Does anyone remember how we used to date before social media?
There are clear advantages to using Facebook or Instagram when it comes to communicating with a partner. But when things end, it’s a different story. Like, for example, you still have to consider or think to yourself, ‘should I block my ex?’
When things are going well in a relationship, social media is a fantastic tool. We can follow our partner’s lives through their posts, we can ‘like’ funny comments they joke about, and we can even arrange new dates.
But when a relationship ends it can be heart-breaking. Suddenly, that person we invested so much time in is living a separate life from us. They post happy pictures without us in them. They have new friends we have never heard of.
But worst of all, they seem to be dating again.
So what is the best approach when it comes to blocking an ex? Is it better to know what things they’re up to? Or should we just let them go and try and move on? You might even wonder when you should block ex-partners? Or if my ex blocked me what does that tell me?
The problem is that once we’ve blocked an ex, not only does it say something to the ex, but it also reveals something about us. So before trying to make any decision, we need to know the following:
To get the answers to the above questions, let’s look at our motives for blocking an ex.
Are you the sort of person that can live without knowing what your ex is doing? In past relationships have you cut your losses and moved on? If you are the kind of person that once a relationship is over you don’t give it a second thought then blocking an ex is a good idea.
However, if you think they may be a chance of reconciliation then it’s best to keep some form of contact open and available.
Now, there are some of us, and I include myself in this category, that just have to know what their ex is doing. And we do this by stalking our ex on social media.
Of course, when I say stalking I don’t mean in the creepy criminal way. I mean in the way we like to occasionally check-in and check up on our ex and what they’ve been up to.
Some people manage to heal through a break-up by having at least a tenuous link to an ex via social media. If this is you then I suggest you don’t block your ex.
There are others however, that cause themselves more grief and pain by not blocking an ex. These are the sorts of people that wallow in their misery and fail to get over a breakup.
If there is absolutely no chance of getting back together you are just causing yourself more hurt by staying in touch.
Another problem with the question of blocking an ex is that as humans, we are naturally curious. We can’t help but wonder how our ex is doing. Have they found another girlfriend or boyfriend? Are they getting on with their new partners or is there trouble?
After all, knowledge is power and we can’t do anything if we don’t know what’s going on.
The difficulty with this attitude is that we are stuck in the past with no incentive to move on. We should realize that by constantly revisiting our memories we make no space for any new ones.
More to the point, breaking up with a partner and getting through the emotional turmoil teaches us something about our own resilience. We learn that we can pull through the devastation. That we do survive the end of a relationship.
That in fact, we are stronger and wiser and maybe even more empathetic than before. So it is not wise to live in the past or with false hope.
It does us no favors to dwell on an ex unless we are using the experience to be a better partner to our next love interest. I mean, what is the point of pining for a lost love when they’ve already moved on? It is a waste of valuable time and effort.
Instead, we should be moving forward with our lessons of the past, ready to take on new challenges. Because if we live in the past we are the instruments of our own pain. We may never get the answers we crave from our ex.
And you know what? That’s life, unfortunately. So in most instances blocking an ex is a good thing. When a person no longer cares for us the way we care for them it’s time to let them go.
I know that for the majority of us closure is an important part of the healing process. However, it’s important to know that we don’t always get it. There’s no written law in love that states, when a relationship ends here, are all the reasons why so that you can move on.
Life is not like that. Sure, some of us lucky ones may get the answers we need to close this chapter of our lives. But an awful lot of us will never know. And that is the time to let go and go on with our lives.
Of course, it’s never that simple. Living without a way of contacting our ex is a scary place to be. Even if they are not with us physically, seeing them on social media gives us a sense of security. They’re still around. They are still part of our lives.
But the truth is far different from our imagination. In reality, our ex has moved on and doesn’t notice us hanging around their Instagram accounts. They don’t notice that we’ve liked every one of their pictures last month.
They are too busy living without us. So does it really benefit us to keep this questionable strand of contact going? Just think about it for a moment.
All the while your ex is among your friends on social media we are tied to them. They are like this millstone around our necks, preventing us from leaving the scene of the relationship.
Now I’m not saying that we should block an ex forever. In fact, I am friends with many of my ex-boyfriends. But my relationships with my exes ended decades ago. The hurt I felt at the time is long gone. I have moved on and so have they and we’re all very happy where we are.
No, I’m talking about immediately after a breakup. When you are at your most vulnerable. When you have questions about the reasons for ending the relationship. When you’re not sure how you’re going to manage.
I understand that this is all scary stuff that none of us in our right minds would choose to go through. But we must, in order to grow and love again.
But before you make the final decision, here are a few reasons why you should block your ex and why you shouldn’t.
One of the main reasons for blocking an ex is that it will give you closure. And don’t forget, you are the most important person right now. You need to look after yourself and give yourself the best opportunities to heal.
This is especially important if the ending of the relationship was not your idea. Now is not the time to think about your ex’s feelings or what they will think about your blocking them.
You should focus on your needs right now. Only by cutting all ties to your ex can you mentally and physically move on from them. You don’t need to know what they’re doing, who they’re seeing, or where they’re going.
Knowing these things will only make you more upset and encourage you to cling to the past. Even if you didn’t get the answers you needed when the relationship ended, blocking your ex gives you control over part of the situation.
Not only does blocking your ex give you the closure you need, but it also allows them to move on. There is nothing holding your ex back now. They will see that you’ve blocked them and it will send a clear message.
This is an important message to send, particularly if you were the person that ended it. Maybe your ex has been trying to engage in conversation with you? Or perhaps they’re always popping up on your social media accounts.
If you block your ex they will know exactly where they stand. There is no confusion about your intentions. This is the clearest way you can communicate with them.
If they have been really hurt by the breakup you can always send them a last text telling them why you are blocking them and wishing them well for the future.
This way you are being cruel to be kind. They might not realize it in the short-term but they will long-term.
Breaking up with someone means they are no longer part of your life. As such, you wouldn’t expect to keep seeing them over and over again. So it makes no sense to be friends with them on social media.
In fact, it can be very hard on your mental health. Only you know how hard you’ve taken the breakup. And only you can pull yourself out of the sadness that accompanied it.
So why would you want to torture yourself by remaining friends? You may as well take a knife and keep sticking in your heart, over and over again.
Because this is a mental representation of what you’re doing when you don’t block an ex. Every time you see your ex you’re opening old wounds, undoing the stitches of cuts and not allowing them to heal.
So give yourself a break from the breakup for the sake of your mental wellbeing.
If you’ve managed to extract yourself from a coercive relationship then congratulations. I know from experience that controlling people don’t start off by dictating what you can and can’t do. In fact, the opposite is true.
Manipulative people can be extremely charming and kind-hearted. However, once they have trapped you into a relationship their true colors come to the fore.
They start telling you what to wear, who you can see and you get twenty questions if you come home a few minutes late. They are jealous of everyone you ever come into contact with. But they make you think it’s your fault for being too flirty or too outgoing.
You are isolated from your friends and family and are being gaslighted into thinking you’re going mad. Every situation is a chance for them to guilt-trip you and they sulk for days if they don’t get their own way.
In these types of relationships, it’s very hard to break free. So the last thing you need is your controlling ex dictating to you via social media. Don’t let them back into your life by their sweet-talking lies.
If we break an arm or a leg we know that we need to rest up and focus on our recovery. So why is it then that we don’t do the same with our mental health and wellbeing?
It makes perfect sense to me that after a breakup we should take ourselves away from the situation so that we can recover and heal. It is essential to acknowledge the pain we feel. Only then can we go forward.
So leave social media for a while. Don’t engage in Facebook stalking. Take time to do the things you want that will help to heal your broken heart.
Spend time with good friends and family. Resume that hobby you’ve been neglecting. Start a fitness regime. This is your time to be a better you.
Sometimes relationships end badly. One person is more hurt than the other and they react in a toxic way. They’ll start belittling you or spreading nasty gossip about you.
They might even post revealing pictures of you that were supposed to be private. If this is happening it is far better to block your ex. Then you can easily ignore what he or she is doing.
Don’t get involved in protecting your honor or dispelling some of the lies. It will only show that you are still invested in the relationship to your ex.
It’s a little like stalking. Any kind of recognition, whether it is a rebuke or a threat on your part will be a sign to your ex. A sign that you are still in love with them and that their nasty plan is working. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
So those are six reasons why you should block your ex, but what if you’re still not sure?
Sometimes two people meet, fall in love and enter into a relationship but it’s the wrong time for them. Maybe one was very immature or the other had low self-esteem. Or perhaps both parties needed to grow up before embarking on a serious relationship.
Whatever the reason, some couples are destined to get back together, just not right now, but sometime in the future. If this is you and your ex then you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open for a while.
If you cut off all contact then this sends a very clear message to your ex that you want nothing more to do with them. Consequently, because of your actions, they might not think about you ever again.
They might get married and live happily ever after. But if they can still see your profile on social media it will be a subtle reminder of what you both once had.
When we are hurt and upset it is a natural feeling to want to exact that same hurt onto the person who hurt us. Blocking an ex in these circumstances, however, can appear childish and immature. Especially if we do it after a big row or messy breakup.
The problem with blocking out of anger is that your ex will now see a different side to you. Instead of a strong woman, picking herself up and dusting herself down and getting on with life, there’s this toddler in her place. And she’s having a tantrum.
Of course, if you don’t care what your ex thinks then by all means block them. But, if you want to retain some measure of respect moving forward it’s best to leave some channels open.
There is no point blocking your ex if you are playing some sort of game to try and win him back. Also, this tactic will make you look desperate and needy. And believe me, desperate needy women are not desirable. In fact, men can sniff this kind of deception off a mile away. And it certainly won’t do you any favors in the long run.
So if you are blocking your ex as some sort of mind-game in order to win him back don’t do it. Don’t lower your standards for someone who has lost interest in you and the relationship.
Why not save your energy for the next great thing that’s coming along instead? Because if you carry on down this road the chances are you’ll miss it. You’ll be too occupied playing games with your ex.
Remember, men don’t really like drama in a relationship. Sure, they want it to be interesting and fun and something to rave to their mates about. But drama? No thanks!
The canny amongst you will have noticed that this reason popped up on the list of ‘reasons why you should block your ex’. So how can it be appropriate in a list of reasons why you shouldn’t?
Just because you are not talking or seeing your ex doesn’t mean you need to cut off all contact with him or her. Sometimes just having a connection on social media is enough to give you a little breathing space to sort out your head.
After all, when you block an ex you send a clear message. You want nothing more to do with them. But by leaving a small line of communication open you are saying something different. The message is less intense. It is not a dramatic sweeping everything away in one foul stroke.
You are merely requesting some time without actually communicating for yourself. This is a mature way to deal with a breakup. Especially if you are not sure whether you want to get back together. If you’re in two minds about where the relationship can go then don’t block your ex.
No one ever knows truly what goes on in another person’s mind. All we can do is judge them by their actions and their words. So imagine how you would feel if suddenly you discovered you were blocked by your ex on social media?
What would you assume? That he or she is being nasty and vindictive? Or that they were bitter about how things ended? If that’s how you would feel then we can’t really expect anything less from an ex can we?
The thing is if you want him back then bitterness is not an attractive quality. You might feel empowered and as if you’ve won some sort of battle of wits. However, in the end, all you’ve done is win this one battle; you certainly won’t have won the war.
More to the point, why has this turned into some kind of battle in the first place? Relationships are complicated and life is hard enough as it is, without you waging war on another person.
Blocking an ex says something about how you’re feeling. Now, your ex can choose what to believe when you’ve blocked them. They might think that you are so upset by the relationship ending that you’ve had to block them.
Your ex may think that blocking him is the only way you can cope with the breakup. They might even assume that you are struggling and can’t bear to see him on social media. That it’s all just a bit too painful.
The thing is, you might want him to know how upset you are. That you’re not coping well and are desperate to get back together again. However, I’ve said it before, desperate people are not attractive.
By all means, we should tell people that we love them. But it is sometimes best that ex-partners do not see and know how we are feeling. After all, no one wants a pity date.
Of course, if the relationship was a little controlling then your ex might suspect you are hiding something from them. By blocking your ex you are stopping them from knowing what you are up to. This very action will be enough to start some people thinking the worst.
If your ex was jealous during the relationship then this sends a very clear signal to them. They might analyze every possible scenario that made you block them. Why would you? You must be doing something you don’t want them to know about.
They won’t even consider that this is a good thing for both of you as it allows you both to move on. Their suspicious minds will go into overdrive. Unfortunately, you can’t help people like this. They’ll think what they’ll want to think.
Sometimes two people are not meant to live and be together in a relationship but they are better off as good friends. If this is you then perhaps after enough time has passed you can consider this new dynamic?
After all, we all need good friends and in the years to come, you may find that some of your best friends come from broken couple relationships.
Of course, this only works if the pair of you are on the same page. For example, if one of you was more upset at the breakup than the other, then this scenario may not be best and it might not work straight away.
However, don’t dismiss it altogether. It is best to let some time elapse and return to the subject at a later date.
It’s up to you. Remember, you are sending a very clear message to your ex by blocking them. This is the final action on your part. If you ever want to speak to your ex again you’ll look silly unblocking them at a later date.
Why should everything be so final? After all, you might have spent a lot of time with this person before they became your ex. Perhaps the two of you would be better off as friends? In which case, keep communication open.
This all depends on how you feel and how your ex is behaving. If you don’t mind seeing your ex on social media then just ignore them. However, if they start becoming abusive it is better to block them. If you’re worried that ‘he blocked me, will he come back?’ then just ignore him.
Blocking can appear to be immature but again, it all depends on the intentions of the person doing the blocking. If you block out of spite then yes, it’s childish. But if you block to give yourself space to forward then no.
Who would have thought a simple act like blocking your ex could get so complicated! I hope I’ve at least managed to talk you through some of the reasons why you should and shouldn’t block an ex.
Can you think of any more things to add? I’d really like to hear about them!