Anyone who has dated a person post 2004 most likely has had access to social media. Social media has enhanced our connection with people but the constant connection also has its pitfalls, particularly when you breakup with your boyfriend or partner.
So let's take a common scenario: You start dating a guy or girl, you meet their friends and get along very well. You add them on Facebook.
Then the chain of connections begins as all the other friends follow suit by adding you as a friend. You take many pictures together, you go out to restaurants and bars together; you start to like your partner's friends.
Everything is going well... Or so it seems. Then one dreaded day, you decide (or worse it's decided for you) that the relationship has come to an end. You are devastated. Or if you were the dumper, you may be having second thoughts about your decision.
The dilemma? You still have your ex on Facebook, and their friends, and now you're contemplating whether or not to remove them all.
Is it too harsh?
Does it look like I care too much if I delete them all?
Is it better to play it cool and pretend like I don't care?
These are the questions you will most likely be asking yourself, however, the only valid question you should be asking is this:
What is going to work for my emotional health right now and help me move on?
If you are a curious person, or your own worst enemy, you will find that out of boredom you'll inevitably check your ex's page -- only to see photos of them with their friends, out and about.
It stings, doesn't it?
While you may be well aware that your ex is moving on, it's different when the evidence is right in front of you. Instead of being blissfully unaware and moving forward, seeing this photo has pushed you two-steps back.
You will most likely decide to post a 'look at me I'm so hot/look what you are missing out on' photo in response. Again, not particularly helpful. Showing off to your ex on Facebook in the hope that he or she may see it might be satisfying in the short-term, particularly if they 'like' it.
But there is most likely a reason you split-up and no amount of hot photos is actually going to win your ex back, it just gives false hope. If you are deeply affected by the breakup, you will probably spend the rest of your day analysing the 'like' or comment they made which is not helpful either.
However, if the breakup was a mutual decision and neither of you were emotionally invested in the relationship, keeping your ex on Facebook may not be an issue (just slightly awkward).
Now, about the friends...
You may not have an issue with them personally, but in the majority of cases they will always be loyal to your ex as they were friends with them first. There is also the risk that they will post photos out and about with your ex. The kind of photos you do not want to see.
If you are worried about offending them by the removal, you can always explain to them that you are removing them as friends but it's nothing personal. It is merely to give yourself some space to move on. They should be able to understand this.
Another thing to remember is that just because you remove your ex and their friends from a social media platform does not mean it is set in stone. You can always add them again at a later time when you are 100 percent over it and ready to be friends.
The point is you need to be true to yourself. Don't kid yourself that you are okay with seeing your ex on social media if you are not. It is detrimental in the long run. It's like opening a wound every second day and expecting it to heal. The months can turn into years and you still won't be over it.
A clean break is what you need to truly get over a relationship.