In the past, the only time you had to worry about running into your ex was in person. Now social media has come into the picture, things have changed. Not only does an ex have constant access to your profile, it allows them to continue to engage with your life. Should you block your ex on social media to stop that?
They might notice that you’ve blocked them. However, unlike the woes of in-person contact, you have the choice to ensure your personal space is free of their presence. That may not stop it from upsetting them, but depending on your situation, it could mean your peace of mind or even safety.
Should you block your ex on social media?
More often than not, yes. You should consider blocking your ex on social media. Since you’ve broken up with them, the relationship has likely run its course, and it’s time to move on.
“One can discuss with their partner during the uncoupling phase of the relationship that blocking will happen as a tool to move forward,” said Lori Lawrenz, a psychologist specializing in Sexual Health at the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. There can be conflicting factors for and against blocking an ex. You can only weigh the good and bad and decide if you’re better off with them completely removed from your life.
Reasons to block your ex on social media
Carefully consider what is best for you concerning your relationship with your ex. Are you unhappy with how things are, do you keep thinking back to the relationship, or are you constantly hurt seeing them flourish on their accounts online?
Putting your mental health first
Seeing constant updates or happy, thriving relationships involving your ex can be hard to watch. It’s hard to resist measuring one’s self to what your ex has now. Applying those standards to yourself is unneeded and possibly even harmful. You’re better off living your best life without comparing yourself to others.
Prevents rekindling old flames
Some exes will try to rekindle old sparks. This can be especially problematic when you’re not interested or have been burned by them in the past. If they’re pushing for you to reconsider your old relationship with them, it’s time to shut them out. They are not respecting your decision to keep the relationship a thing of the past.
Breaks the break-up cycle
If you’ve picked up and dropped the same relationship with your ex, again and again, it’s become clear that it’s not working. The best solution is to cut ties and allow the unhealthy dependence to stop.
Should you start to notice a repeat of the cycle, it might be time to evaluate things. According to Lawrenz, this is where therapy becomes important–your therapist can help you see your patterns and break them, preventing you from returning to an unhealthy relationship structure.
They were toxic or abusive
If your ex was toxic or abusive, you need to block them. Your safety comes first, and they are not safe. You cannot change their behavior, and you are not the one responsible for doing so. The best course of action is to protect yourself and ensure they cannot contact you anymore.
If your ex cheated on you, it shows they did not respect you or the relationship. Trust has been severed, and there is rarely a reason to retain contact with them after they’ve committed such an act.
Closure for you
Shutting the door of communication with your ex puts an end to your old relationship. You know where it ended, and you know how it ended. You’re no longer left to wonder what they’re doing or how things once were. You can move on.
Closure for them
Blocking your ex means they too have an end to the relationship. It might not be the ending they wanted, but knowing they’re blocked allows them to begin the healing process and move on just like you.
Peace of mind
Once you’ve blocked your ex, you can go forward knowing they cannot see any more of your content. You don’t need to censor your posts based on what might upset them. You also don’t need to worry about what you might see or think when their content appears on your social media pages. You’re free.
Reasons to leave your ex unblocked
While you might agree with one or several reasons to block your ex, you might have a stronger reason not to do it. That could be because there is no reason to block them anymore; it could be because you moved on or mutual friends or family are in the picture and need you both.
If the relationship ended on amicable terms for both you and your ex, there is little reason to block them. You can agree to remain friends or acquaintances without any issues.
Children or pets
If you and your ex are co-parenting or share visitation over pets, chances are blocking them would only cause issues. It could make the relationship between you and your kids rocky later in their lives.
However, if abuse is involved, it is better to cut them off entirely.
Not all relationships end in misery. Some end simply because it wasn’t the time or place for it. Both parties may recognize this and consider the possibility of reconciling later to try again when conditions are better.
Already moved on fully
If you or both parties are already fully healed past the relationship, there’s no actual reason to remove them from social media anymore. If you’re both comfortable around each other online, neither as friends nor partners, you can simply choose to do so.
Don’t want to be misinterpreted
Should none of the reasons to block your ex apply to your current situation, sometimes it’s easier to ignore your ex on social media rather than block them. Some people may frown upon knowing you’ve blocked your ex. Your actions could be misinterpreted as bitter or rude, and the blow to your social life might not be worth the benefits of blocking your ex.
Should you block your ex’s phone number?
If you’re already going to block your ex on social media, you’re probably best to remove them from your phone too. While you can’t see the daily content of their lives like with social media, the temptation and reminder of them will make moving on and focusing on your new romantic relationships much harder.
“If we have the ex in our phone, that is a representation that they are still in our life,” said Lawrenz “With this in mind, think if you still need your ex in your life. If you do not, then you do not need them in your phone.”
You should take the time to weigh what’s best for your emotional needs and prioritize your peace of mind. If you find you are unhappy, unsafe, or need space, blocking your ex can help you move on. While they may be upset or sad over the choice, they will also benefit from moving forward and severing any unreciprocated feelings.
If you have children or pets or feel a strong connection as friends, blocking isn’t always the answer. Exes can co-exist with little to no issues depending on how or why they broke up. Just try not to fall into the cycle of forgetting the woes of your past relationship and allowing your ex to cross your boundaries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does blocking an ex hurt them?
Unfortunately, yes. Severing nearly any close relationship causes some feelings of grief or loss.
What does it mean when your ex blocks you on social media?
It probably means they are trying to limit contact or move on because it hurts too much. Or, they may have moved on and do not wish to hurt you by having their posts appear in your feed.
Does blocking your ex help you move on?
Yes. By blocking them, you remove daily reminders and any temptations to look back at their lives or the time spent together.