Breakups are often ugly and result in the two parties shutting down all means of contact.
This includes blocking each other off their social media and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger.
This action is taken for a multitude of reasons (which we will soon be discussing). However, once the acute phase of the breakup concludes, it is common to wonder, ‘should I unblock my ex?’.
Should You Unblock Your Ex?
Ultimately, it depends on a lot of things, some of which are the reasons behind the breakup, what you think and feel about your ex, and, most importantly, what you are most comfortable with. You should not have to do something simply because people expect you to or they might judge you otherwise.
Now let’s discuss if this is a good idea or not.
Reasons for Blocking an Ex
1. Inner peace and well-being
When a couple breaks up, the two people inadvertently enter a competition of ‘who cares the least’.
Blocking your ex off social media and everywhere else might make it seem like your ex has come out ‘victorious’ in this ‘competition’. Since you blocked them off, it means that you were the more emotionally invested out of the two, and hence, the party most affected by the breakup.
However, this makes little sense. A breakup is not a competition, and if you treat it like one, it just proves that you are still abiding by the ‘laws’ of a relationship.
It is important to not care about other people or how they might perceive you. If you think that blocking your ex off will help you recover quicker, go right ahead.
2. They cheated on you
Block. There is nothing else to talk about.
3. They are trying to rile you up
It is not uncommon for exes to indulge in toxic behavior after a breakup. For instance, they might put up statuses on social media that involve you or might get you triggered, like:
‘I am sorry if someone ever made you feel like you are difficult to love.’
Or, they might even share pictures of their new relationship not long after they have broken up with you.
If your ex is behaving in such a manner, you can and should block them, or at least unfriend or unfollow them on social media. This way, you will take your ex’s bullet out of their chamber and they will not have the chance to get under your skin.
4. You are looking for closure
The relationship has ended, and so has the contact between the two of you. However, you are still struggling to accept the fact that it is over, and continue to wonder what went wrong and where. The memories of your relationship are still consuming you.
If that is the case, you might obtain closure by blocking your ex and deleting their contact number. Continuing to see your ex’s social profiles and present life updates might make it difficult for you to move on.
5. Your ex needs closure
It might be the case that you were the one to end things and were able to move on without much of an issue, but your ex turned out to be not so lucky.
They might still be suffering the aftermath of the breakup. Maybe they saw you as the one and planned their entire life with you, and they are now trying to get you back. They keep texting and calling you, ask your friends about you, and tag you on social media posts.
In such a scenario, you need to act, but start by being kind but firm with your ex. Tell them that things are over between the two of you and there is no chance that you will get back together with them.
However, if they are still insistent, you might have no other option but to block them.
Blocking is perhaps the clearest way to let them know that a relationship is now out of the question. It will help your ex understand that if someone is willing to cut communication with them, there is absolutely no chance that they would want a relationship.
Although this may seem harsh and cruel, it is quite the opposite – by blocking your devastated ex, you are helping them come to terms with the situation and begin the healing process.
Why You Might Unblock Your Ex?
Your ex has been blocked for quite a while, but now you are having second thoughts about keeping things as they are. In fact, you are considering unblocking them. Here is why you might do that:
1. You are considering another shot
Even though you guys broke up, you believe that your ex was a good human being and that your relationship held potential.
Unfortunately, things did not go as expected, perhaps because your ex was scared of committing, had habits that did not sit well with you, took you for granted, or a combination of these reasons and several others.
Currently, you do not really mind if the breakup stays permanent. However, you are open to giving the relationship and your ex another shot, but only if they approach you and give you their word that they will work on the things that led to the breakup in the first place.
This does not mean that you are being manipulative or playing mind games with your ex. The problems that broke you up were very much real, and you are simply seeing if your ex is willing to work on removing those issues and give you a happier ending.
2. You are being manipulative
Newsflash: Relationships are complex.
Sometimes, the two people involved can get caught into a battle of egos and try to gain the upper hand. As is often said, ‘the one who loves the least is the one who dominates the relationship’.
This war often compels people to punish their exes, and use the weapon of a breakup for that purpose. They believe that they will force the other person to concede and hence win the ego battle. Often, blocking your other half and seeing them return to you with their tail between their legs is the second step in this conflict.
Unfortunately, no one is immune to this kind of relationship dynamic – two people can get caught up in it even if they are good and perfectly normal.
If you think that you can relate to this, it might not be a bad idea to step back and assess whether the above dynamic is applicable in you and your ex’s case.
If the answer is yes, you should avoid blocking your ex (or unblock them if you already have).
Someone needs to break the pattern of miscommunication, and maybe doing so will bear fruit. If it does, you could start working on reestablishing trust, building healthy boundaries, and searching for communication patterns that suit you both.
It is just as possible that things have turned too sour and can not be repaired. However, you can at least take solace in the fact that you made a genuine effort towards fixing them.
3. You want to take time and figure certain things out
Sometimes, the person is right, but the time is not. If that is the case, a breakup might be a necessary step as it will help you look away from the emotional turmoil and identify the issues in the relationship.
At the moment, you are unsure about getting back with them. However, what you are sure about is the fact that you need a bit of time to clear your head and lick your relationship wounds.
It might turn out that you spot your own fault in damaging the relationship. Just as likely is that you realize that the other person should bear the majority of the blame. Or maybe the two of you should just share it.
Other times, you feel genuine chemistry but a lack of compatibility in terms of personality or values.
The alone time will help you assess your experiences, learn from them, and implement those learnings to improve as a romantic partner. If your ex has taken a similar approach, then you might consider giving it a second try and see this breakup as a sort of factory reset and a chance to get things right.
So, you should leave your ex unblocked as it keeps the door open for a second chance and shows your ex that you are not vindictive or hate them, and, perhaps, just perhaps, the two of you will be able to work things out.
4. You want to stay friends
Although you might have blocked your ex while you were reeling from the impact of the breakup, the truth is that the two of you parted ways with mutual consent and would like to maintain a friendship.
If you think that you can treat your ex as a friend, and if your ex is up for it, you should go ahead and unblock them and enjoy the new friendship.