Question: Yangki, in one of your answers to a question “should you block your ex on social media”, you said “most grow-ups understand the need for space”. In another answer you said “it is immature to block your ex”. Why is completely blocking your ex when you need space a bad thing? Am I missing something? I hope you post my question.
Yangki’s Answer: I like your question and I posted it. You are right that I need to clarify a few things about my advice on blocking an ex on social media.
The quotes you mention are answers to two different questions. In the first answer you left out “but if you need space, clearly communicate to your why and what to expect”. In the second answer you left out “if you are doing it to try to make your ex miss you.”
Whether or not to block your ex on social media, and the reasons for blocking your ex’ in my opinion should be considered on case to case basis.
There is an argument for blocking your ex on social media
1) To allow you to move on
Some people are able to move on while still in contact with their ex, and others are not. If you can’t move on; then blocking your ex is not a bad idea.
Social media in general makes moving on from a break-up much harder. The last thing you want is seeing constant with reminders of your ex; or a feed notification that your ex is now “in a relationship.”
2) Abusive or toxic relationship
If there is an argument for blocking an ex, blocking an abusive or toxic ex is a very good one. The relationship is over, there is no need to subject yourself to more abuse and toxicity.
Unfriending and blocking might not be enough to detox from a toxic relationship; and taking a break from social media for a while until you are in a better place will help.
3) An ex who can’t accept the break-up
If you told your ex to stop contacting you in any form and they ignore or flat out disrespect your boundaries; then unfriending, untagging and blocking your ex on social media is the only choice.
When blocking your ex on social media is counterproductive
If you want your ex back however, blocking your ex on social media, from texting or calling you is self-sabotaging your chances of getting your e back.
Put yourself in this scenario: You had a fight with your roommate the night before, you come home from work in the evening and she’s packed up all her stuff, including furniture, kitchenware, everything. Completely cleaned out.
You ask her what’s going on and she says “I just need some space to think and clear my head”.
Any rational person will be thinking, “I understand the need for space, but why take all your stuff and even the furniture and pots if you are planning on coming back?”
Same logic. If you just need “space” then why delete your ex’s phone number unfriend or block your from all social media, ignore any attempts they make to reach out and/or act like they don’t exist?
These are actions of someone who’s not planning on coming back
If you’re not planning on coming back, that’s okay. But don’t say “I just need some space to think and clear my head”. People who just need some space don’t act like they are not planning on coming back. Unless, they are trying to play some psychological trick. Psychological tricks are never a way to build a healthy lasting relationship.
Here is the thing. When you move all your stuff out, people change locks and/or get new roommates. That’s just a fact of life.
When you move out of someone’s life, don’t act surprised when you come back (with all your stuff); and find the locks have been changed (you have been emotionally shut out); and/or your roommate has a new roommate (someone else has moved into your ex’s life).
Don’t treat people like they are disposable and expect them not to react
When you erase your ex from your life and then months later come back; don’t expect your ex to be all smiles and hugs. You showed you wanted nothing to do with your ex, it’s only fair that your ex wants nothing to do with you, or is keeping their guard up.
Actions not only have consequences, actions communicate our intention louder than words do.
If you feel that you need “space” and plan on re-establishing communication at some point, communicate what you want and need like a grown-up.
Related question: Why “Cool Off Period” Is NOT “No Contact”