For every woman who has experienced a breakup, there will always be a period of awkwardness or even animosity between you and an ex—for some, it may only take months, while for others, it could last for years—and that’s okay. Whether your separation was a clean consensual cut or a messy mishap, you’re in under no obligation to be friends with an ex or to be on regular speaking terms yet again; however, you will want to get over that aspect of your life, and you’d want to do it with your dignity intact.
Since it’s a pretty small world online, you’re almost always bound to bump into your ex on social media, or at least hear and see about him on other people’s posts. Here are a few things you shouldn’t post online depending on what your situation is:
Situation: He broke your heart and you’re still hung up on him
What not to post: A blow-by-blow of your breakup story
As much as you want to vent, you wouldn’t want to post something that you’ll regret a few months (or even hours) down the line. A blow-by-blow account of how your relationship ended isn’t something that your 1,435 friends and acquaintances (including your boss and officemates) need to know. If you want to get things off your chest, private message a friend and ask her out for coffee. Face to face conversations still work best in processing your feelings.
FN TIP: Stop stalking your ex and unfollow him on all social media platforms. Yes, you might know his phone number by heart, but be disciplined enough to stop yourself from drop calling him every time you watch the last five episodes of Goblin. He is not the Kim Shin to your Eun Tak. Don’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that you’re still in the throes of heartache.
Situation: He wants to maintain contact and he’s very makulit about it
What not to post: Reactions and replies that will only trigger more drama
Time away from each other is an important factor in healing and moving on. If he still follows your public IG account and slides into your DM too often for comfort, put your foot down: tell him that you’d rather not talk to him and that this is the last time you’re answering any of his messages. If he insists on calling you out in the comments section of your friend’s FB wall, don’t be goaded into replying. You don’t owe him a response.
FN TIP: There are men who can’t take no for an answer, and if your ex proves to be one of them and it’s making you feel uncomfortable or it's becoming harassment, screenshot everything and report his accounts. During worst case scenarios of abusive messages and grave threats, contact the authorities.
Situation: There’s a third party and they’re now together
What not to post: Bitter messages (including posts blaming "the other woman"—here's why) that won’t help you distance yourself from the situation
Let’s admit it—there’s nothing more gratifying that posting what’s on your mind, making parinig, and letting the entire world know that your ex was a nasty cheater and that he doesn’t deserve any ounce of happiness. But you know what’s the best revenge? Saying nothing at all. True, you can always vent offline, but maintaining that unaffected, wala-akong-pakialam-sa-buhay-niyo persona doesn’t only say that you don’t have time for your ex’s bullsh*t, but that you are also way over him—even if you’re not. Fake it ‘til you make it, right? Be the classier person. You’ll be better for it.
FN TIP: The tip to stay classy after a cheating incident is to not wait for closure (because girl, there never will be) but to find happiness on your own.
Situation: There’s just no love between the two of you anymore, but you decide to stay friends
What not to post: What-could-have-beens and old couple photos
While it's nice to look back on your memories together, making your innermost thoughts of a relationship that didn’t work public may not be the wisest thing to do, especially if you and your ex have chosen to stay friends. A nod or two to a good run is fine, but forever posting hugot notes and reminiscing on social platforms may not be doing anything to help either of you move on. Plus, imagine how awakward it would be for your future partners.
FN TIP: When you’re stuck in that “we’re still friends” zone and you don't want to unfriend each other on social media for one reason or another, make the best out of the situation and use filters to limit the updates. That way, you won’t see much of what he’s doing and vice versa.
Situation: You’ve broken up, and you have a child together
What not to post and how to deal with the issue on social media, according to single mom Allie, 30:
"I'm a single mom, and the father of my child cheated on me multiple times. As much as I would want to everybody in our circle to know what he did, I chose not to air our dirty laundry online. I knew that a teacher, a relative, or anyone could see my post. I don't want them to think of my breakup every time they see my child.
“Ayokong maawa sila and think that we are victims.
“Besides, my child might see or know about his dad's unfaithfulness through my post—I believe it's not my place to reveal that. It's his dad who committed the mistake, so it should come from him.
“I can talk to my child in my private that daddy and mommy are no longer together. If he asks why, I'll just tell him that he doesn't need to worry about the reason—he is loved by both of us, and that will never change.”
In the end, it's always up to you
It's true—your feed, your decision. Whatever you want to post online is your choice and your responsibility, but remember that there are consequences—including legal ones. Sure, you can always choose to type in anger and rage, and maybe for a while (and if vague enough) that's okay, but soon you'll have to realize that you need to focus on healing yourself, too. As author and columnist Dr. Gina Barreca noted in an article on Psychology Today, "Getting over a breakup is like recovering from a broken limb: for a while, everybody feels sorry for you and opens the door; after a certain point, you need to build up your own strength, otherwise you'll always carry the weakness with you. You're better than that... You can survive the worst of love's lacerations, but only if you stop playing with heartache's open wounds and peeling your emotional blisters."