When you split from a partner, there are a number of things they – and you – will do in the days and weeks after.
Some of which will make sense, some won’t, and some you’ll both regret.
A good example of this is when your ex unfriends you on social media but doesn’t block you.
Why would they do this?
I can explain some of the things they may have been thinking!
The Difference Between Unfriending and Blocking on Social Media
It depends on the exact platform, but generally speaking, when you unfriend someone on social media, it means that they will no longer show up in your feed or timeline.
You won’t be notified as to what they’re doing, but you’ll still be able to view their posts and check in on them if you want to.
Blocking is different.
When you block someone on social media, they can no longer see anything you post, they can’t search for you, and they won’t be able to view your profile.
You can’t tag them on Facebook, you can’t see their profile on Instagram, and so on.
It’s a much more aggressive way of saying “I don’t want to see you or have anything to do with you.”
Why Did My Ex Unfriend Me But Not Block Me? (10 Possible Reasons!)
1. They Still Want to Be Able to See What You’re Doing on Social Media
If your ex has unfriended you on social media but not blocked you, it could be because they still want to keep tabs on you.
They might be interested in what you’re doing and who you’re spending time with.
It’s also possible that they’re hoping to see something that will make them feel better about the breakup – whatever the reason, they’re leaving the option to follow you open.
Related – Reasons why she never texts back and some ways you can make someone feel guilty over text!
2. They Want You to Be Able to See What They’re Doing on Social Media
On the other hand, your ex might want to make sure that you can see what they’re posting on social media.
This might be because they’re trying to make you jealous, or it could be that they just want you to know that they’re doing fine without you.
It’s hard to tell if they want to see your profile or you to see theirs, but by not blocking you they’re clearly leaving the door open.
3. They Might Think They’ve Blocked You
This one is a little more confusing, but it happens!
It’s possible that your ex has tried to block you on social media but for some reason, it hasn’t worked.
They might think that you’ve been blocked when in reality, you can still see their posts.
Some people aren’t the most tech-savvy, and it’s possible they’ve never had to block someone before – these things happen.
4. They Want Some Space, But Not to Be Cut Off Completely
It’s very possible that your ex just needs some time and space after the breakup, and unfriending you on social media is their way of getting it.
By not blocking you, they’re still able to see what’s going on in your life – but on their terms.
It’s a way of distancing themselves from you without completely cutting you out of their life and I think it’s perfectly acceptable.
5. They Are Testing You to See What You Do
In some cases, your ex might be testing you to see what you’ll do if they unfriend you on social media.
Will you try to contact them?
Do you care that they’ve unfriended you?
They might be trying to gauge your reaction in order to make a decision about the future of your relationship.
The best advice is to do nothing and not get involved in their mind games.
6. They Know that Blocking Is Too Harsh
Blocking someone on social media is a very final and harsh decision, and sometimes people just don’t have the heart to do that.
It’s possible that your ex knows that if they block you, they won’t be able to see what’s going on in your life and they think you’ll never see each other again.
No matter how your relationship ended, that’s a big step to take against someone you shared a lot of good times with.
7. They Did It in Haste and Now Regret It
It’s also possible that your ex unfriended you in the heat of the moment and now regrets it.
Once they’ve had some time to cool down they might reach out to you and try to befriend you again, and it’ll be fortunate they didn’t block you.
We all do things we wish we wouldn’t in the heat of the moment, so it’s best not to think too much about whatever happens in the days after a breakup.
8. You Have Lots of Mutual Friends so It Makes Sense Not to Block You
If you and your ex have a lot of mutual friends, blocking you on social media could cause them more issues than it’s worth.
For one, they’re still probably going to see you, both in person and in your friend’s timelines.
Also, some of your mutual friends might bug them about it saying it was unnecessary, etc.
9. They’re Leaving the Door Open to Reconcile
This is probably the most common reason people don’t block their ex on social media.
Your ex might have unfriended you to make a point, but not blocked you because they’re still holding out hope that you’ll reconcile and get back together someday.
Or, maybe they do just want to stay friends and keep in contact in some capacity.
Essentially, it’s a way of distancing themselves from you while still being able to see what’s going on in your life and not close the door on you.
10. They’re Mature About the Breakup
Lastly, it’s possible that your ex is just being the bigger person and handling the breakup in a mature way.
I’m sure they understand that social media is just a platform to connect with others and that there’s no reason to block you just because you’re not together anymore.
Blocking someone on social media doesn’t change anything, it often just causes more drama.
At the end of the day, who cares if someone can still see what you’re posting?
Plus, if someone really wants to see what you’re doing – even if they’re blocked – they can just start a new account under a different name or look on someone else’s account.
Related – Tips to make someone want you over text and reasons why some guys prefer to call.
Should You Ask Your Ex to Re-Friend You?
If you’re wondering whether or not you should ask your ex to re-friend you on social media, I can only say ‘it depends’.
There is no one-answer-fits-all, you’re going to need to take a close look at your individual situation.
Generally speaking, I’d say that you definitely shouldn’t ask them to re-friend you right away, and maybe not even for a few months.
I’m sure emotions are high after breaking up, you’ll both need time to figure out how you feel, and the best way to do this is by putting some space between the two of you.
Personally, I’d wait for a signal or two that they’re willing to be amicable or want to be friends before reaching out to them.
If they’ve been talking about you with friends, mentioning you here and there, or even reaching out and talking to you – these are great signs.
You could ask them if they want to be friends again on social media by saying something lighthearted like, “How about adding me as a friend again on social media? Don’t worry, I’m not going to stalk you!”
At the end of the day, if you want to be friends again you have to ask at some point and see what they say!
Image credits – Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.