Everything went well for two years until he found a job in the US and left for his dream job leaving a sullen and sad Shivani behind in India. They managed to keep their relationship alive through phone calls and video chats until there came a point when Ankur started losing interest. Finally, Shivani had to accept the inevitable fate of their relationship. They broke off. He deleted all traces of her from his life, including his social media accounts. But Shivani could not. She kept a few pictures as a reminder of the good times they had.
It’s been three years since their break-up, and crazy cupid once again played his trick on 24-year-old Shivani. She fell in love with one of her colleagues and their love story started soon. But one unfortunate incident rocked their boat. On Shivani’s Facebook timeline, an old memory of her life with Ankur popped up as a reminder one day. It was a picture of both snuggling together in bed with a caption that read: “On a cold wintery morning in Manali, only you can keep me warm (wink)”. Her current partner saw it accidentally and he could not take it easy. He almost threatened to cut off ties with her thinking she was still in touch with her ex-boyfriend. Jealousy, as it happened, was another factor. Poor Shivani, she had a rough time explaining to him that it was an old memory and she had totally forgotten about those pictures on her Facebook.
This incident from Shivani’s life brings us to the most important question—should you keep your ex-partner’s photos on your social media account?
Psychologist Kamna Chhibber, Head (Mental Health), Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare explained how this issue affects different couples differently but trust is the common factor, the lack of which, can be a problem when one partner is found keeping the photos of an ex-partner on a social media platform.
“Trust is crucial to the sustenance of a relationship. In the early phase of the relationship, it can be more easily impacted or if there have been situations where a breach of trust has happened then a doubt can be there always. Also, if a partner in the relationship has had a bad emotional experience in other relationships, romantic or otherwise, then too trust can be hard to establish,” said Kamna Chhibber, adding, “At such a point in time knowledge about continued possession of belongings or pictures of an ex-partner can impinge upon the quality of the relationship, often leading to fights and conflicts. It is possible that someone who does have the pictures from a past relationship on a social media platform may not have any attachments per se to the ex but it can still lead to an insecure or aggressive reaction on the part of the current partner. The reason can lie in the meanings that can be derived on the basis of the continued possession of the pictures as well as the nature of the past relationship. There is no right or wrong in this regard. However, it is important to recognize that if the past does not mean much then it should be ok to let go of it and get rid of the pictures, videos or any other memorabilia that a person may possess from the relation that was.”
According to relationship experts, ‘letting go’ of past memories is important. When you keep the photos of an ex-partner and other memories related to a past relationship, it means one thing—you still haven’t let those memories go away from your life. Whether a current partner would object to it or not is secondary, but the person needs to figure out why he or she wants to keep those photos. And once he gets the answer, he will know what he needs to do next, whether to keep or delete those photos.
To make life a little easy, here are a few social media ‘netiquettes’ that everyone should follow:
Think twice before sharing photos or posts about your life
Social media is flooded with pictures of couples holidaying, having a good time, going on a date and so on. Remember, virtual reality is a place where once you upload something there will still be some traces of it somewhere. So, think twice before uploading or updating anything on social media.
Don’t share too personal photos with a partner
Do you really want to tell the world how much your partner loves you? Or, what you did on your honeymoon? Certain things are better left between two persons and trust us, the world is not interested in knowing how your love life is unless you are the Kardashians or some celebrity.
Use privacy options
Hello! Every social media platform has privacy options using which you can limit the audience of your posts as per your liking. On Facebook, there are also options using which only you can see your posts. So use these filters wisely before sharing anything you believe is not apt for everyone.