Being blocked by an ex on social media can be a painful experience—whether it’s a fresh breakup or not. You’ve spent intimate moments with this person, and the thought of not talking to them again, even if you don’t want to, can be tough to cope with. It’s perfectly normal to wonder, “Why did my ex block me?”
Why did my ex block me?
It’s important to keep in mind that if you’ve been blocked by an ex, it usually has something to do with them, not you.
“It’s something they just need to figure out and work out on their own,” said Sarah Divine, an intimacy coach. “The sooner you start to accept that this door is closed, you can start looking for the window that has been open to you for a while but you’ve been ignoring.”
Sure, being blocked by an ex really stings—especially if you thought you ended things on good terms—but there are a handful of fair reasons why your ex might have blocked you. Truth be told, they’re all probably for the best.
They still have feelings for you
“There’s a chance that they still have feelings for you,” said Amber Artis, a relationship expert and certified matchmaker. “They may still be in love with you and they want to avoid seeing you on social media when it causes them pain.” Blocking you, whether on social media, their phone or both is a simple way to create that distance.
They’ve moved on and don’t want you to know
Conversely, it could be your feelings they’re trying to protect. Or, maybe there’s a chance that they are dating someone new and no longer want you to be a part of their life.
“Maybe they’re just a ‘closed chapter’ type of person,” Artis said. “Some people are wired to just leave the past in the past and prefer to make a fresh start.”
You started seeing someone new
“Maybe you’ve started dating someone new and they are jealous of you or your new relationship,” Divine said. “Either way, it is best to respect your ex’s decision.”
This can be a particularly painful revelation, because it means the breakup was likely amicable. But as Divine suggested, it’s best not to intervene or attempt to force an ultimatum, because it may damage your prospect of resuming the friendship if/when your ex may want to reconnect down the line.
They’re trying to hide you from someone
If the two of you had remained close friends and they suddenly decided to block you, chances are they may need to prove to a new lover that they have moved on, according to Divine. Unfortunately, that may come at the expense of the two of you keeping in touch, even as friends.
You’ve upset them
If your relationship ended on bad terms, there’s a good chance that they’re left with some pain to process. “They are probably hurt,” said Divine. “They may have blocked you out of hurt or anger.”
If the relationship ended badly because of something you did (e.g., cheating on them), you’ll have to accept that they’re entitled to their newfound distance. If you upset them after the breakup (e.g., an argument over who gets to keep the couch), that’s a sign that they feel that maintaining a relationship with you is no longer worth the hassle.
They just want to move on
“There is always a reason why someone comes and goes from your life even if you never know why they’ve cut ties,” said Divine. “Begin to think about what you learned from your past relationship and how you can use this new information to make your life better.”
My ex blocked me on everything—what can I do?
“If you react, you may be feeding into their desire to get a reaction from you, or worse, you may be reaffirming why they blocked you in the first place,” said Artis. They may have blocked you because they feel like you haven’t moved on and you’re way too invested in what’s happening in their life—which you definitely don’t want to prove true.
You really can’t make anyone do anything—and sometimes it’s best for both your own well-being and the well-being of your ex to let it play out on its own. If you’re really meant to be together, they’ll take the time to heal and eventually reach out again—but otherwise it’s best to let it go. Here are a few ways to try and make the experience more manageable:
Reach out to friends you trust
“If you have that one friend who can get you to stop overthinking and overanalyzing the situation, reach out to them to talk some sense into you,” said Artis. “If you don’t have a trusted friend who can help you apply reason to the situation, hire a professional.”
Talking to a coach or therapist can help you work through your emotions and start looking at the situation logically.
Don’t blame yourself
“It is important to note that it is not your fault if they have blocked you,” said Angila Liam, a psychologist from the EzCare Medical Clinic in San Francisco. “They just want to get over the burden and believe the ‘no contact’ mindset will work best for them.” Everyone deserves to heal from heartbreak, so let them do it as well.
Try not to reciprocate
“It is not wise to block them just because they have blocked you,” said Liam. “Instead of checking your block status again and again, it is better to spend this time doing something productive.”
Don’t allude to things online
“Avoid airing all of your business on social media either directly or indirectly,” said Artis. “Don’t post a long explanation of your breakup or that your ex has blocked you. Don’t post quotes alluding to the situation or how you are feeling, inviting others to comment or ask if you are OK. Don’t post love quotes, quotes about why love sucks, or any other relationship-themed memes.”
Friends and support are crucial in the wake of a breakup. But airing your dirty laundry online is not only deeply embarrassing and alienating, it may also lead your friends to sympathize with your ex.
Apologize if you did wrong
It is a good option to apologize if you know you did something wrong. “You can send an apology letter, but don’t ask or expect them to start things with you again,” warned Liam. “It is just to make sure that you are not on bad terms.”
Most important is making sure it’s sincere, and the best apologies are concise and to the point. If you’re feigning remorse as an attempt to get yourself unblocked, your ex will likely notice and distance themselves even further.
Take a break from social media
It is better to get a break from things and enjoy some me-time. It may help you get over the relationship and start again with a much better version of yourself. “Try to start healthy habits and bring some positive changes to your lifestyle,” suggested Liam.
While social media can be fun and even useful, it has plenty of known negative effects as well. If your ex blocking you prompts you to put your phone down for a while, in the end they may have indirectly done you a favor.
Process your own feelings
It’s important to take the time to sit in your own feelings around the breakup. A helpful way to do this is by writing in a journal.
“You can even write a letter to your ex expressing all your feelings and emotions—just don’t send it,” said Divine. “Keep it for yourself or even burn it and allow the hurt feelings to burn away with it.”
Create time for yourself
“Fill your time with something that brings you pleasure,” said Divine. “Exercising, for example, helps release the feel-good hormones which improves your mental health and mood.”
Face it, breaking up hurts, and getting blocked by your ex is just salt on the wound. But now that you’re newly single, what better time to focus on yourself entirely without feeling selfish? Learn to play an instrument. Update your wardrobe. Train for a 5k. You don’t have to worry about wasting time arguing with your ex, because they have made it much more difficult.
How can I contact them if my ex blocked me?
Unless you share children, a home, a pet or a business together, there is probably not a true emergency situation in which you will ever need to reach out to them.
“If you do have true ties to that person outside of the relationship, you should have a way to text or call each other in case of emergencies,” said Artis.
Otherwise, consider reaching out to a mutual friend—or your ex’s parents—but only if it’s a real emergency. In the exceptionally unlikely event that there’s a genuine emergency and nobody else can relay the message, using a people search service may reveal alternative phone numbers or email addresses you can try. But again, you should have a legitimate reason to reach out, otherwise respecting your ex’s boundaries is the best way forward for the both of you.