Type the words "get over a breakup" into Google and you'll find a billion and one "surefire" (note our sarcasm) ways to get over an ex, ranging from wallowing in self-help books to OD-ing on romcoms and Cheetos. But it could be the way you're spending time online that's really stopping you moving on, according to new research.
One recent study has found those guilty of stalking their ex (*raises hand quietly*) on Facebook took longer to recover post break up, than those who simply click "unfriend."
"Facebook surveillance was associated with greater current distress over the breakup, more negative feelings, sexual desire, and longing for the ex-partner, and lower personal growth," says psychology lecturer Dr. Tara Marshall, who conducted the research. "Overall, these findings suggest exposure to an ex-partner through Facebook may obstruct the process of healing and moving on from a past relationship."
Which of course makes total sense—how's creeping on photos of him partying away, having Sunday lunch with his new girlfriend, and completing in a triathlon ever going to make you feel any better? Ditch wasting precious minutes seeing who's liked his new profile picture or who he's just befriended (esp when you could be watching the new Magic Mike XXL trailer instead—you're welcome).
Dr. Tara's previous studies have also shown avoiding all offline contact with former boyfriends help, too. So basically, new science-approved break-up tactic: as soon as a relationship ends, move that loser into the ex-boyfriend graveyard in your head—where there's no Wi-Fi or "accidentally" bumping into one another on a night out. Got it? Great!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.