Is This Petty? He Still Keeps Pictures Of His Ex On Facebook

November 4, 2016  |  



Does your spouse’s ex bother you?
And I don’t mean that in a, you loathe them, there is a lot of tension when they’re in your presence, or you’ve literally found yourselves in a flurry of fisticuffs with them.
Instead, I’m just asking if the mention of your partner’s past lover, or the sight of them (through old pictures or in person), makes you uncomfortable?

For some people, hearing about or even coming into contact with one’s ex isn’t a problem. For model Chrissy Teigen, she actually gets along with husband John Legend’s exes — many are fellow models.

“I didn’t know it, but John used to be a notorious modelizer,” the new mom told Cosmopolitan. “To me, he was the sweetest teddy bear. What’s funny is that I get along with everyone he’s ever been with. I end up really liking them. After I see them, I’ll tell him, ‘Oh, I was on-set with your ex today — it was fun!’ … It was before me, so it’s fine.”

But for other people, the same warm and fuzzy feelings don’t apply.

For one woman I found sharing her story online, running across past photos of her boyfriend with his ex definitely made her uncomfortable. The woman (who had just started her relationship with her boyfriend) said that “most” of his photos on Facebook were from his past relationship with a “very gorgeous ex.” The former couple seemed pretty happy together in the photos, but they had a contentious split and the ex ended up dating his friend soon after their split. Despite such disrespect, the new girlfriend said that the old photos are still present in his albums on the social media site, and she doesn’t understand why. “Wouldn’t he want to take the photos down then?” The fact that he hadn’t made the woman uncomfortable. What could it mean?

They call them an “ex” for a reason, right? With that in mind, there are people who believe that when a relationship is over, ties need to be cut. Your ex needs to be blocked in your phone, their photos deleted from your social media, and mention of them needs to cease. But for many people, the end of a relationship doesn’t always have to be so…final. While you may not keep their number in your phone, you might keep them as a social media friend and even hold onto a few photos here and there for memory’s sake.

And you may even be one of those people who might unfriend your ex on social media, but look them up from time to time just to see how they’re doing (this includes for possible, “He still ain’t doing sh-t” braggadocio reasons).

But should whatever decisions you make in the way you move on from your former love really bear such weight in a new relationship? Is it petty if mementos, images and even the presence of an ex riles up your new partner?

I’ve been guilty in the past of getting bent out of shape when I found out that my then-boyfriend (now husband), had looked up his ex-girlfriend of two years on social media. I assumed at the time that it could mean that he wanted to reconnect with her — or already had. He insisted that he didn’t want to and only looked her up after one of his friends mentioned her briefly in conversation. After speaking with people about it over the years, I now understand that sometimes we just want to know how people are doing and once we find out, we leave it at that. Some of us don’t want to be connected to our ex again, but don’t have the energy, desire, or pettiness to clean out all of our social media images of them. And sometimes we run into our exes and instead of trying to act like we don’t see them, we speak. The reality is that our past is still a part of our story, and when you’re in a somewhat serious relationship with a person at any time in your life, they become a part of your story. Acting like you don’t know them, rarely speaking of them or pretending they were never around doesn’t change that.

So in the case of the young woman flustered by her boyfriend’s social media pictures, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If he gave her the idea that he was still in contact with this woman or longed to reconnect, then she would need to speak to him about her concerns. But keeping pictures from his past doesn’t necessarily mean he would prefer to be back there. Major concerns about it on her part somewhat read as insecurities, especially since she noted that the ex was “very gorgeous.” And considering that they’re in a new relationship, I don’t think it’s the right time to start making demands about getting rid of images to make her feel better about what they’ve got going on. Just saying, if he hasn’t really given her reason to worry, I don’t think it’s that serious…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. What say you? Is it petty to be upset that your partner still has images throughout their social media of their ex? Why or why not? 

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