Breaking up was so much easier before the days of cell phones and social media. Sure, you still might have had to see your ex at school or in the neighborhood, but you didn’t have to worry about texts, emails, and their presence on social media. Figuring out whether or not to block your ex is an important step in moving forward. Both blocking, and not blocking, have a list of pros and cons. Here’s what you need to consider.
- Was your ex abusive? Abuse comes in a lot of forms, and plenty of relationships can be abusive — not just romantic ones. If you feel like your ex has belittled you, shut you out when you needed them most, referred to you using swear words, or told you that nobody would ever care about you the way they do, that’s abuse. And, you shouldn’t have to tolerate it. If you fear your ex in any way, you don’t owe them a follow. In fact, distancing yourself will be your best approach. If you’ve ever been fearful of your life around your ex, you shouldn’t hesitate to call the police. They can give you additional resources to help you stay safe and distance yourself completely from the person who may be harming you.
- Do you have a lot of mutual friends? If you share a friend group, you may be hesitant to block your ex. After all, their updates may pertain to you in ways that aren’t necessarily romantic. If you think that you might be able to salvage a friendship after some time apart, you should definitely leave communication methods open. If it hurts too much to interact with them differently, try putting them on “snooze” or temporarily delete their number, keeping it somewhere outside of your phone for when you’re ready to text again.
- Is there a chance of a reunion? Maybe the two of you split based on reasons not involving a falling out. It’s possible he moved to a different state to take care of a relative, or maybe mental health struggles are preventing him from giving his all in a romantic relationship. If there’s no bad blood, then don’t block your ex. The breakup was likely them trying to spare your feelings while they’re undergoing a rough patch. If this happens to be the case, you may want to continue checking in with them as a friend.
- Are they manipulative? Some people are, and it makes them tough to leave. If you’re firm on the breakup but think your ex may guilt you out of it, then it’s best to block. This move will help you take control of your life back. Plus, it’ll feel good knowing the texts and phone calls will stop. (And if they get a new number to harass you from, then it may be time to threaten legal action.)
- Does your ex get jealous? Nobody likes to see an ex move on, oftentimes for selfish reasons. After a breakup, there might still be the hope of your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend changing their mind. But, jealousy should never be your goal, especially as an adult. If you think that your ex may flip out or ask questions when you move onto someone else, it’s best to keep that information private. That means that for now, you might want to block them from seeing new social media updates. If texts and calls are causing a distraction, you shouldn’t think twice about blocking the number. When you break up, you’re expected to move on.
- Do you get jealous? It’s time for a little bit of self-awareness. Would it break your heart to see your ex with someone else, even if it happens in a couple of months? Then, blocking them is a way to protect yourself.
- Do you have kids together? This should be a no-brainer, but it’s a reason why people say kids make things difficult. It’s not because kids themselves are difficult, but the fact that kids deserve two loving parents (at least!) that will focus on their childhood and well-being. Mom blocking dad shortly after a breakup isn’t in the best interest of the child unless there’s abuse involved. You need to find a way to co-parent and collaborate together, and blocking makes that impossible.
- Did you live together? This is another big one. If you lived together, there’s still probably some stuff you want to sort out. Otherwise, you might need to prepare yourself for your items getting lost or thrown away. If you share a lease, it’s also important to clue the landlord in or make sure they have your direct number to help settle the aftermath of the lease.
- Are you repulsed by them? When you’re in a bad relationship for a long time, sometimes you forgot what it was that even drove you to a person. If you literally can’t think of any redeeming qualities this person has, it’s a sign that the relationship went stale months ago. Block them and take some time to enjoy being single again.