Finding yourself on the receiving end of a Facebook block (and usually any other messaging service or social media) is often hastily misconstrued as a sign that your ex wants nothing to do with you, or that emotional separation has occurred.
Of course, if the breakup was particularly spiteful or dramatic, there is a chance that they do want nothing to do with you, but the key realization is that, either way, blocking you is rarely a sign they don’t care.
In most cases, it is merely a way of fighting for clarity and defending the existing rawness of emotion from further pain. In others, a feeble attempt at manipulation that will indubitably backfire.
Highlight Reels Are Painful
Let’s face it, even if there is no real desire to reconcile, observing a constant play-by-play update of our ex’s lives (Facebook statuses e.t.c) is enough to make anyone a budding conspiracy theorist. Where’s my tin foil hat?
Blocking an ex (which would seemingly be you in this case) is usually less about sending a message than it is about moving on without a painful, constant reminder of how well our exs are doing without us. In short, over-analyzing the fresh photos, statuses, likes and activities of your virtual comings and goings is gut-wrenching painful. No matter what our romantic intentions are.
This is all assuming, of course, that your ex is notoriously level-headed and relatively mature. If he wasn’t, it is also likely that blocking you from Facebook stems from a manipulative need. Namely, they may hope that erecting a wall of silence will provoke a response as a result of you being mercilessly starved of affection.
That’s right, they’re playing games.
Let’s Play A Game Of “Who Moved On First”
On the one side there is the pain of separation. If we hold fast to the idealized view that love is a wholly selfless endeavour, then this is the only pain that we are left to contend with. And moving on is merely a question of wishing them well and coping with the vacuum of their presence.
The problem is that most relationships are rarely as selfless as we’d like to imagine. And once separation occurs, we are left to contend with broken pride, guilt, anger and other ego-driven relationship left-overs.
Some of us internalize these feelings, and others tend to shelve them. Blocking you on Facebook can be the externalization of insecurity. Rather than a mature way of putting our own healing first, in this case it’s about baiting a reaction out of you.
It can seem counter-intuitive to many, and it usually is. Because the erection of new barriers to communication will usually end in enduring silence.
It is, when you really think about it, a last ditch effort. An all or nothing. A desperate attempt to hedge all our bets that you will miss us to the point that you will surrender your pride and attempt to bridge the gap in the name of not losing touch forever.
It is, for all intends and purposes, a subtle and common form of emotional blackmail (that we are almost all guilty of to some extent).
So, Which One Is It? And What Happens Next?
Losing the attention and affection of someone we love can break even the most emotionally secure men, and thus attempting to make sense of his actions (manipulative vs shooting for clarity) is usually an exercise in futility.
If he was the one that was dumped, the chances that he is struggling with self-esteem or pride issues is further exacerbated (and may have little to do with the resurrection of the relationship itself).
Either way, I would personally opt to take the block at face-value, assume he needs his privacy and clarity, and get on with my own life.
In this day and age a Facebook block is merely the closure of one specific medium of contact (the most accessible and comfortable one), but will not stop him, you, or anyone else from finding a way to communicate should they there be something important to say.
If there is something they wish to say, I would personally hedge that it should be strong enough to override pride or remorse (we deserve that much at least), and that the mere blocking of a Facebook profile is not, and never will be enough, to justify falling prey to insecurity and loss.