So, You've Broken Up - Should You Delete All The Photos Of Your Ex?

In the age of social media, one of the first signs of a celebrity breakup is that the pair erased photos of each other on their profiles — Taylor Swift has done it, Selena Gomez scrubbed ex Justin Bieber from her Instagram grid, and Megan Fox deleted photos of boyfriend Machine Gun Kelly and eventually all of her posts while the couple was reportedly on a break.

Deleting photos of an ex can communicate that you're done and moving on, but it can be a hard decision to make if you're still attached to the memories associated with the pics. Cleansing your social media and camera roll can also be difficult if your relationship was a mainstay in your life for a while — if you looked at your former partner's face nearly every day for months or even years, it can feel strange to not even have a photo version to peek at from time to time.

Still, celebs aren't the only ones taking the plunge and sanitizing their social media profiles: Data from dating app Plenty of Fish found that one in three singles had removed all traces of their ex from their online accounts. Given the potential benefits, it may be time for you to hit the delete button, too.

Deleting photos of your ex can be hard but worth it

Parting ways with a significant other is hard enough, and eliminating all signs that you two were ever a pair can feel downright cruel. "It is completely normal to have a bit of trouble deleting pictures of your ex," relationship therapist Dr. Gary Brown told Elite Daily. "One of the obvious reasons is that it's another step in acknowledging the end of your relationship." However, deleting photos of you and your ex can help you let go and start focusing on yourself again.

Pay attention to how the photos in your camera roll might be impacting you emotionally. If you've barely given any thought to the pics still lingering from your past relationship (although, if that were the case, you likely wouldn't be reading this article), tucking them away in a digital folder somewhere might be enough. On the other hand, if you're regularly scanning the photos in an attempt to relive what once was, you might self-sabotage your breakup recovery.

Moreover, if your photos highlight only the good times — and conveniently gloss over the times you were arguing or feeling upset — you might remember your relationship as being happier than it really was. As social media researcher Dr. Jesse Fox told Cosmopolitan, "You're getting this rose-colored view of what your relationship was like, and if you're constantly reminding yourself of it [by keeping photos of your ex], it's going to be harder to move on."

What about photos on social media?

The last thing you probably want to do after splitting from your partner is field questions about the breakup. So even if, at the time, you were happy to change your status to "in a relationship" on Facebook and post your first couple's pictures together on Instagram, you might not feel ready to announce your break up on social media by expunging your ex from your profiles.

One compromise in the beginning is to delete the lovey-dovey photos of you and your ex and keep the snaps that appear platonic or include other people. "Definitely delete kissing photos and other clearly affectionate posts, such as ones from your romantic beach vacation or anniversaries," relationship coach and author of "Breaking Up and Bouncing Back" Samantha Burns suggested to Elite Daily. You can also unfollow and untag your ex from the remaining pics, a subtle move that others likely won't notice right away.

Once you're ready to hit the dating scene again, a full cleanse may be in order, though. More space in your grid just means more space for new memories, and more opportunity to let potential suitors know that you're single.