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When a Relationship Ends, Should You De-friend?

Struggling with whether or not to de-friend your ex?  If you can check off ANY of the following boxes then I’d say yes.    

  • You NEED them out of your life. Sometimes a break up is so overwhelming that you need to call it quits cold turkey. None of this “we’ll be friends” or “we’ll keep in touch,” you need a cold, hard break. This is not to say that at some point in the future you two won’t be able to reconnect…but if you’re having a really rough time right now, the best thing you can do for yourself may be to cut off all contact. This means cutting off all electronic contact as well. (And yes, looking at their Facebook profile counts as contact…even if they don’t know you’re doing it).
  • You’re going to drive yourself crazy monitoring their activity. In the case of a recent break up, sometimes less is more. There is no reason you need to know everyone they are talking to, what they’re doing in their spare time, and who’s writing on their wall. For now, it’s okay to put blinders on and stay in the dark about any new people they may be flirting with. If you know that you are going to be obsessively checking their profile, save yourself by removing that option.
  • You think they will constantly be checking yours (and you want more privacy). On the flip side, you might not want your ex to know every single person that YOU’RE talking to, or everything you’re doing. If you think that your ex is going to get upset about things that are on your profile then it’s probably best to save their feelings and your concern. After a break up you need to move on—if you’re constantly having to monitor your Facebook posts, you’re living in the past. Sometimes, the most sensitive thing to do post break up is to disappear as much as you can from your ex’s life.
  • They tend to be immature or competitive. Let’s consider this a preemptive strike. If you suspect that your ex is going to purposely be doing insensitive things just to get under your skin, don’t even let them start. You don’t want to be getting into Facebook wars with your ex, or get sucked into posting insensitive things yourself. The best part of breaking up in the first place is that you can STOP arguing. De-friending your ex in this situation may be the easiest way to take the high road.

The biggest downside to de-friending your ex is the possibility that the action with hurt their feelings. If your ex gets upset with you, explain that you did what you thought would be the best for both of you in the short term. Say you’re going through a difficult time and thought that this might make it easier. Make sure they know that you didn’t do it to be spiteful, you did it to be thoughtful. It’s true what they say that time heals all, and if you want to, eventually you’ll get to a place where you can be friends with your ex—both on and off Facebook.

So what’s your status on de-friending? Tell us in the comments how you handle Facebook after you break up.


Author: Amber M.
Teenagers sitting on a tree limb

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