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Spying on ex's social media - since my breakup I can't stop from monitoring. Is that okay?

305 Answers
Last Updated: 10/08/2019 at 7:03am
★ This question about Breakups was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Brenda King, PsyD


I treat life changes, women’s issues, and issues of aging using evidence-based treatments with healthy doses of warmth, empathy and humor to enhance healing and growth.

Top Rated Answers
September 28th, 2014 5:32am
I wonder what you are feeling at the time when you see his pictures and stories? its not uncommon to want to know what the ex is doing but really it comes down to why. Are you still in love with them ? Do you want to try and get back together ? Are you jealous they might have found someone or are happy ? really I think right now its a good idea to focus on you rather than the ex and decide what you want in your life, and perhaps start making some plans for that direction
January 1st, 2016 8:20pm
This is totally normal, but extremely harmful to your own mental health. The problem with social media is that we only put our best, happiest and brightest moments. We are particularly susceptible to harm of this effect when we ourselves are in a bad place because we get an extremely skewed perspective that everyone else is 'so much happier and more together'. Breakups are really tough for everyone, but they can also be the most perfect and beautiful excuse to be a little selfish and just focus on you and what makes you happy. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and you'll be surprised at how much you can love yourself when you learn how great you can be :)
December 30th, 2015 3:58pm
do it if you want to. do as much as you want and one day you'll get bored and realise this is so nonsense and that will be the same day his name doesn't effect you anymore.
September 16th, 2014 12:02pm
It will cause you stress, and you will keep your mind on your ex-partner and their behavior. In my experience, if you don't give yourself a break from this, it will be much harder to get over the break-up. The best thing you can do for you to heal is to go 'no-contact'. Ask your friends not to discuss your ex with you, remove/block any notifications from them, block yourself from being able to look at their online life. Do this for at least a month or so to give yourself the chance to heal some more. It will be very tempting to contact them, but isn't it more important that you can get past this? Good luck and take care! You can do it!
September 16th, 2014 10:13pm
No, it just brings up old feelings and doesn't allow you to move on from the relationship. Seeing what they're up to every once and awhile is fine, especially if you are still friends. Otherwise, it just makes the breakup more difficult for you.
March 19th, 2015 9:41pm
It's normal to still want to feel connected to the person you spent so much time with. Many of us have resorted to spying on an ex significant other or friend in order to be close and keep lookout. Going from being the first to know something to the last is hard to adjust to. It hurts to think of them moving on, but it feels even worse when we witness it. Think about your emotional and mental health and reassess whether or not this is something you should keep doing. Although, by asking this question, it seems like you may already know the answer.
October 25th, 2014 4:56pm
Always keeping up with what they are doing will only cause you more pain. It's best to just try your best to let go even if it feels like you are going to die. Think about it, out of sight out of mind. If you don't keep up with them, then you won't know what they are doing, and therefore it will save you a lot of tears and pain.
October 4th, 2014 9:56pm
Do you think its helping you? To bring sadness to yourself its not a good idea, its bad for you, dont you think?
October 4th, 2014 5:49pm
After my last break up i did that as well but I learned that by doing that I wasn't moving on. I might have even seen some things I didn't want to see and wouldn't have seen if I wasn't spying.
October 8th, 2014 1:34pm
You shouldn't be spying on your ex. If you want to speak to him or try and see how hes doing, why dont you take a chance and talk to him in person? It couldnt hurt to try and be friends with him :)
August 31st, 2015 11:57pm
Well i'll tell you from personal experience that it's okay, i've done the same thing you have done, you'll get over it eventually, you just have to give it time
October 30th, 2014 2:31pm
Doing so will only feed the sad and negative feelings you have. It's better to not dwell and to go outside to take your mind off of your ex and do the things that you enjoy and love.
June 17th, 2015 6:59am
Ethically - sure it's okay. I wouldn't necessarily describe looking at his social media updates as "spying," as your ex is knowingly & willfully putting whatever you're looking at out there on the internet for everyone (including you) to see. Emotionally - maybe not, but that's up to you. Is monitoring his profiles taking up an excessive amount of your time that could be better spent on more productive activities? Is seeing a fun status update or photo he posts causing you to feel jealous & insecure? If you feel that doing this is negatively impacting your life & preventing you from moving on after the breakup then this behavior may be harmful for your emotional well-being. It's a difficult first step but ultimately the easiest way to resist the temptation to "spy" is to remove yourself from the situation - block or unfollow his accounts. As the old saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind."
November 6th, 2014 3:00am
It's natural that you would be curious as to what your ex might be doing. Time will help heal you, and I think when you pass the point in which you truly care about what he/she is doing, you'll stop. Is it okay? I can't answer that. Will you overcome it? Yes, yes you will.
November 13th, 2014 5:04am
from personal experience i would reccomend not spying on your ex's profile because then you are re living all of the horrible memories you went through which will make you upset or the great memories which will also make you upset. An ex is an ex for a reason and especially if your trying to get over them leave your ex in the past .
January 1st, 2016 10:43pm
No, that's not okay and it's also not healthy for you. Supposing you check out your ex's social media, and all you see is them having a good time and being themselves. It will only depress or anger you that they've managed to get on with their life without you in it while you are still recovering from your breakup. This will only lengthen and worsen the process.
October 16th, 2014 9:48pm
From personal experience, it is not okay. Every person needs time to heal from a breakup, and monitoring social media can cause reflections of the past and that can lead to hurt emotions.
November 2nd, 2014 11:10pm
Whether it's ok or not isn't clear cut- but it's definitely not healthy in getting over them. It's a lot more common than you think- don't feel guilty about it. Just know that it's only going to make it hurt more and do no thing towards easing your suffering. Best case scenario if it's really over, is to delete/block/unfriend them and deal with the initial pain. It will get better with time, I promise.
December 23rd, 2015 1:09pm
you will have a difficult time moving forward. It is absolutely necessary for you to get past your obsession for which you will need to sit down and reflect on why you are doing such things.
December 23rd, 2015 10:59pm
well what to say?? spying on your ex after break up on social media handles is like you are looking at the spoiled ice cream on road and still wants to pick it us. its truly useless.
December 24th, 2015 10:52pm
yes that is ok. it is natural to see if he/she is involved with anyone else, its hard to help it, just follow your instincts
October 23rd, 2016 4:21pm
I think the important question to ask and be honest with yourself, is how does it make you feel, or how will it make you feel, finding something you don't like? Example, seeing a picture of your ex with somebody else, or seeing your ex looking happy without you. You can misinterpret both those situations, think the pic with sombody else is somebody your ex is interested in or seeing him happy may make you think he has moved on. The thing with social media is that it's just a small sliver into a person's life, and only allows you to see what the person wants you to see, and in the they want you to see it, creating an illusion of their life. This can be a really unhealthy habit if it doesn't make you feel good. And it may not allow you to accept the situation and move on with your life. Think about slowly reducing the number of times you check, busy yourself, make it hard for you to access your ex's social media, or go cold turkey and block and delete. It will be hard but worth it, and will make you feel better in the long run. Good luck!
October 18th, 2014 12:26am
Okay well that's up in the air. Normal definitely I would imagine we all do it a little but sooner or later you have to stop because it can become unhealthy you have to be able to move on to the next phase of your life
October 22nd, 2014 5:32pm
Typically, no. This is not an acceptable thing to do. Best bet is to delete her as a friend and then you won't have access to all her info so easy.
November 2nd, 2014 8:36pm
If you are looking at your ex's social media to find out what they are doing: who they are talking to, where they are going, what they are doing, and you feel that it is hindering your ability to move on, then don't do it. Based on the word you used here – "spying," you must feel guilty about it, and feel that it must be kept hidden. You know it is wrong. If you need to, remove your ex from your social media accounts.
February 15th, 2018 5:37am
No, not at all. It means that you are still forcing yourself into their life even though they are out of yours.
June 4th, 2018 9:21pm
Not necessarily bad but it is very unhealthy. Monitoring someone after a break-up keeps them close to us, even when they do not want us. It only adds to the pain and desire of wanting them back.
October 23rd, 2014 9:30am
It isn't. And to move on, you have to move away from this. It can be really difficult but gets easier over time. Start caring for yourself and do things that make you feel good like grooming yourself, hanging out with friends, playing a sport... whatever works for you. As you build your Life back... you'll see it's easier to deal with that urge.
October 8th, 2014 12:58am
Is it really the okay-ness that matters to you? Your behavior isnt exactly socially acceptable. It probably wont be easy for you to move on if you keep exposing yourself to them. Developing an obsession also wont be healthy for you or your ex. Perhaps its best to find another hobby, something that occupies your mind entirely, so you wont even think of checking for your ex's latest tweets.
November 20th, 2014 7:22am
That's not productive, and in my opinion leads to more heartache and makes it harder for a person to move on.