Remove that bookmark to your former flame’s Facebook page. Staying connected to an ex on Facebook can halt your recovery from the breakup and stunt your personal growth, according to a new study inCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
Researchers asked 464 people to answer questions about a past distressing breakup, including how much time had passed since the split, which partner initiated it, and how much contact they’ve had with their ex since calling it quits.
After crunching the data, researchers found that remaining friends on Facebook actually resulted in less desire, attraction, and longing for the ex. But those who consistently kept tabs on their ex’s page were more likely to feel distressed, lonely, and hung-up on the breakup. (You don’t have to be stuck in a rut forever. Follow this guide for The Best Ways to Cope with a Breakup.)
Ultimately, Facebook isn’t really to blame for your lack of closure. Instead, it’s not having enough self-control—plus a persistent need to seek out information—that leaves you permanently bitter from the breakup, says Tara C. Marshall, Ph.D., lead study author and psychologist at Brunel University in England.
So what’s a guy to do if he can’t nix his addiction to sifting through her pictures and status updates? Unfriend, unfollow, and un . . . whatever it is you do on Instagram. But that’s not enough—you also have to ditch anything that remotely reminds you of her, says Melysha Acharya, founder of BrokenHeartedGirl.com and author of The Breakup Workbook for Men.
“Get rid of that blanket you cuddled together under, move your bed, buy a new bedspread, and rearrange your couch and your flatscreen so the familiar look of your living room doesn’t stir up old memories,” Acharya says.
And for a super fun way to get over her for good, fantasize about women—lotsof ‘em. A 2009 study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that merely thinking about the number of available women you know helps reduce feelings of attachment to your ex.
By: Madeline Haller/Mens Health Magazine