky place of “in between,” not together, but not really completely apart.

Fear Keeps You Stuck

Fear is what keeps us stuck in the yucky place. Fear of “What if?” What if I never find anyone? What if they move on to another relationship? What if I could change and get them back? What if it was a mistake?

What if, what if, what if?

How do you get away from the “What If’s? ”Well… If you believe that fear is what keeps you there, then you must try to shift to the opposite of fear: faith. I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about faith in anything.

Faith in yourself. Faith that the universe will provide. Faith that it’s an abundant world. Fear and faith are exact opposites. If you are having trouble moving forward, consider that you might benefit from a little faith to get you out of fear, which will also get you away from the” What If’s”.

So let’s review.

Facebook with your ex = Fear.

Deleting and moving forward = Faith.

The letting go, grieving, healing, and moving forward parts? Let those who want to help you do so. Seek support. Find healthy people and healthy activities to stay busy with. Go on a trip. Practice self-care. And whatever you do, don’t check your ex’s Facebook page. Delete it and block it. Treat it like detox from a drug. One day at a time. You can do it. Have some faith.

Try a Rio Retreat Center Workshop

If you’re finding it impossible to move on from a break-up, there may be deeper emotional issues at play. The Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows has five-day workshops available that can help you break free of unhealthy patterns and learn how to build real love and intimacy. Love Addiction/ Love Avoidance and Journey of a Woman’s Heart are two such options. For more information call 800-244-4949 or visit www.rioretreatcenter.com.

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