Breakups are the worst. We’ve all been there and it’s never easy to disconnect from someone you truly cared about. Those of us who remember when social media was sort of a place where you could really let it all hang out probably cringe thinking about some of the things we once said online. Now that we are more aware of the internet’s permanency, we’ve adjusted our behavior by way of anonymous accounts and/or opting out of sharing all together. However, when things are emotionally charged in our lives, we can sometimes use our social media accounts to help us navigate the murky waters. And when it comes to matters of the heart, we’ve all seen how nasty things can get. Between threads airing out the misdeeds of lovers on Twitter to IG posts announcing a split, life bleeds over onto social media time after time. The decision to go public with our private affairs is no doubt tied to a desire for connection and understanding; however, is it over ok to put your past lover on blast?

Well, the answer is ultimately up to you. 

In situations that turn violent or abusive, your decision to share can be one that possibly shields the next person from the same experience. It can also be a great opportunity to own a narrative that could be otherwise used against you to shame you into silence. These can be noble reasons to speak out and take a lot of courage. There’s a difference between sharing for the sake of safety and sharing for the sake of having the last laugh. When we are hurt or disappointed by someone, it can be tempting to want to make them feel even the slightest bit of the pain they’ve caused us. So much so, that we are willing to put our own pain and experiences on display in order to accomplish that. In turn, we sometimes subject ourselves to scrutiny and judgment due to the lack of nuance social media is able to provide on sensitive matters. 

This is where you have to weigh the costs of temporary relief. 

Momentarily, the power of being able to reclaim your story and truly communicate how cruelly you’ve been treated can make you feel less wounded. Carrying pain around can become heavy for all of us and once we’ve rehashed the story with the people close to us too many times, we can seek refuge elsewhere. The internet has given many of us community where we may be missing it in our real lives and thus can feel supported by those platforms in harder times of our lives. That comfort gives way to forgetting that in as much as social media can provide a sense of belonging, it is still full of strangers from all walks of life who are waiting to pounce on someone they feel is in a vulnerable place in their lives. Not only can projections fly when things are entered into a public platform but there can also be such harsh criticism on your decisions that you internalize your experiences to the point of self-blame. Subjecting yourself to the opinion of others—especially those who do not know the specifics of your relationship—while you are actively healing can have adverse effects on your wellbeing and might cause you to spiral. The truth of the matter is that regardless of what has happened, now is the time to make room for repairing the damage that has been done and only you know if airing your dirty laundry for the world to see is part of that process. 

Letting go of what we thought we wanted can be so hard to do and standing up for ourselves in the midst of heartbreak can make us feel more in control than we are. So much of dissolving a relationship, especially one in which cruel things have happened, involves rebuilding our view of ourselves. Not needing our feelings or self-worth validated by others is a key part of the ability to move ahead and attract the love you truly deserve. You do not need permission to see your ex for what they were nor do you need anyone else to tell you that you did not deserve any of the painful things you experienced at their hands. The choice is always yours to make but remember that you are your most precious thing now and anything you decide to do should support that fact.