Breakups aren’t a one-size-fits-all, Dorito-stained groutfit. Every single split is unique, situational, and pretty much sucks. But, across the board, one thing usually remains true: post-breakup, we read into anything and everything we can in a desperate attempt  to gain clarity or find closure. And while some things do send a message (like, if they actually message or communicate with you in some other way), these things, I’m quite sorry to report, just don’t.

Watching Your Story

What are you doing when you watch people’s stories? You’re probably at work mindlessly tapping, waiting for the next person’s content to pop up, or you feel the need to have every person you follow’s story checked off out of sheer compulsion (just me?). I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s unlikely your ex is actively going to your profile to see what you’ve been up to. Your brunch cocktail just came up while they were watching “Game of Thrones” — and I can promise you they were more focused on whatever death was happening (can you tell I don’t watch?).

Belatedly Liking A Photo

With Instagram’s algorithm, posts don’t show up on your followers’ feeds in chronological order. So that picture of you in a bathing suit with an irreverent caption from three days ago? Yeah, like your story, it probably just popped up on their feed.

Turning Off Location Sharing

Little things like this serve as an awful reminder that you two aren’t together anymore. But part of being broken up is not knowing (and not needing to know) where the other person is at all times. This hopefully is not done with malicious intent — it’s just another thing your ex is checking off of the breakup list. I know, very shitty.

Unfollowing You

Just like you, they’re trying to move on, and seeing your amazing face everyday isn’t helping. Think of it as less of a digital “fuck you” and more of a digital “I’m going to detox from you.”

Seeing Them On Tinder

Just because they’re putting themselves out there doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten you. But at one point or another, your ex is going to date someone else, just like you will. Besides, everyone processes a broken heart differently and getting back in the dating groove can serve as a much-needed confidence boost when you’re feeling worse than chapped lips on a windy day.

The next time you see your ex’s name in the long list of story viewers, throw your overthinking cap in the trash and remember that it and nothing else means anything. Nothing is real. Good day!