JLo deleted photos of ARod on Instagram - Is it insensitive to a new partner to keep pics of an ex?

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

  • Social media etiquette in your relationship can be a grey area, but the #1 hardcore rule is that if your ex is still in your profile picture – it's time to update it. 
  • Fans have noticed Jennifer Lopez deleted traces of her ex-fiancé, Alex Rodriguez, from her Instagram page. 
  • JLo confirmed her reunion with ex-fiancé Ben Affleck in July. 

Eagle-eyed followers noticed that JLo had unfollowed Alex Rodriguez and erased all images of him from her feed, with the move appearing to mark that she has officially moved on from the former baseball player. 

JLo deleted pictures of her and Alex from the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden in January but left a video of her performance. The pair got engaged in March 2019 but postponed their wedding twice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and confirmed their split in April this year. 

Later that same month numerous publications reported that JLo was in a relationship with her former fiancé, Ben Affleck, again. The singer and actress confirmed their reunion herself on her 52nd birthday in July.

READ MORE | 'I don't post my boyfriend on social media, and it's affecting our relationship'

The question is: to delete or not to delete photos of an ex on social media?

If you still have photos of you and your ex on social media and haven't given it any thought to remove them, it's no big deal. After all, they're part of your past that arguably shaped you into the person you are today, blah, blah blah.

And often whether the photos are still there or were removed has a lot to do with whether the break-up was amicable, right?

Although for some people, once a break-up happens it's literally the first thing they do.

Take Selena Gomez and The Weeknd, for instance. We were holdings thumbs and thought their relationship had long-term potential, but after just ten months of dating things fell apart and they both started deleting posts of the two of them faster than me untagging myself from an ugly photo.

And then others will delete the photos or posts only when Facebook randomly decides to show them as memories on their timelines.

READ MORE | Why you shouldn't share these 6 things about your relationship with others

However, when it comes to your partner, maybe they fear the fact that you haven't taken the time to remove them means you're still reminiscing about your distant past or, worse, you still have feelings for your ex. 

Or is the bottom-line that they're insecure and raises a little red flag? Or, just maybe, their request is totally warranted.

Yes, they were once a part of your life journey so maybe you feel it's not okay that they totally 'disappear'. Those are your memories and you have a right to them.

There's really no big deal about that and it shouldn't be an issue, says Louis Venter, intensive relationship specialist and founder of Couple's Help.

... it could do no harm in deleting it for the sake of their sanity and sense of belonging.

"We meet each other at a certain time in our lives and embrace everything about each other, including our past experiences.

"I therefore think it is very unreasonable for one partner to want to 'erase' their partner's past," adds Venter.

However, Venter also goes on to say that there can come a time when it is probably best to consider your partner's request or discomfort.

"I know some partners struggle with trust issues and fear. If a partner does request that images should be removed, I believe it could do no harm in deleting it for the sake of their sanity and sense of belonging.

"If I love someone, I would make their journey with me as smooth as possible, even if it means deleting images of my ex partner. After all, it's an ex and shouldn't be a problem," he adds.

Is it something worth arguing about? Certainly not, explains Venter.

"Something like this shouldn't end a relationship before it even started. Communicate your needs and feelings with each other. It becomes a problem when it is unconsciously one person feeling controlled and the other not important enough.

"Step out of blaming and shaming and communicate your thoughts, needs and longings in love and kindness."

READ MORE | 5 reasons why the "honeymoon phase" is actually the worst

We asked readers to share their thoughts, and, interestingly, many had contrasting opinions on the subject.

You shouldn't have to delete photos because that was once a part of your life that you cannot erase. However, I personally delete the photos from my past relationship as they pop up on my memories – but that's my personal preference. It's only insensitive if they're super recent or you still interact with the pictures by sharing them, for example. It'd take me days to get rid of all my photos with my exes; I've had Facebook since 2012.

I'm divorced so it gets a little tricky as I have kids with social media accounts. I have family photos and couple photos, and then photos of him and the kids on Facebook. It was a part of my life that happened and I loved it. And the parts I didn't love are still a testament to strength and perseverance. He is happily remarried and I am in a relationship. I have no emotional attachment to my ex, but my children can look at these photos as a reminder of when we were a unit and we loved each other and them. I feel it's healthy to not want to erase the past. It is what it is and cannot be undone. Having pictures neither adds nor takes away from the timeline that is your life.
Fazlin Hendricks

Photos are memories that shapes us. I never post my 'treasured' photos on social media so I never have to worry about it. I keep them on my computer so it’s not in anyone’s face. So to answer, it is insensitive to put it on display. Would you print it and put it up on your wall at home for current partner, visitors family and friends to see? I’m guessing not.

No, it's not insensitive at all if you haven't deleted the photos. If your new partner has a problem with it, well then, they must deal with it. Everyone has a past and had previous partners. That is reality.
Tracy McWilliams

I usually set all photos of my ex and I together to only be visible to myself and most photos of just him I would delete. But I might keep a group photo on there if it was an awesome occasion with friends. I think no one wants to look at old photos of your partner together with their ex.

To be honest, I delete mine when they pop up as memories. I am not going to sift through hundreds of pics to delete them, but I have no reason to keep pics of my ex and I. If it is a photo of me at a place where we went together, like a road trip, I keep those, but if he is in the photo, I delete. I don't really need reminders of a toxic relationship.
Emily Walker

We guess it comes down to this bottom line: when you see those photos, a dark cloud of misery might not come over you, but it would be kind to be considerate towards your S/O.

If your relationship means anything to you, ask yourself: is it really worth it to put up a fight about it?

Additional source: Cover Media

Do you think it's insensitive if your partner doesn't remove photos of their ex on social media? Let us know here.

Follow us on social mediaFacebookTwitterInstagram

Sign up to W24's Newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 901 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 362 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 1968 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 55 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 709 votes