Dear Mr. Nice Guy…

Dear Mr. Nice Guy,

A few months ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. While we don’t talk anymore, we are still “friends” on Facebook and both of us have several photos of the two of us in our Facebook photo albums. While I’m not dating anyone new yet, I don’t want it to appear that I’m still attached or interested in my ex. If I delete him, and the photos, will it appear bitter? I want to move forward in the classiest way possible.

Thanks for your advice,

Facebook Confused 
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HeadshotDear Facebook Confused,

There are two ways to answer this for you; 1.)bluntly or 2.)a long-winded rant about Facebook and how annoying it is that it has made an alarming impact on how we handle our relationships (platonic and romantic) with others.

For the sake of actually answering your question, and not stepping onto a 2000-word soapbox, I’m going to give you my blunt response.

You’ve given me a couple of pretty strong clues in your original e-mail; “…we don’t talk anymore, we are still “friends” on Facebook…”

The two of you don’t talk, and obviously you’re not really friends if you have to use quotations around the word. From those two bits of information alone I say do whatever you want. Un-friend him. Delete the pictures. Remove tags. Do whatever you want, it’s your account.

Why worry about coming across as bitter? Maybe this is part of your process to move on, or it could just be the realization of why keep this connection with someone you’re obvious not really friends (or possibly even acquainted with) anymore. As for the concern over those who may view these actions as bitter, I say screw ’em. You know why you’re doing what you’re doing and that’s all that matters. If they wish to label it as a bitter lashing out, let them.

It’s respectable that you want to appear as classy as possible, but removing him as a “friend” and removing his pictures isn’t going to tarnish your image. If you had been writing passive-aggressive status updates, or writing mean-spirited comments on his wall; that would have been undignified.

What matters at the end of the day is that you are doing what is best for you.

I hope that helps, and good luck.

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5 thoughts on “Dear Mr. Nice Guy…

  1. Amy says:

    After a recent breakup, I had to deal with the same questions. Instead of un-friending my ex, I changed the settings so he doesn’t show up in my News Feed and that I don’t see his FB activity. I left the photos up because it’s part of my history, and I’m okay with history. If you have the self-control to not check his page and not visit the old photos and reminisce about the past, I think just letting it die naturally without un-friending and deleting is the classiest thing you can do.

    However, if you find yourself looking at the old photos and checking what your ex is doing, it might just be healthier for you to un-friend him and delete the photos. At the end of the day, like Matthew said, as long as your not writing mean-spirited comments and passive-aggressive status updates, then don’t worry about the judgments of others. You need to do what makes it possible for you to move forward.

    With regard to my own ex, someday I might unfriend him. I’ve been purging so-called “friends” from FB lately…people that I honestly don’t really care to know what is happening in their lives. I assume, someday, I’ll feel the same toward my ex as I do toward the guy who sat next to me in high school biology and that he’ll get the FB ax! But, right now, I leave him there. I too worry about being classy in handling the breakup, so this approach helps me feel classy and take care of my own emotional needs.

    • Matthew says:

      Well said Amy. It sounds like you definitely are handling things classy’, and I’m glad to hear you’re putting yourself first and focusing more on those needs than anything else.

  2. MJ says:

    I agree! I’ve put off the defriend to avoid looking bitter, but I spend more time then thinking about the fact that I’d like to tick off that last little get-him-out-of-my-life box. Just do it! Plus, it doesn’t matter now, but eventually you will be dating someone else and it’s kind of nice to start with a clean slate.

    • Matthew says:

      Personally, that’s a attitude I have when it comes to the social media ties; but it also depends on how the relationship ended. If the didn’t end badly, and a friendship can be salvaged, then keeping that stuff may be worthwhile. If you know you’d rather not see them again, there’s nothing wrong (or bitter) about jumping head first and doing a 100% complete cleanse.

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