Why Your Ex Boyfriend Is Blocking You On Facebook

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.

For instance…

Highlight Reels Are Painful

ex blocked on facebookLet’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 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.

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  1. Amber says

    Hey James :)

    Interesting analysis on the reasons behind blocking. I am fascinated with psychology and that’s what makes your articles an enjoyable read. Here’s a question: What do you make of the ex who does not block or delete you? Does this signify that they still want to keep communication doors open? Is it an ego thing where they’re hoping you’d be the one to message first? Or does it mean that they are so internally secure with the breakup that they don’t care enough to block you (ouch!)? Maybe this could even be the your next topic of discussion, hehe.

    My ex ended the relationship….rather rudely/coldly. There has been no contact b/w us for about a month and a half now. In anger he said to me, “Are you gonna delete me or should I delete you? Go ahead you can have the final victory!” He didn’t delete me though he said he didn’t want to hear from me. I haven’t deleted him either. I know my reasons for not deleting him, but I was hoping you could give me the male perspective on why he hasn’t deleted me. Thank you for the website and your help.

  2. James Nelmondo says

    Hey Amber, thanks for swinging by!

    Of course this is just speculation but frankly he doesn’t sound all that secure to me. He may well hold fast to the breakup itself, but in order to get spiteful or worked up, you need a basis in emotion. If he couldn’t care less, he wouldn’t bother trying to elicit an emotional reaction out of you.

    At least to me, if you act rudely or coldly, you are manifesting defensivess, a first line emotional defense.

    But again, without real context it remains pure speculation :)

  3. Amber says

    Hey James :)

    Thank you so much for your insight, I really appreciate it. He’s not exactly an ex. We were friends for a little over two years and I had developed feelings for him. He started an argument over something really petty and it escalated and it led me to tell him how I felt. He said he feared that I would develop feelings for him one day and that’s why he tried to make himself sound repulsive to me. The strange thing is that he gets mad if I do think negatively of him. It’s a contradiction on his part. I asked him why he didn’t quit talking to me ages ago if he feared I’d fall for him. No answer. He said that he compartmentalizes the girls he dates and those that are his friends. I told him that he should then be talking to the girls he dates for 6-12 hours at a stretch and not me. He had no response to this either. He has told me that he doesn’t open up to others the way he does with me and that he can sustain long conversations with me whereas with other women he can’t talk for more than 10 minutes. Am I wrong for thinking that he should be having that sort of connection with the girls he’s dating.

    He started the argument over a petty non-issue which he refused to let go and said that maybe we should stop talking. I told him that he should stick to his decision then…and immediately afterward he said that he didn’t mean it. By then I was really upset and hurt over the things he said earlier and I went off on him. We didn’t talk for a week and then I contacted him. He was angry and he ended it. He told me to not to contact him and asked if he should delete me or I would do it myself. Neither of us deleted the other. It’s been more than a month since I’ve contacted him. I miss him and I feel hurt by the way he treated me.

    I’m sorry about bombarding you with this essay. I’ve replayed it in my head so many times and I can’t make sense of it. Neither can the guy friends I’ve asked. Can you shed some light on his behavior?

  4. James Nelmondo says

    No worries, it’s what this site is all about after-all!

    I would hedge that it makes little sense, and forgive me the cliché, because it is governed by feelings (and since when are they logical?). I’m going to stand my ground and say that, to me, it reaally does seem like cocktail of pride, ego and longing on his part.

    Attachments (preciesely in this stage of an “almost” relationship) can breed fear. Fear of failure, fear of betrayal, fear of abandonment — and of couse — familiarity can breed contempt. It sounds to me as if he has some pre-existing trust issues that have little to do with you. And is pushing and pulling in order to coerce you into bolstering his security (knowing full well the effect that it might have on you).

    While most would say that all this paints a pretty dire picture of him, it is all rooted in insecurity and I doubt he has much control over it all. And the consequent anger, remorse and regret may reinforce his emotional quagmire because the only way he can justify detachment (if you decide to dodge the bullet) is by convincing himself he was abandoned or neglected (and not by objectively weighing his own behavior).

    Perhaps I’m stretching conjecture a little, but that would be my guess Amber.

  5. Amber says

    Wow, you’re good. You should consider going into counseling. Yes, you are right. A former girlfriend cheated on him and I feel that led to trust issues. He has said many a time that he fears people’s expectations. He admits he has a huge ego and that he finds it hard to apologize for his mistakes. The interesting thing is that when we had our argument that led to the breakup, I had called him out on his cowardice and lying….Surprisingly he admitted to it and apologized. But then he hardened toward me. He told me to eff off and leave him alone. Even if he didn’t have a romantic interest in me, did he not even at least consider me a friend? Did a two year friendship not warrant more sensitivity from him even while rejecting me? So, he had to kick me when I was already down? We are both members of an online forum. It’s not a dating website, but a cultural forum where one can discuss a wide range of topics. I see him on the forum posting away as though he couldn’t care less. There’s a girl on there that he seems interested in and I admit it hurts to see him talking to her. He doesn’t check my profile. It’s like I never existed. I am pretty active on the forum as well; we both ignore each other. I don’t want contact him; I’d feel wary about resuming a friendship with him. But I do want an apology from him. One of the most hurtful things he said during our argument was that he doesn’t know me that well. We’ve talked for hours on end for 2 years and he doesn’t know me? So, I’ve been reduced from a friend to an acquaintance…or maybe worse….a stranger. Maybe it is selfish of me to want him to be the first to contact me and express regret. Even if he did, it doesn’t change the past. But I still want him to be the one to contact me first. It’s possible, as you said, that he may justify his detachment by seeing himself as a victim and therefore may never regret his actions. But what do I do to increase my chances? Continue No Contact? Continue posting happily on the forum whilst ignoring as he’s ignoring me?

  6. James Nelmondo says

    Hey again Amber, sorry for the later reply!

    I’m guessing something happened here, or was it completely random:

    I had called him out on his cowardice and lying….Surprisingly he admitted to it and apologized. But then he hardened toward me.

    If he hardened towards you without an objective cause (forget right and wrong), then I would hedge that there are other variables in play here. Did something happen between those two poles?

    The problem here is that — as you know better than I — closure of any sort is inexistent, due to the fact that it stems from the potentially destructive desire to place our contentment in other peoples’ hands. While I do applaud your transparency (that despite it all, you are interested in rekindling — many hide behind their pride), as a third-party opinion, I can only try and be objective.

    In any case, here’s my 2 euro cents.

    His initiation does little to inspire trust in me, due to the fact that he seems to be notoriously impulsive. Therefore stressing over absolutes (such as being a stranger, or a surprisingly positive admission of guilt) is a surefire way to perpetually confuse.

    He needs to demonstrate consistency in his emotions. Relationships rely on long-term commitment. If you would ultimately settle for nothing less, then those are the traits I would look for. Not an impulsive I’m sorry. For this reason I would go LC (limited contact). Take a step back, allow him to feel what life is like without you, but don’t burn your bridges (make sure an avenue for contact is available and welcome — and that he knows it). In short, summarize how you feel in a couple of sentences (no more — and without guilt, resentment or other mind games) and throw it at him.

    I have nothing invested in this personally, and so it is very easy for me to say all this. I know how hard it can be to try and analyze the chaos that feelings present. But personally, I don’t think you have a choice. Forget closure, say what you have to say and move forward with your life. If his actions begin to crystallize into patterns (and not impulsive F you’s and candid apologies) then you are making progress, even if they seem to be negative.

    I’m not sure whether any of this is warranted, nor whether it makes sense!

    Best of luck!

  7. Amber says

    Hey James :)

    Thank you for the analysis; I appreciate it. I am not sure myself what happened between those two poles. What started the argument was that he said he had seen a FB pic of a girl he had been curious about and that he found her attractive. I teasingly said that I hope things work out for you both and that pissed him off. He wouldn’t let it go and kept bugging me to explain what I meant by that. I told him that since you’ve been curious about her, and you find her attractive, and she’s intelligent, and you both are on FB and members, you could send her a message and get to know her. He asked me how I’d like it if he had told me to get with X and Y, two guys that he knows I’m not attracted to. I could understand his annoyance if I had pushed him to go after a girl he despised or found unattractive, so I’m not sure why he was so upset.

    Y’know James, as I’m telling you about this, it seems so funny now. LOL. Though at the time it wasn’t. So, he said that maybe he’ll follow through with my suggestion and talk to the girl. It sounded like he was challenging me. And my “That’s cool; go for it dude!” attitude inflamed him even more. He had said that a previous female friend of his had stopped talking to him for good when he had praised some girl’s looks. I think I reacted better than his former female friend did. But somehow my encouragement was a grave offense that warranted the end of the relationship.

    I have not burned all bridges with him; the lines of communication are still open. But presently I don’t feel like being the first to reach out.

  8. James Nelmondo says

    Hey again Amber, not sure if you’ll read this since I’m super-late once again,

    Sounds to me like it’s a case of him being free with dishing it out and not being able to handle having the game played back at him. After all, that is what manipulation is at its core — a display of insecurity. In a way, when then viewed objectively, and not through a lense of subjective pain, it does become funny, but it does not absolve the intent behind the manipulation. And if you’ll spare me and aside, I do find it is a trait that will continously recurr unless the insecurity is quelled.

  9. violette says

    My ex ended it out of the blue, said we were going too fast and should take it slow for now. We were friends before getting together. For almost 2 months after the break up we kept talking, mostly myself initiating. He’s been let’s say distant and at times abrupt, trying to pick a fight-which I couldn’t understand since he ended it-most of the time, but on occasion he’d warm up some. The other day said he doesn’t think we should text anymore. It was put in a rather rude manner, which I pointed out. But he was clear in that he wanted no further communication at this point. After that I unfriended him from FB. He got angry, said “thanks for deleting, very thoughtful” and then blocked me. Is it ego and selfishness I’m seeing here? That was my first thought? Inflated ego to dictate the terms? As in no texts but we should remain on FB?

  10. Amber says

    ^ Who knows? Maybe he was hoping you’d beg and plead him to not end it and was disappointed/annoyed that you’d actually act on his decision. I say let him live with his decision. If he gets in touch, remind him briefly that he was the one who decided to end it and you don’t want the stress of wishy-washy relationships in your life where the lack of consistency leaves you hanging and very confused about your status and value. Keep it short, don’t go into much detail.

  11. Suzanne says

    Hey James , thanks a million for the great site & advices .
    I’ll try to sum it up. I broke up with my ex last January. Our relationship lasted for 2 years.
    Since January he tried many times to ask me to reconcile or at least to stay in his life as a friend but I refused because it confuses my feelings.
    And I asked him several times to stop calling or texting me yet I was responding very fast once he calls or texts !!!
    3 weeks ago, I made a stupid thing, I unfriended him on FB then 2 days after I founded him blocked me !
    I sent him and he told me it is kind of payback .
    I can feel now that his emotions towards me changed & he is starting to forget me !
    And this is killing me .
    It must have hurt him I know , but can a guy forget the girl he loved easily ???

  12. Amber says

    Hey James,

    What does it mean if a guy says that “It’s for you to decide” when you ask him whether or not he is bothered by the break-up?

  13. Love says

    Hi James,

    I met my ex on Facebook last year and he’s living in the US. After a couple of months, he visited me in the Philippines. He’s also a filipino but living in the US now. Our relationship was great, we were madly in love with each other, and he was planning to get married next year. He had so many wonderful plans for us and begged me to wait for him until 2015 for our wedding. After a month of his vacation in my country, he flew back home. That was October 2013. Everything was going strong and we planned for his next vacation April 2014. But December 2013 he broke up with me because of our constant arguments. But we still communicate every single day. He was also able to visit me again April 2014 to May 2014, and we went a trip somewhere, bought plane tickers for me for a beach somewhere near Visayas. We were on and off since December. He can’t make up his mind if we continue our relationship or not. (It’s really a long story).. But we never lost contact until yesterday he blocked me on Facebook. Because of misunderstandings. He blocked me there so many times and I always beg him to add me back there. But this time, he even blocked my relatives and my good friend. Yesterday, it feels like I’ll never see him again whether online or in real life. I love this person so much and his relatives here in the Philippines. They’re like a family to me. Now, he doesn’t answer my calls, texts, or emails. He completely built a high wall between us. I can’t find him anymore. Please tell me what to do to get him to speak to me again. I just want a formal breakup not this very hurtful one.

    Thank you,


  14. Sandi says

    My ex has blocked me and has kept me blocked for over two years. I heard he has had a couple of girlfriends after me but why keep me blocked if he’s apparently moved on and over me? I don’t get it? He has allowed his children to friend me on facebook???

  15. AnnaZ says

    hi james,
    i just break up with my bf, we have been together for almost 3 years and we have alot firsts in our relationship. the reason why we is that he said he cant love me anymore, he wants to be alone, he said he is not himself when he with me, and he said we are too different. he also said that we are physical together but deep down he felt distant. we always stick togther during our relationship. he loves me alot, he will help do anything, he will buy anything for me if i want.
    he face-to – face told me he cant continue the relationship with me, i tried to get him back, he asked me stop trying cos he wont change his mind. so i told him ” i really loved you, and i can live without you.” he replied” then live without me.” before i turned my back at him and walk away i kissed his lip, he didnt reject me. but at the moment i turned my back he stopped me and touched my cheek and told me to take care of myself. i looked into his eyes, i can feel his love. i can feel he is hurt…. but i really dont know what to say. i turned my back and walked away. after that i didnt walk straight to bus stop, but i went to a shop bought a cup of soya bean milk. (actually we take the same bus go home, just that i will go down at 2nd bus stop, alight earlier than him.) so after i bought the soya milk i walked to bus stop, by then i saw him just a few people behind me. but i didnt really look at him, i glanced at him, i saw that he looks very hurt. i confused, he is the one who wanted break up. i feel hurt initially, but after that i feel happy because i walked away first. and i recalled his last movement and the eye conatct with me, my six sense tells me that he will come back to me.
    i nv try to contact him after he face -to-face told he cant continue the relationship with me. after 2 days i realised that he unfollowed me on instagram and blocked me on Facebook. we always use whatsapp or Message to contact each other. im not sure whether he blocked me on his phone or not. but i went to his whatspp i can see his last seen.
    i want him back, but i dont know what to do.

  16. sasha says


    Just wondering…
    I have an ex who broke things off with me 7 months ago. Deleted me off Facebook, and turned pretty hostile about a month after the break up (even though the break up wasn’t bad).
    Recently, even though I was deleted off his Facebook already, he has blocked me as well.
    Why is this?

  17. Marija says

    Hi James,
    My ex and I broke up two months ago. It was a nasty break up but we stayed in touch one way or another. It was me who was always writing first, asking for another chance. There were a few occasions when we wrote back and forth for hours but his final answer was always ‘I don’t want to get back with you because I know you won’t change’, however on one occasion he told me that the whole time he’s been giving me chances to see if I can change. The last time we spoke we had a huge fight and he blocked me from Skype (I was previously blocked from everywhere else). I’ve been in no contac period since (16 days so far) and in the meantime I deleted our mutual friends to show him that “I’ve moved on” because sees me as a clingy and needy person and thinks that I won’t get over him. Few days ago I started using Viber and today I noticed that he blocked me there also. I don’t intent to contact him whatsoever but I’m still hoping that at the end we’ll get back together. I need your opinion as a guy, can you give me a logical explanation for his latest action? Does it mean that he did it because he doesn’t want to have anything with me in the future or…?
    Thanks in advance :)

  18. Rachel says

    I blocked my ex boyfriend on facebook because I couldn’t trust myself not to peep and lose my dinner each time I did. When we we were crashing and burning I wanted to reconcile and asked him why he had no time for me. He gave me a load of excuses about his family visiting, uni work, etc. Only for me to check his facebook and find he went out with his friends. I was so hurt. I couldn’t trust myself not to facebook-stalk him and it was liking hurling myself on to a bed of nails each time. I’m glad I did it.