The Hard Truth: You Shouldn’t Follow Your Ex On Instagram

It doesn’t matter if you want to get her back, or if you want to get over her. If you’re asking yourself the question “should I follow my ex on Instagram?” there’s only one answer. The hard truth is, that you shouldn’t follow your ex on Instagram right after the breakup.

It doesn’t matter how many mutual friends you have.

It doesn’t matter if her family follows you.

It doesn’t matter what you hear from well-meaning friends and family.

Staying connected to her on social media, particularly Instagram (and Facebook) is one of the worst ways to get her back after a breakup.

So listen close you guys, because I’m about to save you a lot of future pain if you follow what I’m saying.

Why “Should I Follow My Ex On Instagram” Is The Wrong Question To Ask

Following your ex on Instagram is the same thing as leaving a lego on the floor and hoping that you don’t step on it.

Stepping on a lego meme
True story

You might miss that lego 9 times out of 10. But the 10th time when you step on the motherfucker, it’s going to hurt.

Instagram works the same way. You might avoid seeing her post or looking through her Instagram stories for a little bit. But, either through “accident” or through weakness, you are eventually going to miss her and decide to check up on her.

When you stay connected to her on Instagram and the moment hits where it feels like forever since you’ve talked, you’re going to want to look. There’s nothing wrong with that feeling, it’s normal to miss her.

The problem is – even though missing her is normal, what it can drive you to do is harmful.

So let me ask you – are you hoping that following her will help her understand you still have feelings for her?

Or are you afraid of letting go, and moving on to live separate lives?

Because the research on staying connected to your ex is clear: it’s a bad idea to stay in contact with your ex on social media.

One 2012 study on 464 participants[1] found that Facebook stalking (which is the same thing as Instagram) was positively correlated with:

  1. Current distress;
  2. Negative feelings;
  3. Longing & desire;

Guess what it was also negatively correlated with?

Personal growth.

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And before you get on me with the whole “correlation doesn’t equal causation”, let me ask you this.

What good is going to come out of following her?

It’s not going to answer your questions about why she left you.

Read More: The 6 Real Reasons Women Dump Men

You’re only going to see her having fun with her friends, or possibly the new guy she’s dating. How do you think that will feel?

Then you’ll start thinking about her, and if you’re still in a rough spot, you’ll find yourself thinking about her, and what she’s doing.

If you want a clean break (which you need to either get her back or get over her) then you can’t be constantly damaging the healing process by going through her Instagram. It’s like ripping the scab off the wound – it never truly heals.


You have better things to do. You should be focused on dating new women, putting on size and strength in the gym, and enjoying being newly single.

You’ve got better things to do my man.

Read More: 8 Ways To Work On Yourself During No Contact That You Can Start Today

Do them, and start the process of moving on with your life.

You shouldn’t follow your ex on Instagram.

To be honest, most social media impacts you in a negative way anyway – so you should probably take things a step further.

Avoid All Social Media For Now, Not Just Instagram

Social media is not going to make you feel happy, and Instagram is no exception. Yet, it sucks up to 300 hours away from us each year on average.[2]

I find it a bit ironic that most people are willing to acknowledge that social media activity has a net negative impact by setting up realistic expectations, encouraging false comparisons with other people, and allowing an intimate, almost uncomfortable amount of access to people from our past.

So what should you do? Be like Tom Brady. Tom has the right idea. Take a break from social media, at least while you are undergoing no contact with your ex-girlfriend.

Tom Brady Tom Brady Tablet GIF - Tom Brady Tom Brady Tablet Tom Baby -  Discover & Share GIFs
Tom also has 7 rings. He’s on to something.

I’ve actually written an entire article about this, which you absolutely should read. Click the link below to get the research-backed truth.

Read More: During No Contact, Avoid Social Media To Get Over Your Breakup Faster

But What If My Ex Followed Followed Me On Instagram Again?

If your ex follows you on Instagram again after you have removed her, it’s because she is thinking about you. I see this happen a lot with guys in my email coaching program. As a rule, it’s usually when you back off, that if she’s still interested, she will find a way to get in contact with you.

Following you on Instagram is a low-risk way for her to check up on you. She may be testing the waters to see if you’re still single because she misses you.

Regardless of whether or not she misses you though, remember that she is not your friend. It’s better to ignore her follow request if you still aren’t over her yet.

Remember, you don’t owe her anything anymore. All her following you will do is give you another channel to message her – which is exactly the opposite of what you want assuming you want to move forward with your life.

Her following you alone is not enough to make a determination of what she’s thinking.

She’s Watching Your Stories & Liking Your Posts Because She Is Curious

It doesn’t matter who unfollowed who, or if you were never following each other in the first place. If your ex-girlfriend has requested to follow you, she has a reason. It’s in her interest to do so.

But why is it in her interest? It’s hard to say with 100% certainty, but the only plausible reason is she misses you, and wants to see how you’re doing. Now don’t get it twisted, that doesn’t mean that she wants to get back together with you.

All she did was tap a screen.

I’ve seen women do this because they want to get noticed without having to take the risk of you not replying to a text. It’s a great way to test the waters. Your ex can like all your posts, but still not reach out to you.

Don’t fall prey to the ex-girlfriend recovery sites telling you that her liking a post of yours is a good sign she wants you back. Rather than pursuing, just hold back. Her liking your posts may be a good sign that she’s interested in you still, but you just won’t know until she reaches out.

There are several other signs that are much stronger indicators of interest which I talk about in my course The Fundamentals.

But liking your posts is not one of them. So sit back, and take a deep breath.

Read More: Don’t Chase. Let Her Come To You If You Want Her Back

Following you is a low-risk way for her to see how your life is going. Despite the fact that you’ve broken up, she likely still cares about you.

But before hope springs eternal, let’s pump the breaks.

Protect Your Self Esteem And Assume She’s Only Curious

Just because she is curious about you doesn’t mean she wants you back in her life.

I know it’s tempting to want to read into every little move, but just following you on Instagram isn’t enough to say she wants you back. So many people assume it as a sign of interest when it’s not that deep.

If you follow what I teach, then you know that you shouldn’t be focusing on what she is doing. You need to focus on yourself. Let go of that hope that she’s trying to follow you because she wants to get back together, and remember that the breakup happened for a reason.

Read More: Using The Pain Of The Breakup For Good

Part of the reason I recommend removing your ex-girlfriend on social media is to avoid obsessing over small details like this. While you might be the exception, you probably aren’t.

So don’t assume anything. Keep your focus on yourself.

Assume She’s Only Curious Even If She Has Pictures Of You Two Still Up

Even if she still has pictures of you two together, you can’t assume anything. She may want to keep the memories up, because they may be important to her. Remember: even if she broke up with you, she likely still cares about you.

The memories you made together are not going to immediately be forgotten, only to be discarded like so much trash.

There’s also the possibility that your ex-girlfriend just forgot that they were there and saw no reason to delete them. At the end of the day it is her choice. If she’s keeping your pictures up but not reaching out to you, there’s nothing you need to do.

Again, it’s important not to read into small details because they can lead you to reach out when you should sit on your hands and wait.

What If She’s Posting A Ton After We Broke Up? Does That Mean Something?

If she suddenly starts posting more on Instagram right after the breakup, it’s possible that it has to do with the relationship ending. It’s also likely to be the case that she wants you to see the posts, especially if you are still following her.

Her posting more could be her way of saying “I’m over you, look at how awesome my life is”. If it looks like she’s living it up more than usual, think twice.

It could also be her way of reconnecting with her friends by sharing more of her life. If you see the comments section popping, this could be it.

Sometimes, it’s even her way to “announce” that she’s officially single now.

Whatever her reasons – what she is up to online shouldn’t matter.

Leave your past relationship with her behind. Whatever is going on in her life shouldn’t be important to you. Isn’t your life and your present happiness more important than the person who made the decision to leave you?

Really, you should block her now before you waste more time wondering about why she’s posted a third selfie with her friends in 3 days. It might be something, but it’s not enough of a something to worry about.

If She Still Follows You, She Is Probably Looking At Your Account

No matter who broke up with who, the chances are very high that your ex-girlfriend will look at your profile (probably more than once) after you guys break up. Depending on the studies you read, there’s anywhere from a 40-70% chance[3] she will do this at least once. The younger you are, the more likely this is.

So what should you take away from this?

It depends.

If you were in a long-term relationship (3-6+ months), you shouldn’t take away anything from this other than the fact that she’s looking at your pictures for the reasons I described above.

If you were in a short-term relationship of fewer than 3 months, things can change. Try this technique. Post pictures of yourself having a good time with your friends, and with other women, you are dating. See what happens. She might start liking them or watching your stories. This can eventually lead to her talking to you – at which point you can follow the procedure I outline in my article below.

Read More: How To Handle The First Meetup With Your Ex-Girlfriend

You should ONLY attempt this if you’re not emotionally attached to the relationship and if you haven’t completely turned her off with desperate and needy behavior. For most of you guys, this doesn’t apply.

If you do decide to go this route, you might wonder, we’ll she see them?

If she uses Instagram regularly and still follows you, the chances of her seeing them are very good. It’ll show her you’re not missing a step after your breakup and can help rehabilitate your image in her eyes depending on what went wrong in your relationship.

What About If My Ex Unfollowed Me? What Should I Do?

It’s not the end of the world if she unfollows you post breakup.

I know, it feels like a gut punch if she’s unfollowed you. I remember when my first love unfollowed me on Instagram – I thought the world was ending, and that I would never talk to her again.

I was wrong of course.

Needless to say, it still happens all the time, and it sucks when it does happen.

It’s possible she got the same advice I gave you: unfollow your ex on all social media.

She’s could be really pissed at you, hurt by you, or just completely done with all things you.

For some reason, she doesn’t want to see your face.

Ultimately, the reason why doesn’t matter so much.

What she does today doesn’t predict what she’ll do tomorrow or even 6 months from now. Plus, what she does has no impact on how you live your life.

So don’t sweat it.

Continue using the no contact rule. Focus on dating other women.

In fact, she’s doing you a favor by unfollowing you. Now you can work on yourself without her watching over your shoulder.

That way, if she reaches out to you, you’ll be a mystery to her.

Women love mysterious men.

What About If She Followed Me And Then Unfollowed Me?

If she followed you and then unfollowed you, it’s likely that she wanted to quickly check in on you and then bounce before you sent her a message.

She may have seen something she didn’t like, or maybe she’s just curious to see what you will do.

Chances are though if she unfollowed you she’s feeling something strong. What that emotion is, depends on your relationship. It could be out of anger and not wanting to see your face, or because seeing you makes her mourn the relationship she’s no longer in.

It doesn’t mean she’s going to unfollow you forever – it might only be a matter of time. Regardless, you can’t live a life of long-term, masculine happiness if you sit around waiting on her to follow you again.

So don’t sweat it, even if it seems important.

So How Should You Handle Your Instagram After The Breakup?

The best thing you can do is to block your ex-girlfriend on social media until you can confidently say that you are no longer attached to her. If you block her, you won’t be tempted to check in on what she is doing and your healing process can start in earnest.

Act like you’ve decided to have some self-respect, and move on with her life. The more exposure you have to hear, the harder that is going to be.

Yes, you should block your ex-girlfriend on social media until you can confidently say that you are no longer attached to her. The more exposure you have to her life, the harder it’s going to be for you to get on with yours.

The stronger your feelings of attachment, the harder it’s going to be for you to heal and move on with your life. You might find yourself compulsively looking at her Instagram and causing yourself additional unneeded pain.

That’s why important to wait it out until you’ve completely cut the cord with her. There’s no need to waste time obsessing over small details, including things like posting frequency.

So block her, and move on with your life.

Not saying it will be easy.

But it will save you from a shitload of pain.

Talk soon my friend,

Coach Jack

Coach Jack

I'm Coach Jack, the owner and founder of Men's Breakup. I help over 1 million men a year radically transform their lives for the better after being dumped. My breakup recovery method for men combines science, first-hand experience, and critical analysis to show you how to either get her back, or get over her by building a life of long-term, masculine happiness.

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