Updated: May 2
When someone you once loved and shared everything with blocks you on social media, it can feel devastating--even though a clean split is often what’s best for the both of you. But what if a year has gone by and they’ve suddenly unblocked you? The feelings that erupt when you’ve realized you’ve been unblocked are equally difficult to handle. You might wonder: What does it mean? Do they miss me? Will they reach out to me? The questions that flood your mind are seemingly endless. The truth is, you may never know for sure what it means--if anything. But by keeping a level head and understanding what you should do and what you should avoid, you are that much more likely to find peace.
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Don’t: Stalk their social media pages.
You will likely feel incredibly tempted to scour through your ex’s social media, see what they've been up to, and search for any clues that they’re still not over you. But the truth is, social media is not reality. Whatever you can deduce from their online presence likely isn’t the truth, or at least the whole truth. When you spend time obsessing over the online depiction of their life, you lose the chance to fully live the reality of yours. Seeing photos of them may bring up a whole slew of emotions you thought were long buried. It’s best to leave those sour feelings behind and keep focusing on the life you’ve created outside of them.
Do: Focus on yourself.
When someone you treasured becomes a distant ex, you are forced to build a life for yourself that brings you happiness and fulfillment. You can no longer depend on them to add light to your days, and you certainly can’t let the pain of the breakup keep you caged in misery. You have to focus on life without them entirely. But when they’ve finally unblocked you after a year or if they’ve recently blocked you, it can be easy to become sucked back into the mentality that your happiness and peace depend on them. You might be transported back to the way you felt after the breakup. When these feelings pop up, it’s important to remember the commitment you made to yourself and to continue prioritizing your happiness over the hypothetical meaning of them unblocking you.
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Don’t: Immediately contact them.
It’s difficult for us to handle uncertainty—we crave to be certain about nearly everything. But the truth is, so much in life is uncertain, and that’s a difficult reality we must accept to find peace. You may feel instantly compelled to reach out to your ex to learn what their motive was and how they’ve been feeling, but this is likely to do more damage to your psyche than good. Rather than acting immediately on your knee-jerk reaction and letting your emotions take control, take a step back. Process what you are feeling, and decide what it means in the greater context of your life. Is this someone you truly miss and would like to have contact with? Or do you just crave the instant gratification of seeing their name pop up on your phone? Ultimately, whether or not you reach out to them is up to you. But give yourself some time to let the dust settle and understand your emotions before diving into the deep end.
Do: Look towards the future.
It can be easy to feel trapped in your feelings surrounding the relationship that once was. But the past cannot be changed—no matter how much time we spend rehashing it in our minds to make sense of it. Instead, “Look at what you needed to learn from the failure of that relationship and use what you learned to have a new and better relationship,” says author Elliott Katz. Don’t let your feelings keep you stagnant. Accept them and see what they’re here to tell you, and then keep pushing for a brighter, free future where your company is all you need to be happy. If someone new comes along, you’ll be that much more prepared to have a fulfilling, healthy relationship with them—free from the binds of the past.
All of the feelings that arise when you discover your ex has unblocked you or has blocked you are completely normal and valid, and you owe it to yourself to feel them completely. But you also deserve to keep your eyes on the future and remember your worth. Just as you were whole before you met them, you are just as a whole after them, too—and no one is worth getting in the way of your growth and life journey.