Dating Why you need to 'unfriend' your ex

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Why you need to ‘unfriend’ your ex

Recently, a friend of mine confessed she was addicted to stalking her ex. It wasn’t that she was following him around Sydney, covertly tracing his every move under the cover of darkness. No, she was stalking him through Facebook.

They’d broken up more than a month ago, but the Ex had left his Facebook account logged in on my girlfriend’s laptop, and, since the breakup, not a night had gone by when she wouldn’t sit down and secretly scavenge his account. Who was he emailing? Had he moved on? There seemed to be an endless list of questions my girlfriend thought she could answer by trawling his feed.

But this addiction is not only a waste of your precious time, new research has confirmed that, by using Facebook to spy on your former flames, you’re running the risk of causing yourself real psychological damage.

Even if your own ex is sensible enough to log out of their account and change their password, it can be hard to resist clicking on the profile of an ex-partner when their face appears in your timeline. But when their most recent photos of a romantic weekend appear, their arms wrapped around their latest love, the heartbreak you feel can be very real.

And Facebook isn’t the only culprit. Twitter, Instagram and other photo sharing sites such as Pinterest, mean there are plenty of ways to run into your ex without even coming face to face.

Dr Tara Marshall from Brunell University in the UK who led the study believes this constant surveillance makes it much harder to accept the end of a relationship and move on.

She found that those who remained ‘friends’ with the ex on Facebook experienced more distress than those who immediately ‘unfriended’ their ex partner.

‘Overall, these findings suggest that exposure to an ex-partner through Facebook may obstruct the process of healing after a relationship,’ she says.

What about you? Did you ‘unfriend’ your ex? Or are you comfortable seeing his goings on on Facebook? Have you ever succumbed to stalking your ex online?

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About the Author

Lizzy has more than ten years’ experience in the print and digital publishing arena and is the Editor at Single File. Having moved from the UK to Australia in 2008, Lizzy has worked for a number of leading publishers in Sydney and has particular expertise in the health, wellness and travel markets. If you have any questions for Lizzy, you can send them across by email to

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