Most experts would agree that it's best to maintain a safe distance from an ex following a breakup. But with social media being the clickbait that it is, keeping many of us tethered to our devices at any given minute, it's that much harder to resist the temptation to engage in risky business after a breakup (i.e. lurking onto our ex's social profiles). Aside from the infringement of privacy into our ex's day-to-day activities, staying digitally connected can stunt our own process of healing.
1.AVOID Doing The Most
It may take some time to get back to your normal self after a split, and in an attempt to prove that you're OK, you might head to social media to show that you're all smiles. This behavior has the potential to backfire and it can actually do more harm than good. Avoid looking overzealous, eager, or like you're trying too hard to seem happy. Now, if you've always been a social butterfly, then it's OK to proceed as usual, but if you're typically a private person, then it wouldn't make sense to all of a sudden start broadcasting your life, now would it? Keep it cute---and normal. If you start going live or posting every other hour, then you're oversharing and it might come off as desperate.
Breakup tip: Remember that the same way your own posts might make you and your life appear better than you may feel, the same could be true for your ex. Much of what you see in their online photos may simply be their own social media front. Keeping this in mind can help offset feeling upset that they seem so happy without you.
2.AVOID The Revenge Post
Imagine you're having one of those really good days post-breakup: You know, when your hair is flourishing and your skin is glowing and you feel so good that you decide to check your ex's Insta. It's been two whole weeks since the two of you have talked and you're completely healed, right? Upon scrolling through their feed, you find out your ex posted someone new just days after your breakup, which causes you to have a knee-jerk reaction of wanting to post something that you'll probably regret. Remember, while your goal may be for one particular person to see it, once you post, it's out there for the entire world to have an opinion on. Keep in mind that when you post publicly, you open yourself up to opinions from other people in the comment section unless, of course, you turn off the comments.
3.AVOID The Thirst (Trap). It’s Real
First of all, let me state the obvious: Instagram is one big-ass thirst trap, in and of itself. All I'm saying is, try to avoid falling into the "hot girl" cliche of posting semi-nudes and OnlyFans content for attention unless of course, you've always been into that sort of thing. Otherwise, don't get out of your character, no matter how attention-starved you feel. Besides, is it really worth having the usual creep squad in your DMs afterward?
Breakup tip: Determine why you're choosing to put yourself out there in this way before posting. Understanding the reasons might help you decide if you want to follow through with it.
4.AVOID Giving TMI (Too Much Info)
It's one thing to post a daily status of what you're up to, but it's quite another to give the world a play-by-play of your life, literally letting people know your every move. In case you're not familiar with social media data policies, these platforms obtain certain information like your location and active status so others can see when and where you're logged on or when you were last active, so if you happen to be creeping on demon time, then they may be able to see that.
Breakup tip: Update your privacy settings so your location and active status don't show.
5.AVOID Subliminal (Breakup) Messages
This goes for posting them and checking to see if your ex is posting them. I have to be honest, sub posts are the worst because they're so obviously intended for an ex. Unless you're someone who regularly posts about relationships, it's painfully obvious to the general public when you're posting because you're in your feelings.
Breakup tip: If it's something you just really need to get out of your system, but you fear that you may regret it later, might I suggest posting it to your least favorite social platform. For example, I have no idea how to work my Twitter feed so I reserve this medium for venting and an occasional rant with four-letter expletives.
6.AVOID Viewing Old Pics
Most people will remove all traces of an ex from their accounts immediately after a split. For some people, this will be changing a profile picture or their name. If your relationship took the step of being FBO (Facebook Official), then it's bad enough that you have people in your business speculating on your relationship status. And God forbid FB sends you a memory from one of your date nights with your ex-bae. Things like this won't help you in your efforts to let go of the past, so if there is a digital footprint from your time as a duo, it's time to retrace your steps.
Breakup tip: Get ahead of those FB memories popping up on your timeline by changing your settings so you're not caught off-guard. See Facebook's section on how to turn off notifications for Memories here.
7.AVOID All Social Media For A While.
Why? Because it's a constant reminder of your ex and it can make it feel impossible to get over them. You'll read way more into anything they post, trying to get clues or put together pieces of a puzzle that might not exist. There are too many triggers which means scrolling through a feed can stir up old feelings. And unless you have some hella restraint (i.e. emotional discipline), you won't be able to refrain from venting about you know who. Immediately after a breakup, it can feel like there's no escape. And research has shown that engaging in such behavior can contribute to greater distress over the breakup, negative feelings, sexual desire, longing for the ex-partner, and lower personal growth.
Breakup tip: If you have the guts to go cold turkey with a social detox, then go for the gusto, otherwise, start small. Commit to uninstalling the app for 24 hours, reminding yourself that it's only temporary. Who knows? If all goes well, then you may decide that you can do without it even longer.
8.AVOID Mutual Friends, Too
While unfortunate, it's likely that at some point you'll fall down the rabbit hole of lurking, stalking, and creeping on your ex's page or anyone close to them, which ultimately turns out to be a self-torture chamber. If you don't go through your ex's page, then you may find the new love interest (which is even worse) and start sizing them up and screenshotting for your girlfriends. This is why I suggest not only muting your ex but any of your friends you two had in common so you're not as tempted to spy.
Breakup tip: Block, delete, repeat. Even if you unfriend your former flame, you may still receive notifications from friends in common that give you insights into your ex's post-relationship routine, so it's best to take a break from their family members and mutual friends, too. If you're not ready to commit to blocking them entirely, then Facebook offers the Snooze feature which allows you to take a break for 30 days, 60 days, or until you turn off the option.
How we choose to handle the transition of a relationship goes a long way toward shaping our potential for success in future relationships. Instead of comparing your singlehood journey to your ex's, focus on becoming the best you can be for yourself and your future partner.
A final breakup tip: Be genuine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with getting some good news and wanting to share your excitement on the 'Gram but always be clear of your own intentions. If you are truly happy, it's important to be present and embrace the moment. And yes, it's a natural reaction to want to share your moments of happiness with others, but it's even more important to be content within yourself, preferably off of social media and in real life.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Also known as The Real Black Carrie Bradshaw for her relentless love of shoes and emotionally unavailable men, DeJa K. Johnson is unapologetic in her pursuits to find love, happiness, and orgasms. A graduate of UA Little Rock, DeJa earned a Master's degree in Applied Communication with an emphasis on Interpersonal & Romantic relationships. She is also the founder of TheBreakupSpace.com, a safe space for men and women who need help getting over the loss of a romantic relationship. To connect, you can find her on all social media @TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw or send her an email to love@TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw.com.
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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I'm all for any time I can use technology to make my life easier, especially while working. This is especially important when it comes to wellness since, for the most part, I'm typing away at a laptop either in my home office or surrounded by some sort of lush nature elements while abroad. Either way, wellness products can come in handy to add ease to my journey to prioritize wellness in all aspects of my life.
5 Wellness Gadgets You Need in Your Office
Here are a few cool wellness gadgets to check out and add to your wish lists for your office that address stress and pain relief and other convenient therapies:
Yes, another smartwatch. Upgrade that Fitbit you have with this watch. It not only tracks your heart rate and temperature, it records an ECG and analyzes blood oxygen levels, allowing you to be aware of signs of stress. You can also enjoy guided breathing sessions when you’re getting into danger mode with the Body Response feature.
Fitbit is a Google property, so the Fitbit app is compatible and has convenience features that are handy during your workouts. And yes, it has interchangeable bands for different colors. I’m more keen on the blue, but you can choose from colors including grey, cream, and black.
Light therapy has been trending in wellness and research has even found some mental health benefits. If you've been down in a winter-blues slump, this might be the wellness gadget to at least give a try. It’s a sleek, convenient option that replicates a sun-like hue, has multiple brightness settings, and you can tap to dim or brighten. It’s a great option that comes in a gold, white, or wooden tone, for your workspace when you need a boost on a dreary day.
This band was developed by neuroscientists and physicians, according to Apollo, and delivers vibrations, called “Apollo Vibes” to evoke feelings of calm and mental clarity. It differs from the usual smartwatch, which tracks your health and fitness, in that the vibrations are the main draw, working to help improve energy and focus and reduce stress.
Vibration therapies have also been shown, via research, to be beneficial for wellness, and while the jury is still out as to how comprehensive or scientifically sound the link between a vibrating band and stress reductions, again, it might be worth a try if you’re a big tech geek and you’re looking for something new to try.
It’s a cervical traction device that’s raved about by tens of thousands of reviewers for easeing neck pain, and promoting spine alignment, and some even said it helps with TMJ disorders (those painful jaw problems that disproportionately affect women, often amplified by stress-induced habits like teeth grinding.)
When you work at a desk, oftentimes you feel neck and back stiffness or pain, and with this device, you can easily carry it to work and lie down in your office space or, if you work in a small or shared space, try the break room.
Another hit (according to thousands of users), this desktop air purifier has a HEPA filter that is touted to capture up to 99.7% of particles. It has a built-in generator that “produces negative ions that bind to and neutralize airborne pollutants for a cleaner environment,” and can be powered with a USB or AC adapter.
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