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Why Are We So Afraid To Unfriend Our Exes?

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We were chatting with a friend of ours the other day when she mentioned Facebook suggested she should write on her cheating ex’s wall for his birthday. How thoughtful of Facebook to remind her of his existence, right? For a hot minute, we wanted to yell at her for still being Facebook friends with the jerk…until we realized that we are both guilty of the same offense. We got to thinking–why are girls so reluctant to cut the digital ties when a relationship ends?

You want to be the “bigger” person. For some reason, we have it in our head that disconnecting from someone we are no longer with (unfriending him on Facebook, unfollowing him on Twitter and Instagram, deleting him as a Snapchat friend) is somehow a sign of weakness or bitchiness. Using some kind of twisted girl logic, we care more about what some dude we no longer date thinks than we do about our own self-preservation. If we’re honest with ourselves, every little thing we see that could possibly mean he’s moved on, such as a new girl in an Instagram picture, a flirty tweet, or a Snapchat story of him dancing with some girl, is like a stab in the heart. Yet we endure that agony because we think it’s better than him thinking less of us. If you stop to think about it, what seems more crazy: unfriending or torturing ourselves?

You want to keep tabs. But, you ask, “How will I know what he’s doing if I cut all of the digital ties?” Well, one of us fell down a rabbit hole the other night. She noticed her ex had become friends with a girl on Facebook. Then she looked at his Snapchat and one of his “best friends” had this girl’s last name in the username. Armed with those two pieces of information, within 10 minutes, she knew everything about this girl from where she worked to what was on her wedding Pinterest board (by the way, she has no taste) to the book her book club read this month. Don’t judge, we’ve all done it. But the question is, to what end? Is having all this knowledge going to stop him from dating this other girl? Of course not. Yet, we continue to engage in this self-torture, which serves no purpose except to drive us absolutely crazy.

You are holding out hope. If the decision wasn’t yours to break up (or even if it was) there is usually some voice in the back of your mind telling you that if you stay connected in some way (in this case, via social media) there is a shred of hope that you may get back together and it will all work out in the end. We are hesitant to break that last connection we have because it feels like if we do, there will be no hope of reconnection. But the truth is, if you’re meant to get back together with someone, you will, whether you follow him on Instagram or not. Girls also have this weird belief that maybe if he sees how much fun we are having without him–“Oh, look at how much fun she’s having in that Instagram picture! She looks incredibly hot. Wait, is she hugging another dude?”–he’s going to suddenly realize how much he loves and misses us and come running back. Trust us, this tactic rarely ever works.

But on the flip side… A few weeks ago, a guy one of us had gone on a few Tinder dates with suddenly unmatched her and she never heard from him again. Clearly, this was the chicken-shit way out. But interestingly, it was also freeing. When she no longer had the ability to see how many miles away he was and the last time he was online, it became much easier to just say fuck it and move on. So maybe all of us can learn a lesson from the asshole Tinder guy. When it’s over, cut the ties, stop the crazy, and move on.

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Jenna Crowley

Jenna used to be known as 2NOTBrokeGirls, but then one of the girls actually went broke, so she's struck out on her own. Jenna spends her free time saving the world, one sorority girl at a time (usually while wearing yoga pants), questioning why she decided to get a doctorate, and documenting her love of all things cheese related. You can ask her anything you want about football, using your boobs to get what you want, and pizza at @JennaLCrowley on Twitter or via email at JennaLCrowley@gmail.com.

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