Watching the likes pour in on your latest IG post is almost as exciting as finally seeing your waiter bring the food you ordered to your table. But getting a notification that your piece-of-trash ex decided to comment on your latest photo again can feel like realizing the chef threw walnuts all over your plate, even though you said you were allergic. No matter how long you've been broken up with someone, if your ex won't stop commenting on your Instagrams and you're not into it, it's natural to wonder how to get them to stop.
"If you are trying to move on with your life [after a breakup] and you find the constant contact distracting or damaging, it might be a good idea to disengage," Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach tells Elite Daily. "There are ways to mute, block, or limit engagement, which should all be used as needed."
According to Melamed, if your ex's comments are making you feel super uneasy (or if you'd just prefer that they didn't leave the sunglasses emoji on all of your selfies), it's OK to set some social media boundaries with them.
Here's what to do if your ex won't stop commenting on your IG.
1. Message them about it.
"If this is bothering you, then you should definitely message them about it," Breakup BOOST podcast host Trina Leckie tells Elite Daily. "They may think you are fine with it if you haven’t verbally expressed to them that it isn’t [fine]." As Leckie shares, your ex may not realize that their comments are making you annoyed or uncomfortable. If you feel OK reaching out to your ex, Leckie attests that it's totally appropriate to ask them to stop commenting on your posts/to stop following you in general. (Of course, you may just want to block or mute them which is totally fine, too.)
While it may seem a little intimidating to initially set this boundary, Leckie shares that creating some social media distance can help you both get over the breakup. "Your ex is an ex for a reason," Leckie says. "If you stay connected through social media, they will always be top of mind, and you won’t be able to get the clarity that you need."
2. Restrict their account.
Honestly, bless Instagram's "Restrict" feature. You can swipe left on your ex's unwanted comment (as if you're going to delete it), then hit the speech bubble with an exclamation point in it. This means that you'll now get to "approve" your ex's comment before it gets posted on your photo. You'll also get a notification about the comment (without having to read it), at which point you can decide to post it, delete it, or ignore it. This feature also keeps your ex from knowing if you've read, deleted, or ignored their DMs.
3. Turn off your comments.
There's always one bad apple that ruins the bushel for everyone else. If you're tired of seeing your ex's comments, you can consider turning off your comments completely. Though you won't be able to see your friends and family's supportive comments about how cute you look, you also won't have to deal with your ex's two cents. Additionally, turning off your comments can nix any potential "Why did you delete my comment?" stress.
4. Report the comments.
Don't get it twisted — your ex leaving mean or out of line comments on your IG is not OK. If you've talked to them about it, and they still haven't stopped, or you don't feel safe and comfortable engaging with them, consider reporting their comments to Instagram. The app won't let your ex know that you're the one who reported them, but they'll have a record of your ex being inappropriate.
5. Don't be afraid to block them.
If things ended badly with your ex, the comments are making you uncomfortable, or you just don't feel like engaging with them, it's totally OK to block your ex. "[Sometimes] a conversation or any engagement with an ex will only aggravate an already difficult situation," dating coach and dating app expert Meredith Golden tells Elite Daily. "Sometimes, less is more." As Golden shares, reaching out to your ex about your IG may open a dialogue that you're not trying to have. If you're tired of seeing their comments or don't want to engage with them, you can hit "block" and never look back.
6. Screenshot the comments.
If your ex repeatedly comments on your photos (even after you've asked them not to) or sends you threatening or aggressive messages, it can be considered a form of online harassment. While it may be painful to review what your ex has said, keeping a record of all of your ex's comments can help you as the situation starts to escalate. Additionally, if the comments are making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you can reach out to friends and family that you trust. Moreover, contacting groups like the National Network to End Domestic Violence or Technology Safety for resources like their Technology Safety & Privacy Toolkit can help you get the support you need.
You didn't put all that time and effort into finding the perfecting lighting and penning that hilarious caption for your toilet ex to weasel their way back into your feed. If you ended things amicably or you're comfortable sending them a message, try explaining to your ex that you'd like them to cool it with the comments. Of course, if you don't want to communicate with them, it's totally OK to utilize some of IG's other features or reach out to a friend or family member you trust. Remember: You get to curate your Insta aesthetic, and unwanted comments from past lovers are completely #offbrand.
Trina Leckie Breakup BOOST podcast host
Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach
Meredith Golden dating coach and dating app expert
If you or someone you know needs support, The National Domestic Abuse Violence Hotline is a toll-free, 24/7 service that can connect you to a trained advocate. Dial 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to reach help via the phone or use their live chat.