Don’t Be Afraid to Hit the Block Button

Breakups are hard. Whether you’re the one who did the dumping or the one who got dumped, it’s not easy. The feelings and memories of the present and the past can be overwhelming. The intense feelings seem to be endless — to the point where you just want to scream into your pillow and fall into an abyss.

Social media is a way to share how you feel to loved ones and strangers, so it’s all too tempting to share the emotions you have running through your head by posting vague lyrics and screenshots of Twitter posts that get what it’s like. Many of us can’t help checking on our exes to see if they’re being vague about their feelings as well. This can lead to constantly checking your likes for their name and clicking on their profile repeatedly. This could also create an urge so strong to reach out that you might actually click on their DMs.

You could go on a social media cleanse, which is a great idea in general, but maybe you don’t want to miss out on any of the new things popping up on your feed. You might think about blocking them, but the idea of looking petty makes you hesitate.

It’s hard to transition from being in a relationship to being strangers, and there are countless articles out there to help with the process. Sadly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re struggling with the social media aspect of the breakup, then I suggest blocking the person. Forget all the negative things you’ve heard and take a look at some of the other things that come with blocking.

The ability to see what our loved ones are thinking at any moment is fun, but when that loved one is no longer a part of your life it can cut like a knife. When you see what they post and think about a funny or sympathetic reply that you aren’t able to send, it hurts. Even when things end on a mutual note, it’s not acceptable to reach out. If you’re on social media often, it can be even harder to not overthink everything. I suggest in that situation to cut out any access you have to seeing them if you don’t have the restraint to stop yourself from constantly checking on them. By not ending the cycle of thinking you’re over your ex, checking their social media and spiraling into despair when they seem to be doing fine can make having a clean break so much harder.

According to Gabrielle Appleburty, a licensed marriage and family therapist, “While dating, seeing your partner’s face, hearing their voice or thinking about them triggers our reward system in the brain as well as a burst of feel-good oxytocin.” This is why we reach out to them on their social media and get hooked on it. This psychological reasoning is hard to overcome, and taking the extra step to block the person might be the best thing to do.I am susceptible to the urge to check on the people I have recently ended things with. I like to make people happy, and I wonder if the happiness I brought is missed as much as I miss giving it. This always leads to feeling terrible about myself and the relationship I had because the posts we put on our feed reflect the best parts of our lives. Feelings are real and don’t disappear as quickly as we want them to. It’s not easy clicking that block button and finalizing the end of your relationship in one moment. It’s a sad moment that hurts and continues to hurt for a little bit. The peace of mind I gain from it though is worth the momentarily sadness, and I eventually forget that I even blocked them.

Social media can make it harder to move on from relationships. It’s a constant reminder that the people who used to be an essential part of our lives are no longer acknowledging our existence. There is no shame in needing to block that person from viewing your profile or to prevent yourself from being tempted to look at theirs. If they noticed you block them they might be hurt, but if they cared about you they should understand it was to better your mental and emotional health by assuring you can breathe while being online. Blocking is not petty, immature or uncalled for. It’s a protective measure that might work for you. Breakups suck, and they leave a sting that likes to occasionally remind you that it’s there. If blocking is your salve, that’s okay.