Why I Delete All The Pics Of My Exes On Social Media & You Should Too

Nothing tells me I’m moving on from a breakup more than when I take a hypothetical pair of scissors to my social media accounts and cut away all those pics of my ex. Snip, snip, snip! It’s so freeing! Here are 11 reasons why it’s the only way to deal.

  1. It gives nostalgia the finger. I don’t have time to get all nostalgic about my relationship when I stumble across a picture of my ex and me on vacation in a romantic beach setting in my Facebook album. I don’t need to be transported back to that magical time, thank you.
  2. I don’t want to look like I’m holding on. I know it’s just a picture, but I don’t want new guys I’m dating to see all those images of myself and my ex. Why would I still be hanging onto them? It can make him think I’m stuck in the past and I’m trying to build an amazing future with someone who’s worthy of me. Time to move on! 
  3. I don’t want him in my virtual house. I don’t have any pictures of my exes lying around my home, so why would I keep them online? I like to think of my social media accounts as virtual homes. I only keep things on there that I want to decorate them with as I would a mantelpiece or fireplace. Sounds silly but it kinda makes sense if you think about it.
  4. We’re not friends. An important reason why I delete ex pics is that I’m not friends with my exes. I deleted those guys from my social media accounts ASAP after the breakup and all our pics went along with them. If I were still friends with my exes, which I really don’t want to be, then maybe I’d be cool with keeping pics of them on social media.
  5. I don’t want to see that version of myself. It’s not just my ex’s face that I don’t want to see on social media. I also don’t want to see the person I was back then, especially if I made some bad dating choices. I might look happy in those pictures but when I look at them, I just want to shake the younger me by the shoulders and say, “Wake up and see how toxic this guy is and GTFO!”
  6. I’ve moved on. In the same way that I’d update work info on social media, I want to keep my personal life up-to-date. I’ve moved on from those relationships so I don’t want to have to see them lingering around.
  7. It helps me start a new chapter. Deleting pics of my exes immediately after a breakup is a rule I always follow. It prevents me from looking at those relationships with rose-tinted glasses. Out of sight, out of mind! A clean break is always the best way for me to move on. I delete images and block the guys so nothing—not even a “hey, stranger” message from them out of the blue or accidentally opening a picture of the two of us kissing—will hold me back.
  8. I don’t want to feel bitter. What we surround ourselves with has an impact on our emotional wellbeing. I don’t want to see photos of my exes because looking at them will always make me feel bitter about the relationships I had with them and love in general. Yeah, a lot of those relationships were toxic. Why would I want to be reminded of that fact?
  9. It makes me feel empowered. You know that satisfaction you get when you clean out your FB friend list, deleting people you don’t want to be associated with anymore? Well, deleting photo albums of my exes gives me the same hit. It also makes me feel more in control of my life. I’m choosing who stays and who leaves, as well as who I want to remember—or forget.
  10. I don’t want to become a stalker. It starts with keeping pictures of my ex on social media in which he’s been tagged. And it ends with me checking out his profile to see what he’s been up to and if he still looks the same, and who he’s dating now… I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole! I want to forget he ever existed.
  11. It’s an act of self-love. When I delete pictures of my exes from my social media accounts, it makes me feel good. It’s a way of loving myself. Why, you ask? Well, by deleting them, I’m listening to my feelings. When I look at those pics, I don’t feel good. So then why should I keep them? If I’m keeping them so as not to insult my ex (should he see all our pics have been deleted), then that’s going to make me feel even worse. It’s not about him—it’s about me! The end of a relationship means it’s time to look after my needs and wants. If it doesn’t feel good, it’s not part of my self-care routine! Buh-bye.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.