We fully acknowledge that the term 'Christmas Creep' actually refers to some entirely different, but we're choosing to employ it here regardless.
Endless parties and after-work drinks in December mean that, if you still live in the same city as your ex, chances are, a festive run-in is inevitably on the schedule. Of course, with the omnipresence of social media, technically, you and your ex don't literally need to bump into each other, to know what you're both up to.
But, when the air is full of festive cheer and your ex is still liking your pictures, it can be hella confusing.
What is their game?
Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent dating and relationship therapist reckons, "Much of the answer to this depends upon why the relationship ended, who ended it, and how it ended." If you and your S.O. left it on good terms, maybe it's NBD for them to show you a little Insta love this Christmas. But if things ended badly, you may not want your ex following your social media, let alone liking everything you do.
Again, what is their game?
"If it ended well, and both of you have truly emotionally moved on, then it could simply mean that they still are happy that you are in their life, even if just digitally, and that is enough for them," Dr. Brown shares. "If it is just sporadic, it may mean that they are casually watching you from time to time and it may not be a big deal. If they haven't blocked you, then it is likely that they still want to feel connected with you in some way."
Of course, if your relationship ended badly, or if you just don't want your ex following you, you're completely allowed to establish healthy boundaries or even take them off your follower list.
From blocking to unfollowing, there are lots of ways to go about keeping your social ex-free, however, if they're in your friend group, your class, or your workplace, seeing them around may be unavoidable. And when they won't engage or talk to you in person but are still liking everything you do on the internet — confusion is totally allowed.
What to do about it?
"Generally, it means they have unfinished feelings about you and they have not sufficiently moved on with their lives." Dr. Brown states. "There are a number of ways to deal with this. First, maybe consider having a conversation with them — preferably on the phone and not via text. Try to get some clarity about what all of this means to them — and to you. Depending on how the conversation goes, they can continue to click "like" if you are comfortable with that, or you can unfollow or block them."
When questioning what it means when your ex is liking all your Instagrams, remember that all that matters is how you feel about it. If letting your ex see your hilarious #mood posts feels OK, then by all means, let them like away. If your ex coming into your phone notifications feels off to you, don't have to feel bad about blocking them. When it comes to Insta, you know your #content better than anyone, and you get to choose who sees it.