No matter the reasoning or who was the person who prompted the split, going through a breakup from a significant other can be mentally draining — especially in today’s digital age.
With social profiles available to browse through at any time of day or night, a breakup can be even harder when you discover that your ex is still following your friends on social media.
Curious as to what their reasoning may be for following your friends? Read on to discover why.
Why is my ex following my friends on Instagram?
With roughly one billion monthly active users on Instagram, it is very likely that your ex and your friends all have Instagram profiles.
Whether your ex follows 500 profiles or 5,000 profiles, one (or more) person that they follow may include your friends.
Why is my ex following my friends on Facebook?
Facebook is mostly used by people between the ages of 25 to 34.
In fact, this age group makes up 25% of all users on this social media platform.
If you and your ex fall in this age range, it may be more likely that they had Facebook friended some of your friends while you were together.
Why is my ex following my friends on TikTok?
TikTok is available in over 150 countries and, like Instagram, has about 1 billion monthly users.
More than half of all users are between the ages of 16 to 24, which makes it likely that your ex may be following your friends on this social media platform if you are both in this age range as well.
7 reasons your ex is still following your friends on social media
No matter what the social media sites are that your ex continues to follow your friends on, it can be frustrating and overall annoying to see.
If you can’t seem to wrap your head around why your ex is following your friends, we have some ideas. Below are 7 possibilities of why your ex still follows your friends’ social media profiles.
1) They want to keep tabs on what you’re up to
It’s very likely that your closest friends may post on their social media profiles when they are hanging out with you. And who may want to be able to keep tabs on what you are up to when you spend time with a said friend?
Even if they have you blocked on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or any other social profiles, that doesn’t mean they don’t still want to see you on there.
Though they may want to act as if they do not care or want to know what you are up to, deep down they still would like some reminders of you.
It’s an easy connection to make that your ex can see what you’re doing (at least some of the time) by following the friends that you spend most of your time with on social media.
And why would they care what you are doing? Well, maybe they still care about you and have you on their mind quite often.
Which leads to…
2) They think there’s a chance you might get back together
If your ex isn’t totally over you, maybe they believe in their heart that they can win you back.
If they want to get back together with you, then they won’t be in a rush to stop following your friends, right?
It’s been reported that half of all couples get back together after breaking up, so it’s up to the flip of a coin whether your past significant other can become your future S.O. as well.
Your friends know you best. You trust them and spend a lot of time with them. So a smart ex would know that the best way to get through to you may be through talking to your friend to put in a good word.
3) They still care about you
Even if your ex doesn’t want to get back together with you or look at every little thing you are doing at every given moment, they can still have love in their heart for you.
Continuing to directly follow you on social media may be too constant of a reminder of you, but your friends don’t hit quite as hard.
By following your friends, your ex has a slight reminder of your time together, as well as the option of coming across a photo of you from time to time.
And hey, maybe this is something that makes them smile with fond memories. Is that so bad?
4) They still want to be friends with your friends (or family)
Even if your ex doesn’t plan on dating you again, maybe they do want to date someone…
Now, maybe they don’t even want to “date” your friend in a romantic way. There is still a possibility that they want to stay platonically close with one or more of your friends.
If you and your ex dated for a long time, or if you spent a lot of time with some of your friends, it is quite possible that your ex became close to your friend group. Maybe they still consider your friends their friends.
Though you know your friends are loyal to you, perhaps your ex believes there is a possibility of their friendship continuing past your relationship.
Research shows that about 60% of all people maintain some sort of friendship with their exes after a breakup, so who’s to say how many stay friends with their exes’ friends?
Just like with your friends, if your ex was close to your family, they may even have a hard time letting go of that “extended family” they had when they were with you.
Maybe they want to still interact with them, since your breakup caused this friend and family breakup to also occur for your ex, too.
Some experts say that staying friends with an exes’ family after a breakup depends on a number of factors, like how close they were before the breakup, how civilized the breakup was, if there are shared family members (like your ex being the mother or father of your parents’ grandchildren), and how you feel about them having a relationship.
If your ex staying friends with one or more of your friends or family members doesn’t sound appealing to you, then it’s time to have a conversation with said friends to layout your boundaries.
Ultimately, it is up to you to speak your mind to those closest to you.
5) They are insecure or a narcissist
According to Mayo Clinic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is:
“A mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.”
Though a narcissist looks for attention and seems overly confident, this disorder really stems from an extreme lack of self-confidence.
Symptoms may include an exaggerated sense of self-importance or sense of entitlement, needing excessive attention and adoration, taking advantage of others to get what they want, an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others, and being envious of others or believing others are envious of them.
If you think your ex exudes some of these qualities, they might still be following your friends on social media to gain attention from them — or form you through them.
Your ex most likely knows that their “like” or comment on your friends’ posts will be seen by you, therefore getting your attention. Their lack of empathy also shows that they do not care how you may feel about their behavior.
Maybe this person’s insecurities, lack of empathy, or sense of narcissism was a reason that you broke up in the first place.
If this sounds like your ex-partner, then trying to talk to them about their behavior is probably out of the question.
Don’t take what they do or say personally, and do not let them take up your brain space to figure out their reasoning for following your friends.
6) They are on a social media hiatus
Though our reasons above suggest the opposite…maybe your ex really doesn’t have any ulterior motives for following your friends.
Seriously, hear us out.
Breakups are even tougher nowadays with the world right at our fingertips. It is possible your ex has taken a break from social media so that they do not need to see what you are up to.
Maybe they noticed that they were looking at your or your friends’ social media profiles too much and put a stop to it themselves.
A study by psychologist Tara Marshall, PhD found that:
“Social media stalking is associated with greater distress over the breakup, more negative feelings, sexual desire and longing for the ex-partner, and lower personal growth.”
If your ex has realized that being on social media means that they may come across you, or that others may notice they are not in a relationship anymore, they could be avoiding these sites altogether for their mental wellbeing.
This means they haven’t thought deeper into who they are following or not following, if they are not even checking their social media at all.
If you see that your ex follows your friends but doesn’t seem to interact by looking at their stories, “liking”, or commenting on their recent posts since your breakup, then a break from social media may be the reasoning.
7) They simply forgot to unfollow your friend
Not everyone thinks (or overthinks) about everything so deeply. Sometimes it may be as easy as “I forgot.”
How active is your friend on social media? How active is your ex on social media?
If your ex is not a huge social media person, and/or your friend does not post quite often on social media either, it is possible that your ex hasn’t realized they still follow your friend.
Or, who knows — maybe your ex or friend is super active on their socials. What then?
Well, social media algorithms are a real thing. If your ex doesn’t often look at or interact with your friend on social media, they may not even see their posts often.
If this is the case, they can easily have forgotten that they never hit that “unfollow” button.
The best advice?
Ask your friend to block or unfollow your ex, so that you don’t have to think about it anymore.
Get your ex to stop following your friends
No matter the reason your ex is still following your friends on social media, overthinking it probably isn’t doing you any favors.
Talk to your friends and family about what’s going on, and ask them to help you feel better by blocking, unfriending, or unfollowing your ex.
This way, you do not need to worry about what your ex is up to anymore and you can also clear the air and explain your feelings to those closest to you.
Now once that is done, it’s time to get off social media and get out IRL to meet someone new! Good luck.