My personal stance is always that of not only removing an ex from Facebook, but also of blocking them. Yes, I tend to go all the way. But my reasons are not born out of a well of spite and hatred. They are primarily about protecting my feelings and training my brain to accept a fresh start.
Should you follow the same path? Every relationship and individual is different, and every decision has its pros and cons. The purpose of this article is to subjectively weigh what you stand to gain by flying solo, and what you stand to potentially lose should you begin to symbolically burn your bridges.
To Remove Or Not To Remove
There are various pros and cons to both scenarios that will depend on your personal expectations. Do you hope to reconcile? Do you want nothing to do with them, but don’t want to feel guilty? Do you have friends in common? Do you wish to remain platonic friends?
Whatever the case may be, you owe it to yourself to remove their feelings from the picture and do what is right for yourself. If you were the one to be unceremoniously dumped, remember that your ex took their own lives into their hands and waived the mutual responsibility disclaimer in the process. You should never feel guilty about putting yourself first.
Removal pros and cons
- Healing. Removing your ex will safeguard you against seeing your ex move on to “greener pastures”. If the idea of seeing pictures of your ex with a new flirt causes you to grimace, take your heart out of the firing range.
- Moving on. Removing an ex is a way of signaling to the unconscious mind (establishing a new comfort zone outside of the old relationship is imperative to moving on) to accept a new beginning and detox from the old routine.
- Focusing. Cleaning the closet allows you to focus on your new life and social circles.
- Freedom. You can post, vent and speak your mind without fearing that your ex will be exposed to your thoughts.
And the potential cons:
- Anger. Your ex may interpret your decision as spiteful and may hold a grudge. Distance leads to over-analysis.
- Guilt. Putting yourself first, whether it is a good decision or not, can make people feel temporarily guilty and ego-driven, especially with regards to someone they were so close to.
- Reconciliation. Facebook gives your ex easy and informal access to your thoughts and allows them to contact you impulsively.
[alert-note]Do not remove your ex from Facebook as a way to get attention or get them back. It will backfire. Do it only as a means to hasten healing and move on.[/alert-note]
Removing Versus Blocking
Removing an ex from Facebook still allows them to contact you, and they will still be able search for your public profile. Blocking them prevents them from viewing basic information and public posts from your timeline. It also means they can’t contact you or send you repeat friend requests via Facebook.
The reason I choose blocking over removing is that I want to be certain that they will not pop-up out of the blue and threaten the progress of my healing. However, there is a catch to this. I will always politely inform my ex that I am going to do so before I do, and why. And no, this is never an easy thing to do. It is often excruciatingly painful, but I almost never regret doing so in the long run. Of course, this might not be the best decision for you.
Should I remove my ex from Facebook? I’d say, yes. Absolutely. Even if you aren’t yet able to accept the breakup, and still harbor hopes, detoxing and putting yourself first almost always pay long-term dividends. What do you think?
Images courtesy of FrameAngel and domdeen/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net