Once you’ve ended a relationship, things can get tricky when it comes to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Should you block? Should you delete? Should you just leave it all in because it was an important part of your life?
Learn how to handle a breakup on social media with a few simple tips. Whether you ended the relationship or got dumped, your attitude on social media sites can say a lot about you right after a break-up, so here’s what to do and what not to do.
1. Breakup-Proof Your Social Media Presence
Obviously, the best case scenario is that you didn’t make your ex a huge part of your social media presence. If you only posted a few pictures of you together, you should be fine, but when your accounts are linked and yours is full of him, it’s hard to determine what stays and what goes. Even if you didn’t do it this time around, try to keep some distance between your social media presence and your boyfriend next time.
2. Don’t Air Your Grievances Publicly
One of the worst things you can do when you’re trying to handle a breakup on social media is say nasty things to/about your ex publicly. Unless he really betrayed you or could be a danger to others, keep the details to yourself. Your next guy might check out your timeline or feed and he won’t want to see you go crazy after a break-up.
3. Never Break Up on Social Media Before Actually Doing It
This seems like a no-brainer, but you should never change your relationship status or block your ex before you actually tell him you’re breaking up. It’s much worse than breaking up with a text, and it will end up reflecting poorly on you.
4. Don’t Rush to Change Your Relationship Status
Unless you had a particularly nasty break-up, don’t rush to your computer to change your Relationship Status to single. Give it a day or two in order to cool off before you do anything about that. Knowing how to handle a breakup on social media is particularly important if you want to date one of your current “friends”.
See also: 10 Things You Should Never Text Your Ex
5. Opt for Mute Instead of Block
Removing your ex from your list of friends or blocking him is a dramatic gesture that doesn’t have any purpose if the break-up was mutual or respectful. Choose to mute him or remove his posts from your timeline. Only choose block if you have a good reason for not ever wanting to interacting with him again.
6. Don’t Try to Delete Everything Related to Your Ex
The best answer to the question of how to handle a breakup on social media is... just like you would in real life. Going on a purge to remove everything about your ex from your social media accounts is the equivalent of burning everything he ever gave you. Don’t do it without a good reason.
7. Avoid Posting Passive Aggressive Messages
Even if you don’t see any of his posts anymore, that doesn’t mean he made the same choice. Avoid posting about the end of your relationship in passive aggressive terms that are clearly aimed at him. Keep the cryptic stuff to a minimum and focus on the new you, who already moved on.
8. Don’t Use Social Media to Stalk Your Ex
Even if he didn’t block or mute you in any way, that doesn’t mean it’s OK to keep looking at everything he posts. Even if you didn’t want the relationship to end, that’s not the right way to handle a breakup on social media. In fact, it might be best if you avoid posts from his close friends too. If he mistreated you, and you decided to unfriend him, it’s also reasonable to ask your closest friends to do the same.
9. Keep the Group Photos
If you’re really hurting, you’ll feel an impulse to delete everything, from the pictures of you two hugging to every single image in which you appear together. However, it’s better to stop yourself and save the group photos. They might make you angry now, but someday they may become cherished memories.
10. Get a Fresh Start
While giving up your Facebook account is probably not an option, getting a new start on Twitter or Instagram might not be a bad idea. If you don’t want to worry too much about how to handle a breakup on social media, simply don’t. Make a new account and start fresh.