How to break up on social media (with style)

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How to break up on social media (with style)
Image: Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift for Vogue

When a relationship breaks down, we can experience a wide range of emotions that can range from sad and devastated, to angry and murderous.

In today’s digital world, it can be tempting to share each of these emotions as they happen, not only with our ex, but with our children, friends and family.

Erin Quinane, founder of The Mental Health Company, says a relationship breakdown is a time when extreme caution should be practised. “It’s important to show self-control at this time. Before pressing ‘share’, try asking yourself these 8 questions, because acting with integrity never goes out of style.”

1. Are you currently being rational? Take a deep breath. If you’re crying, seething, drinking, or yelling – DON’T POST.

2. Imagine yourself 12 months from now. Will you look back on your actions with regret?

3. Imagine you are advising your 20-year old daughter how to deal with social media after her breakup. What would you say to her? Are you currently taking your own advice?

4. Are you comfortable for your children to read these public postings? Remember, what goes online stays online. If the answer is no, vent in a journal, not on the internet.  

5. Are you taking a ride on the break-up merry-go-round? Remember it never ends, it just keeps turning around in the same circle – so get off! Take a break from social media, it’s not going anywhere.

6. How long are you willing to delay your recovery? Continuing to breathe oxygen into your heartbreak delays your recovery.

7. How many times a day are you checking your ex’s social media? Rather than continuing to waste precious time stalking, put your creative energy on a canvas. Remember, no-one wants to hang a depressing and angry painting in their home.

8. Are you experiencing hate when you think of your ex? "Most people think that the opposite feeling to love is hate," says clinical psychologist Dr. Cortney Warren. "That is actually not true. The opposite feeling to both love and hate is indifference. When you know you don’t have any strong emotional attachment or reaction to your ex, for example you wish them well but are done and moving on in your life, then you are ready to have broader social media interaction again."


Read more advice from Erin Quinane

How to surf the social wave without the stress

How to re-claim good mental health