One of the hardest things to deal with is the realization that a romantic relationship is coming to an end. Parting from them can feel especially crushing because oftentimes, that person not only becomes a romantic partner, but also one of your best friends.

After a relationship ends, there are a lot of questions that may be running through your head.
These likely include: How do I break the news to my family and friends, how do I move on, where do I go from here, etc. A new question, one that has emerged in recent years due to the presence of social media in our lives is: Should I unfollow my ex?

This can be a complicated question to answer due to the complexity of the issue. On one hand, you may be thinking you would like to stay friends, but on the other hand you may feel the need for complete space. Both are understandable thoughts. In order to evaluate what is best for you, it is important to work through a variety of questions regarding your breakup.

Read on to explore reasons you should, or shouldn’t follow your ex. Looking at these reasons, you can then evaluate for yourself what works best for your individual situation.

What Are Some Reasons to Unfollow, or Not Unfollow, Your Ex?

Someone scrolling through social media.
Unfollowing your ex, or not unfollowing them, is likely one of the first steps that’ll follow a breakup. Image courtesy of More.

Unfollowing your ex is a personal decision one might make for a variety of reasons. Let’s explore some of these reasons together.


One of the first things to evaluate when deciding whether or not to unfollow your ex, is your need for boundaries. After a break up, it is important to establish boundaries in order to properly move on from your ex and close that chapter.

You must decide how strict these boundaries should be. This depends on your personal preferences and what you feel you need to move on.


Healing from a break-up is oftentimes directly tied to the boundaries you set with your ex. If you feel especially hurt over the circumstances surrounding your breakup, it may be best to unfollow your ex in order to begin the healing process.

In situations of deep hurt, complete separation is many times a necessity. This complete separation includes unfollowing your ex on social media. This is important because seeing constant reminders of your ex, such as their stories or posts on Instagram everyday, can hinder your healing process.

Establish Space

Even if you don’t feel the need to unfollow your ex for healing purposes, you may still crave space from the situation. This could be because you are trying to put the situation behind you, seek out a new romantic partner, or simply don’t want a reminder of your ex. Any reason you feel for needing space is valid.


Once you establish boundaries with your ex, and decide to unfollow them on social media, it doesn’t mean it has to be permanent. Somewhere along the line, you may choose to reevaluate the situation and refollow your ex. That is completely okay.

Unfollowing your ex does not have to be permanent. However, do not feel any shame in making it permanent if that is what is best for you.

The Breakup

Before deciding whether to unfollow your ex, another factor to evaluate is the circumstances surrounding your breakup. These circumstances can help you make your decision.

Amicable Breakup?

Depending on whether your breakup was amicable or not can help you decide whether or not to unfollow your ex.

If you had a breakup without much drama, or a mutual-parting, you may feel okay continuing to follow your ex. This is especially true if both you and your partner’s feelings have dissolved, therefore the two of you may not require much space.

However, if you experienced a messy breakup, such as one involving

  • Cheating
  • An unexpected parting
  • A large fight

Or other similar circumstances, you likely will want to unfollow your ex. These types of breakups can be especially tough, but developing coping strategies can help you get through this difficult time.

Toxic Relationship?

Another aspect to consider was the state of your relationship. If you were the victim of a relationship that was toxic, abusive, or anything of the sort, you should not even hesitate to unfollow your ex. In fact, it would likely be best to block your ex on all your social media accounts for your safety and well-being.

Additionally, do not feel scared or ashamed to seek out help from your family, friends, or a trained professional. It is important to surround yourself with the people you love and trust in times like these.

Remaining Friends?’

Two people sitting next to each other on a railing, staring out at the city.
Staying friends with an ex can be tough and may not always be the best decision for you. Image courtesy of Society 19.

Before deciding whether to unfollow your ex, you should ask yourself if you plan on staying friends with your ex. Additionally, it is important to decide whether it is truly healthy for you to stay friends. Let’s look at some decision factors regarding this problem.

What Is Your History?

When deciding whether or not to remain friends, you should look at the history of your relationship. If you have been friends for many years before you decided to pursue a romantic relationship, you may feel strongly about continuing that friendship. In this case, you will most likely want to continue following your ex

However, if your friendship only began when you started dating, or shortly before that point, then it may be best to not remain friends. In this situation, you should unfollow your ex. In this scenario you may be worried about running into your ex and things being awkward, so check out some tips to handle this situation.

Do You Still Have Feelings For Your Ex?

Another important question to ask yourself is whether you still have feelings for your ex. If the answer to this is yes, it is probably best to not remain friends so you can work through your feelings. If you remain friends, you might find yourself falling back into old habits, making it even harder in the long-run to move past your ex.

Additionally, if you have feelings for your ex, it is probably best to unfollow them on social media, at least for the time being, to create some separation between yourself and your ex.

Can You Keep Your Boundaries Firm While Remaining Friends?’

One of the most essential things to ask yourself is if you can keep boundaries while simultaneously remaining friends. This is necessary to have a healthy friendship with your ex. Doing so requires open communication relating to each others’ boundaries.

If one or both of you are having trouble respecting the other boundaries, it is better to not remain friends after a breakup. This is also a situation in which you should unfollow your ex to reinforce boundaries.

Do You Feel a Constant Need to Check Your Ex’s Profile?

Your need to check your ex’s profile is another thing to consider when determining whether or not to unfollow your ex.

If you feel the constant need to check your ex’s profile then you should unfollow them. This is because it is not conducive towards your healing or moving on process to monitor what your ex is up to.

Dealing and Moving On

A woman dancing around on the beach.
While dealing with a breakup is hard, there are some positives that can come out of the situation. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

It is hard to end a relationship, but oftentimes it is not all bad. There is always a silver-lining. For instance, ending a long-term relationship can allow you to embrace the benefits of being single, such as:

  • Discovering new things about yourself
  • Finding out who you are independently
  • Having more time for family and friends

In conclusion, deciding whether or not to unfollow an ex is a personal decision depending on several factors. What’s most important is deciding what is best for you in order to live a healthy, happy, and productive life going forward.

Nov 7, 2022