Upset Over Facebook Search History

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Dear Hoopers,
I’ve been dating a great guy for the five months. He’s smart, cute, intelligent and ambitious and wonderful to me. It’s been smooth sailing until I did the no-no and looked at his phone while he wasn’t looking. I was incredibly caught off guard to find the search was of his ex girlfriend on Facebook. He’s never talked about her, but one night when we were out, one of his friends mentioned her name in passing and of course I took note. I have no idea what to do. I like him so much and don’t want him to know I was looking at his phone. But, why would he be looking up his ex on Facebook? What should I do?
-Upset Over Facebook Search History

Dear Upset Over Facebook Search History,
It appears that there are two things going on here. The searching by your boyfriend for his ex on Facebook and your searches of your boyfriend. Let’s start with him. There really is nothing inherently wrong with looking at an ex’s page. Your concern is that it could represent something more, perhaps a desire for his ex or even just a fracturing of the relationship between you two.

Despite that possibility, I’m not sure that it is healthy to think in those terms. Those thoughts bring you to a negative place and mostly serve to increase fear. If I could speak on his behalf, the ending of dating relationships can be difficult. After spending months or years with someone, you’re supposed to suddenly stop thinking about that person. It’s tough to do. While I generally recommend social media distance with exes, I think it is possible to maintain a healthy facebook friendship with an ex.

Secondly, you also took a pretty big step here. You secretly looked at his phone. Although it could have just been a mindless venture, it was a violation of his space and of your trust in the relationship. I’m curious what you were hoping to find and is it worth the cost of him finding out? I can assure you that any relationship that you want to last won’t be built on patrolling his social media. Healthy relationships are built on trust. And trust isn’t built by going behind his back.


I do think that this deserves a conversation, a conversation to confess your secret venture into his phone as well as his search of his ex.

-Dr. Ryan

With that in mind, I do think that this deserves a conversation, a conversation to confess your secret venture into his phone as well as his search of his ex. Apologize for your search of his phone and discuss why you don’t want this to be something that you two do to each other. Ask him about his feelings about his ex and share with him that you appreciate his honesty about the situation. Regardless of how this all turns out, know that being honest here is the right thing to do and will serve you better in any relationship.
-Dr. Ryan

Dear Upset Over Facebook Search History,
I’m sure this was upsetting to find, but I wouldn’t get stuck in your head over it. Have you ever looked at an ex on facebook? The answer is probably yes, as it is for many people. Social media gives easy access to scroll the feed of an ex at the click of a button. Getting over someone doesn’t resolve itself in a day, nor does checking out an ex’s news feed.

Although the search history was startling, he is not with his ex. There may be some unresolved feelings there, especially if your relationship started on the heels of their relationship ending, but he is with you now. If you were looking at his phone you were most likely sniffing for something, which is probably the result of some insecurities yourself. Rather than worrying unnecessarily over this, I would process through why you felt compelled to snoop.


Rather than worrying unnecessarily over this, I would process through why you felt compelled to snoop.

-Kate

You searched, you found and now you can simmer in this information, or move on from it. If you decide to have a conversation about it, it will also mean fessing up to looking through his phone. Considering you have had no red flags indicating the ex to be an issue, I would back file this information and try not to overthink it.
-Kate

ex on Facebook