It’s the weekend. The weather is literally perfect and the sun is rising. You have your warm coffee next to you. You’re checking your emails, feeling refreshed and ready to start your day, but you decide to check Facebook one last time before you close your computer and then you see it…
Your ex just posted a picture from last night with her friends and some guy in the background that you don’t know. You start to wonder who he is, if maybe that’s why you aren’t together. You begin to question whether you were good enough in the relationship.
This way of thinking is painful, I’ve been there. But it can change. That’s why I’ve written this in depth article to guide you.
Let’s jump right into the meat.
SHORT ANSWER: No, you don’t delete.
LONG ANSWER: Read below for a personal case study and my tested word-for-word scripts on how to handle this situation and what you should do.
I love and hate social media during a breakup. Social media is fantastic about promoting the life you currently live, but it means that this power (intentionally or not) can also be used against you.
Case study: How deleting them can backfire
When I went through my breakup, I made the mistake of deleting my ex out of haste. That was an emotional decision, one that I looked back on soon after and questioned. You don’t want to put yourself in this position, because re-adding them just looks retarded. It does.
Deleting them = you don’t have control over your emotions
You would be showing that they had A HUGE IMPACT on your life and you can’t live without them.
This isn’t attractive. She wants to know that you can live without her. I didn’t show that by reacting emotionally.
She wants a man. Men are supposed to have a grasp of their emotions. You are signaling that you don’t and she will replace you as the male in this interaction.
I made this mistake and you shouldn’t.
Recall that you are focusing on you now, not her. Seeing her selfies and what she’s doing with her friends is pointless. You need space to recover, before you reach out to her again.
THIS IS WHAT YOU DO: Don’t look at their profile. It’s that simple (I’ll explain why in a bit).
Now, what’s going to happen is that she will probably come to the conclusion that you stopped looking/liking her posts, stories, pictures, whatever. Since you guys were close at one point, she probably has no problems asking why you are being weird.
The “secret” is how you answer — the right way.
See, most people stumble on this part. They panic or say something that’s inconsistent with their actions.
“Uhh oh yea…I’ve been busy and didn’t know you posted something, but like…yea why did you post something cool or something?”
You sound like an idiot. She doesn’t want to be with you, of course she KNOWS you look at her stuff. Don’t do this.
Note about consistency: A person whose words don’t match may be seen as indecisive or confused. However, a high degree of consistency is associated with personal and intellectual strength.
It is honesty, rationality and stability all combined into one.
Introducing, the I Respect Your Wish script
The I Respect Your Wish script is about letting them know that you are doing this for you (by respecting their wish and making them remember the weight of their decision). Remember, they said they don’t want to be with you. They aren’t convinced. They aren’t sure. So you owe her…nothing.
So, how do you let her know you are fine with her decision without showing you are hurt or acting emotional?
Entering the I Respect Your Wish technique:
Ex: Did you really just stop looking/liking my pictures/posts on XYZ?
You: Listen, I respect your wish of not being together, but I want to move on. It’s nothing personal, but seeing your pictures will slow down this process. Thanks for understanding.
[PAYAM’S ANALYSIS: “Thanks for understanding.” Notice how we answered the question, but we don’t care to dive deeper into it. You are being polite, but standoffish. This is an insanely powerful combination.]
Ex: Ok? But it’s just social media.
You: I understand, but I want to focus on myself now and not be distracted.
[PAYAM’S ANALYSIS: See how we are basically just saying the same thing but rewording it. As long as you stay consistent with your message, you can keep repeating the same thing just by changing a few words.]
Ex: That doesn’t make sense, but whatever.
You: I know, but this is what I want for myself.
[PAYAM’S ANALYSIS: Again, rewording our first point. This time, shifting the focus on yourself. If I broke up with my gf and she said this to me, my respect for her would rise exponentially. She’s putting herself above me? WOW. That’s admirable and now I’m wondering if I did the right thing.]
Ex: I don’t understand why you are being weird, we can be friends. You aren’t the same as before.
You: The same as what? Well, that’s not us anymore.
[PAYAM’S ANALYSIS: We are reminding them that there is a big difference between being together and not being together. They will feel that. They wanted to have their cake and eat it too, but you are showing them they can’t.]
Tailor it to your situation: This is just an example. You can use whatever reason you have and spin your own lingo on it. Just stay consistent and reword what you are saying.
Analyzing the effect of the I Respect Your Wish technique
She’s not going to have any reason to be mad. Why? Because:
- You are putting your feelings and yourself first. If she’s mad at that, then do you want to date her anyways?
- You just said you respected her wish, which is a very strong sign of maturity. You want to move on. Letting her know that this is FOR REAL.
- If she was unsure about whether she made the right decision or thought she could get you back at an instant, you just told her what’s up.
Perhaps what I love most about this entire sequence of exchanged messages is the bigger picture. You have switched some power back to your direction and upped your value.
Clearly she see’s that you are being different, thinks you overreacted and may not want to lose you on social media.
But, you don’t care.
You are doing what’s right for you this time. You are MAKING THE DECISION. You are being proactive, not reactive. Something she may not be used to dealing with.
After executing the I Respect Your Wish technique
“But Payam, did I do the right thing…”
Right now many of us are thinking. “But Payam, you schmuck, you don’t understand…my ex is different. What we had was real and she’s not the type to play games.”
These reactions are expected and normal. Every micro decision you make during this time period is going to be scrutinized, just make sure you don’t do any of these things.I want to be ultra clear about something here
Do NOT under any circumstances look at your ex’s profile. She can easily test your backbone by throwing up happy pictures or pictures with another guy, whatever.
This can backfire easily, because you have no idea of what the real intention is. Spending that mental and physical energy on guessing, is just dumb. Don’t look.
Trust the system, stay consistent and focus on self improvement.
To do today
Since each platform is different, I’ve outlined the easiest way to handle each of the popular platforms.
Facebook: Hide your ex now. Do it. Here are step-by-step instructions if you don’t know how.
Instagram: If you are addicted to Instagram (like I am), just delete the app or don’t go on it as often. Since you don’t want to delete your ex, you can’t control when her next post appears. If you don’t have the willpower to not look at your instagram as much, just delete the app.
When you are ready to upload a new pic, download the app, upload and repeat. Silly? Yes, it is. So, is not being able to go on an app as often.
Snapchat: Same as instagram. Reduce frequency. If you used to always look at her stories, stop.
Twitter: Don’t unfollow.
Payam Pakmanesh, founder and writer of getyourexback.co is fanatical about self-improvement and growing as a person. Sign up for his newsletter and receive a free copy of his e-book “Get Your Ex Back: 5 Texts You Should Never, Ever Send.” Learn how he went from feeling lost & thinking about his ex constantly, to making it her idea to be together again.