How To Survive A Break-Up? Block Your Ex

By Jenita Richards

You should block your ex on socials. Not because you hate them, not because either party is at fault, but for your mental health. Social media is somehow impeccably timed to show us everything we don’t want to see. Exactly when we don’t need it the most. 

It’s no secret that Instagram and other social media sites affect us negatively. Even Instagram knows! And yet, a lot of us just can’t stop it. Whether you only follow friends, or art, or influencers, we’re still scrolling. Our self-esteem takes a hit with every beauty queen’s trip to Mykonos, a skinny celeb’s fifth burger that day, a friend gathering you had to work for.

And every. Single. Thing. Your. Ex. Posts.

A hot dog at his annual barbecue? You two used to love hot dogs. You always decorated the tables at the barbecue. Arms around her best friend you never totally got along with? They’re probably talking smack. Her best friend’s so happy to have you out of the picture. They’re definitely going out tonight and looking hot. Mirror selfie of them with the blanket you gifted last Christmas? Someone else is ready to feel that cashmere. They probably already forgot who gave it to them. And don’t even get started on the comments. Why did Chris like it? He was your friend first. The person they told you not to worry about added a few too many fire emojis.

It’s maddening.

Why do you need to be bombarded with five posts of your ex showing their best self on your Instagram feed? Somehow, the app is finally making sure you “never miss a post!” You don’t want to block them, so you can be the bigger person. 

But you’re going to be the bigger person when you step back, and take some time to really get over them. It’s impossible to do that when you have to see them on your phone all day. As if they’re still an active part of your life.

Then, you have to consider: like or don’t like? If you don’t like it, you seem petty. If you do like it, you’re still thinking about them. Why hasn’t Instagram come up with a soft-like yet?

Save yourself the hassle. Block them. Stop checking to see if they’re looking at your stories, stop spending more than five minutes choosing the best “I’m hot” selfie to make them regret everything. If they reach out and ask why (a possibility), tell them you’re taking a step back to truly close the chapter on your relationship. Be real, you can’t be friends yet, there’s way too much history there. It’s not even history currently. It’s just your life. They’ll have no choice but to understand and “hope all is well.”

2019 is almost over, and we’re setting boundaries. You don’t have to be cool, or chill or above it. You can just be you, and feel everything you’re feeling. Step back from the constant stream of your ex and focus on something else, but primarily yourself. Block the negative energy that is anything that prevents you from moving forward. And yes, moving forward is exactly what you want and need to be doing. It’s the only way to go.

You don’t have to totally scrub their presence from your personal feed, you’re probably not checking that multiple times a day. But I definitely encourage the scrub if you are checking the pictures you posted months ago multiple times a day. You’ll only think of the really good times, and not why you broke up. The breakup doesn’t have to be on bad terms, but it was for a reason. You have to remember that reason. And social media does a great job at helping us forget that reason. 

Our lives are so entwined with social media and likes and scrolling, that this may be one of the hardest parts of your split. It is definitely going to make things more real. And it is definitely going to make things better. Take control of your healing process. It won’t be long until you stop asking your best friend to check their Insta stories for you. You might even stop taking a different route around the neighbourhood to try and run into them.

Healing after a breakup is a process, not made any easier by our social climate. You don’t have to do everything by the book, your journey is going to be unique. But trust me on this one, you want to block your ex. When they post a photo of them and their new boo, you won’t know until someone mentions it a few weeks after. 

You may backslide a little after you spend a few minutes comparing your eyelashes to theirs. But make sure you do that from a friend’s phone. And if you find yourself going to their page multiple times, block them too. Sure, they’ll mention to their friends you blocked them “for no reason” and how crazy that is. They don’t know you, and they don’t respect your journey. Maybe when another split happens they’ll have to figure this journey out for themselves.

Months will pass and you’ll be over it, living your best life, and be shocked that you haven’t thought about this lover-turned-stranger in months. And it’ll feel good. It’ll feel like the best runner’s high. It’ll feel better. You’ll laugh with your friends about how devastated you used to be and wonder why. Since it feels so far away now. And with a few more goals met under your belt since that misty breakup, you’ll quickly move on to a different and more enriching topic.

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Jenita Richards is a writer, filmmaker and travel enthusiast. She is currently based in Hanoi, Vietnam where she’s an English teacher and all-around riot. While she's finding her footing, you can find her here: