Recently I found myself doing a PC cleanup when I stumbled on a backup of my old phone’s gallery. To my surprise, it contained a ton of pictures of my ex. As I went through those old photographs I wondered to myself, should I delete photos of my ex?
I tried to wrap my brain around as many possible reasons not to. But alas, I accepted the reality of the situation.
Yes, you should delete photos of your ex. Not only does it make you nostalgic but it highlights the best moments of an old relationship. This can make you sad and nostalgic or cause you to compare your current relationship with the old one.
What we know from experience is that comparison is the thief of joy, contentment and happiness.
There is nothing to be gained from comparing what you have to what you don’t have.
When you break up or end a relationship, it’s not uncommon to view that old relationship and your ex through rose-tinted glasses.
Rather than see them or the situation for what it really was, we forget about the flaws and glaring problems.
This poses a huge risk to your happiness post the breakup or in your new relationship.
Before we look deeply into the psychological effect of keeping photos of your ex, let’s just analyze the pros and cons of the situation.
The Pros of keeping photos of your ex
- You can hold onto candid and important moments from your past.
- They become a lifelong reminder of your ex and that time in your life.
- They hold sentimental value.
The Cons of keeping the photos of your ex
- They make you feel nostalgic.
- They bring up old memories and feelings.
- You can get depressed and sad from those photographs.
- It may encourage you to compare your ex with your new partner.
- They can make your partner feel uncomfortable or insecure about why you are keeping those photographs.
Evidently, the cons of keeping photos of your ex outweighs the pros. Okay, now let’s weigh the pros and cons of deleting photos of your ex.
The Pros of deleting photos of your ex
- You can move on from the past and let go of someone who left your life.
- You can avoid unnecessary issues with your new partner.
- You can focus more on the future.
- It serves as a metaphorical way of closing that chapter of your life.
The Cons of deleting photos of your ex
- You can’t get those photos back.
- You may regret deleting the reminders of a certain period in your life or a special moment.
Weigh these pros and cons and decide on which decision benefits you the most.
It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself so that you don’t make a decision that you end up regretting.
I’m an extremely sentimental person and I obviously held onto those pictures of my ex for a reason.
I never felt ready to delete those pictures because at the back of my mind, I was not ready to say goodbye to that time in my life forever.
But in the same breath, I’m someone who tortures myself over the past.
Rather than live life to the fullest, I latch onto that which I cannot control or change. So I’ve battled with sentimentality in a negative way.
And I’m all about self-development so I could see the importance of letting go.
Then I thought about my new relationship and how this impacted it.
As much as I was invested in my new relationship, keeping those photos prevented me from focusing on the future altogether.
All signs pointed to deleting my old gallery of photos. Even though it was slightly difficult, I did it. And you know what, I actually haven’t lost a wink of sleep over it.
It dawned on me that I placed importance on those photographs. Not the other way around.
For as long as I needed to keep them, they held me as a hostage to the past. Deleting those photographs was therapeutic to me.
Like I mentioned above, I felt a sense of peace thereafter because it served as a form of closure to a relationship that never got the proper goodbye it deserved.
Rather than be torn up by seeing those photographs of my ex and then deleting them, I don’t feel like it hurt me in any way.
If anything, it was a figurative weight lifted off my shoulders.
You don’t have to delete the pictures of your ex
I believe it’s important for you to remember that nobody can force you to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
If these photographic memories don’t affect the way you feel in any way and you have made peace with your past, then there really isn’t a need to delete them.
At the end of the day, these situations have to be judged from a case by case basis.
The only thing required from you is complete honesty and transparency about how you feel and what you think about these images.
If the past or reminders thereof have no influence on your present, then you have nothing to worry about.
But if you have unresolved feelings for your ex or the breakup, then it’s best to initiate a clean break by removing all reminders.
Give yourself the gift of freedom from that which hurts and prevents you from living a happy, wholesome and fulfilling life.
To find clarity on this question, start by asking yourself why. Why do I need these photos? Why do I feel the need to delete them? Why have I kept them?
Initially, you may consider every possible answer, even the possibility of being hung up on your ex.
But with a bit of time, you’ll actually find the true answer and that will guide you to make the right decision.
If you find yourself asking, should I delete photos of my ex? Think about the consequences of keeping them versus deleting them.
Eventually, you’ll come to the right decision.
Personally, I want to love and focus on what I have more than what has gone. It doesn’t mean that I don’t value the past or the people who were in it. It just means that I want to live for what I have, not for what I have lost. I want to move on completely after a breakup and this helps.
Or in this case, whom I’ve lost.
With that being said, I hope you have some clarity on whether or not you should delete photos of your ex.
Be sure to head over to the comment section below and share your thoughts on the topic with me.