“Why Does My Girlfriend Still Have My Photos on Instagram?”

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Recently, my girlfriend and I split up (amicably). Since then, I’ve written sweet notes to her, praying she’s alright and telling her how much I missed her and her son, and telling her we could fix our issues and move forward. I’ve never cursed at her before and still haven’t now. With old girlfriends, when they left, I would be angry. Not this time. I’ve been extremely sweet and so on.

She follows me on Instagram and has yet to delete all our pictures. She has told me she does that with her exes. She deletes the past. I’ve backed off still because I don’t want to feel needy and cast a shadow. But she’s actually arranged the photos so they are together — three in a row here and so on…it actually looks quite cute, with tag lines that say “how to make your girlfriend melt” and screen shots of my text messages. The pictures are of us kissing, holding hands, my band on stage with me singled out and so on.

My question: is she ready to stop this? We stopped speaking about nine days ago. I told her I would allow her some time for her to think. She’s never had pictures of her exes, and her pictures on Facebook and Instagram go back a number of years. She also has tagged posts on Facebook of sweet things I did up for her.

I want this girl back. I don’t want to analyze everything. I haven’t talked to her in days. But today I sent her sunflowers, because I would call her “sunflower.” The note attached said:

“My garden is empty without my sunflower.
I love you and I will wait.
If you only knew.

P.S. I miss my best friend.”

The only reason it said “if you only knew” is because, before I told her I loved her, I would whisper that in her ear. That was my way of saying it, without saying it. When she found out what it meant, she cried of happiness because she felt the same.

I don’t want her thinking I’ve forgotten her. Is she moving on? Or is she just stuck in a limbo? —Missing my Sunflower

Reality checklist:

If it’s only been nine days since you broke up, I promise your ex is not fearing that you’ve forgotten her.

If your ex hasn’t gotten around to deleting your pictures from Facebook or Instagram after your amicable breakup nine days ago, it doesn’t mean she wants you back. It means she hasn’t gotten around to deleting the pictures yet.

If she has added new photos or grouped your photos together in a way they weren’t grouped together before, it could be her way of processing your breakup or… just organizing her photos. It does not mean she wants you back.

If, in the nine days since you broke up, you have written her (multiple) “sweet notes,” praying for her and telling her how much you miss her and want her back and you haven’t heard a peep back from her, there’s a reason for that.

If you have sent her sunflowers because you called her your sunflower and you included a note about how your garden is empty without her and you haven’t heard back, there’s a reason for that.

If you consider not cursing at your ex some sort of check in the plus column of you or your relationship, you need to adjust your standards.

Please, stop sending notes and flowers and so on. Accept that whatever small chance you might have at reconciliation is compromised every time you pressure her to reach out or respond to you. Try to keep busy, move on, and think about something — anything — else.

Your ex knows how you feel. She knows you haven’t forgotten her. If/when she’s ready to talk to you, she’s got your number. She’ll call if she wants. If you don’t hear from her, you’ve got your answer and you need to respect that and MOA.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


      1. bittergaymark says:

        Funny, though. At the end of the day he is reallyjust acting like pretty much every love-lorn, hopelessly needy chick who ever writes in, hopelessly over-analyzing everything….

      2. Yeah, I thought the same thing. Though to be fair, we aren’t especially easy on them, either.

      3. They are more likely to be called psycho bunny boilers than creeps.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        If a woman wrote in describing this kind of behavior I would feel the same. I hate how you always make it about gender.

    1. Also, if a guy whispered “If you only knew…” in my ear all the time, I’d figure the rest of the sentence was something like “where I buried the bodies” not “how much I love you”. But that probably says way more about me than the LW. Either way, still creeped out. A lot of times the lines between romantic and creepy can be blurry, but when she isn’t responding to your romantic gestures, that makes them creepy. MOA LW.

      1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Ha! I also got a seriously creepy vibe. I’m wondering how long they were together. Like, 6 weeks?

  1. Aww, I feel for this guy (/girl?). (Have I gone soft??). Hang in there, buddy. You can get through this. But in the meantime, you gotta let go and stop looking for meaning where there is none.
    Also? ” I told her I would allow her some time for her to think.” You need to follow through on this. You both need some space to process this.

    1. iseeshiny says:

      Yup. Best thing for LW to do for himself is make a clean break – block her on social media, don’t take her calls, move on. Be the classy one, LW, the one who moves on first. There are lots of other people out there, and just because it didn’t work out this time doesn’t mean it won’t with the next person.

      Look at it from a logical standpoint (I don’t know, I’m really into science right now, thanks NdeGT) there are no failed experiments. You have more data than you did before.

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      I feel for the LW too! I want to know who broke up with whom and why. Space for now is definitely a good thing. Maybe it’ll work out in the end, I hope so! I’m praying for a happy rom com ending. I’m also craving fried chicken on a waffle with syrup. And ketchup. I not right in da head.

      1. You must be crazy. Everyone knows chicken ‘n’ waffles are best with sausage gravy. Or, the way they do them at one of my favorite dives — as a sandwich with the waffles as bread, a slice of cheese, and drenched in syrup, with a side of seasoned fries.

  2. Love, love, love Wendy’s advice. She’s right. The ex girlfriend has not forgotten about him. If she wants to contact him, she will, and so far, she hasn’t. That’s the answer he needs.
    Also, people put way too much stock in social media. Eventually she’ll probably remove the pictures from Facebook and Instagram. For some people, especially when a break up is fresh, it’s painful to go through old pictures and remove them. So she might just be avoiding it.
    Also, I found it rather conspicuous that the LW did not tell Wendy the reason for the break up. It probably wouldn’t have changed Wendy’s advice, but it’s rather odd, when asking for break up advice, to not provide the reason for the breakup.

  3. Painted_lady says:

    Wowza. LW, are you my ex? If he had done all of this when we broke up ten years ago, my response would have been to call the police.

    Please stop all this. Your ex hasn’t forgotten you exist. She hasn’t forgotten you broke up just over a week ago. She isn’t responding either because she doesn’t want to go through all that with her and explaining why when you don’t want to hear the answer – you’re broken up and you’re taking her undeleted photos as more of a message than the actual breakup – or she assumes that you’re exhibiting some stalker-ish behavior and she knows that each time she responds buys her another six weeks of contact from you.

    Hopefully you’re just sad and hoping that your breakup isn’t real, and you’re trying to do what you can to get your ex back. Hopefully you can realize that it’s over and let this go…if not, though, please seek counseling rather than continuing to harass and probably scare your ex.

  4. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

    I’m so confused. Why are you calling her your girlfriend if you’re no longer together? It sounds like she broke up with you and you’re dealing with your loss by inundating her with “sweet” notes and flowers. How could she possibly think you’ve forgotten her when you’ve done all that in the 9 days you’ve been broken up? It sounds like you’ve done all you can to let her know you’d like to get back together, so just be cool and accept that she might not want a relationship with you.

  5. Uugh. I can’t even read past her obnoxious Instagraming. Who intagrams screen shots of text messages?!

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I feel like I learn so much about social media from DW letters. You can arrange your photo’s in a specific order on Instagram? I thought that was just on FB. I feel so technologically challenged sometimes.

    2. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      I’m going to start! Most of my texts to Llama Guy are along the lines of: “I have everything we need for dinner but can you please stop for beer on the way home?” We’re so romantic. We’re going to be Instagram stars!

      1. I’m going to Instagram “How was Rudy’s poop this morning”, then hashtag it #doggy problems #dogsofinstagram #pittbull

        That’s what people want to see, right?

      2. Edit– #doggyproblems
        Can’t go messing up my hashtags! 🙂

      3. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Yes! I would actually love to see more of Rudy on Instagram, but reading your texts about his poop would also be awesome. It’s what the people want!

      4. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        I just realized that I don’t have a single photo of Llama Guy on Instagram. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Just kidding, it obviously means I love my cats more than him.

      5. Navy Guy knows that my cat always comes first haha. Or at least he knows that she and I are a set — you can’t date me without liking my cat.

  6. But seriously, LW– I get that you think you’re being sweet and caring and whatever, but you’re not. You’re being creepy and borderline stalker-ish. It’s been 9 days. Not even 2 full weeks. If you really think that your behavior is “allowing her some time to think”, then you’d better think again. You need to BACK OFF.

  7. It’s really dangerous to overanalyze things like this. You end up driving yourself crazy and inevitably it will take twice as long to get over that person. It’s essentially a method of punishment to yourself.
    My advice, move on and delete her on Facebook, Instagram, whatever. If you don’t see her posts you won’t start thinking of her so frequently. Eventually you’ll realize you think of her only a couple times per day, then a couple times per week, then a couple times per month. It just takes time. Save yourself from a self-imposed punishment.

  8. I don’t even use Instagram. I feel like social media has made relationships more complicated not easier

  9. Also, OK, here comes my less nice comment. Haha. I am kinda predicting the LW’s reaction to the “creepy” comments being something along the line of, “Nice guys finish last. No one appreciates my NICENESS. Maybe if I was more of an asshole, teh womenz would want to jump on my dick.” (Assuming, of course, that LW is a guy). LW, your actions are being construed as “creepy” because they are unrequited and because they come after you both agreed you needed time and space.

    1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      But he’s never cursed at her! He really is a nice guy!

      1. Right? It doesn’t get any nicer than that.

      2. This brought me back to the This Will Be Deleted where a dude who used to come here a lot got awfully mad at Sarah and I for telling him he didn’t deserve a cookie for never raping anybody. He insisted it showed he was a good guy.

      3. Hmm… I’ve never murdered someone, poisoned anyone, killed small animals OR cut off male genitalia. I must be an exceptional, stellar person.

  10. #barf #creep #runForTheHills

  11. Avatar photo theattack says:

    LW, for your own sake AND hers, stop overanalyzing her instagram. Really, let it go. It doesn’t mean anything. What makes you broken up is the fact that she ended your relationship, not some secret code behind her instragram stream. Nine days is not long enough to expect someone to have dealt with all of the break up logistics yet, so really forget about that.
    As for all of your continued messages to her – stop. I had an ex who did the things you’re doing, and it did not make me want to get back together with him. It took me from amicable breakup to thinking about calling the police. The first time is kind of sweet and really sad, but after that it’s annoying and a little scary. Leave her alone. If she wants to come back to you, she’ll do that on her own.

    1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      ” It took me from amicable breakup to thinking about calling the police.”
      Yes! Especially since she has a kid.

  12. Hmm. Any takers that the reason the LW broke up with this guy is because he wanted way too much, way too fast, he was borderline controlling by using overbearing affection, and she could sense that underneath the non-cursing, nice guy exterior there was a seriously creepy vibe and she decided to go with her gut on this one? Just me? Okay.

    Sorry, I’m in a mood this morning. Listen, LW, maybe you’re not a creep. But, you gotta let this go. This woman’s silence is clear – she doesn’t want to be with you. If she changes her mind, I’m sure she knows how to reach you. And, it doesn’t matter if you want to be with her, if you were your bestest self with her, if you didn’t curse at her, whatever because she doesn’t owe you another chance just because you want it. Stop with the flowers and notes and social media stalking and start letting go. Unless she broke up with you because you seemed uninterested and wouldn’t commit, this stuff isn’t going to change her mind.

    1. Well, he did omit the reason for the break-up, only that it was “amicable.” So either he did that on purpose, or he doesn’t know that his ex is secretly terrified of him and wanted to keep things nice and easy while she quietly moved to Nebraska.

  13. Avatar photo theattack says:

    Yes. I really hope the LW uses this as an opportunity to examine his anger during breakups too. Is it directed at other people? Is he dealing with it on his own? I’m guessing he’s not since he contrasted his anger to acting sweet.
    This would be a great time for the LW to think about the consequences of his actions in these scenarios. Is it helping him when he’s angry? Is it helping him when he’s sweet? I’m thinking that the LW needs to work on learning to let go and realize that not everything is in his control. Some therapy might be helpful.
    LW, It’s okay to feel angry, but it’s really only okay to express that anger during a breakup in very limited capacities. A good guideline for yourself is to not say or do something if: 1) You won’t gain anything real and tangible from it. 2) You might hurt someone else’s feelings or their physical self. 3) You might cause someone else to fear that they’re in danger. 4) If you’re otherwise uncertain if you should say it, just don’t.

  14. This LW reminded me of the Friday links story that was featured a few weeks ago – the difference between socially awkward and creep (http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2014/03/socially-awkward-isnt-an-excuse/).
    LW – the part that pushes you from ‘sad about the break up’ to possible creep territory is this – ‘Behaving in a manner that pushes against an individual’s boundaries – especially repeatedly’. She’s given you a response – silence. And you continue to pester her. Sending her flowers in not a romantic gesture that will win her back. It will make her think you can’t respect her boundaries because she has made it clear she doesn’t want contact.
    Please, give her space and block her on your social media. Live your life like you will never get back together, because you probably won’t. If she does change her mind, she knows your number and will call you, but don’t expect it of her. Move on with your life, and use this relationship as a learning experience for future ones.

  15. Avatar photo Crochet.Ninja says:

    it’s been 9 days. back off. and stop creeping on her instagram and whatever other social media she’s on.

  16. LW, I believe when you break up, you are allowed one “get back together” gesture. You did that with the flowers. Now the ball is in her court. So you wait. She might never come back, she might change her mind. But, you have done all you can. Anything more will ruin things.

  17. Maybe I’m turning into a crotchety old curmudgeon, but this whole letter gave me infinite eye-rolls.

    LW, stop over-thinking it. I know that you think this is what women want, based off of nearly every movie and tv show, but it isn’t. You probably think that she’s just confused or whatever and all she needs is the grand gesture from you to realize that she really loved you all along! It isn’t going to work that way. Sure, maybe you two can get back together, but I guarantee it’s not going to be because you sent a poem with flowers 9 days after you stopped talking. It would be because you have given her time and space, which allowed her to realize that she misses you. Back off, give her space, and if it works out between the two of you, wonderful. If not, that’s okay too. Someone, somewhere will appreciate the romantic gestures and thoughts that you put into every day.

  18. Sunshine Brite says:

    Please stop LW. I feel like those are the words that are not being said by your ex to you.

    Even if she was playing with the pics on Instagram thinking of you, that doesn’t mean she wants to get back with you. People are allowed some contradictory feelings or semi-regrets. It is too soon to think of any of this since you’ve only been broken up 9 days and even though you say you’ve backed off there’s been no significant break in contact.

    Unfollow her instagram. Give yourself a break from all this.

  19. My thoughts exactly. Once he realizes she’s not getting back together with him and he has no chance of reconciliation, will he remain sweet and still not curse her? I really want a DW update on this.

  20. John Farrier says:

    LW, you’ve got to move on. It’s over. This is a horribly painful moment of your life, but trying to rebuild a broken relationship is a doomed effort.

    Don’t communicate with her again until she initiates contact. You’ve made your desires clear. Now let her respond–or not.

  21. John Farrier says:

    I got married long before the social media age. But if I was single now, the first thing I would do after a breakup is unfriend, unfollow, and block an ex on social media. Even if it’s an amicable breakup, the relationship is over. So end it.

    I find it so odd that this practice is not the norm.

  22. Holy cats, LW, back off. Even if you’re not a creep, this woman will never, ever want you back if you keep badgering her. Your only hope here is to walk away and not look back. Keep yourself busy and stay off her social media. Give her an opportunity to miss you.

    Also, the fact that you didn’t curse at her doesn’t make you a good guy. It just makes you not a raging asshole. If you have a difficult time not cursing people out when they don’t do what you want, you should look into anger management, cause that’s not normal.

  23. The Writer says:

    I feel horrible now.
    I didn’t know such harshness existed.
    I’m not trying to bury people or be a crazy individual.
    My EX actually considered these things sweet. And yes we did talk.
    We are taking a break and bettering ourselves, and in a month see where we are.

    I would have never-ever bashed any of you guys this way. I didn’t have anyone to talk with. So I asked on the internet. My mistake. I should’ve known. The internet is made up of such horrid things.

    I still would try to help you guys out anyday.

    1. LW, no one thinks you’re *trying* to be crazy, and it’s a little silly to take the body-burying thing seriously – but maybe consider that these comments can show you what it’s like to be on the receiving end of such attention when it’s not welcome? Some of us react this way because we’ve had exes who have behaved like you are, or maybe it’s happened to our friends, and it makes us distinctly uncomfortable. You know the term red flag, right? To describe a symptom of something gone horribly wrong? Your letter sent up lots of red flags for us, because you’re crossing boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed.
      A month is not very long to “better yourselves.” Just FYI. 6 months, a year maybe, and you could each achieve lasting improvement. But a month, while it may seem like forever when you’re grieving, is barely any time at all.

    2. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      I’m sorry that you feel horrible, but did you learn anything from this? The general consensus was that you need to give your ex space because what you’re doing could be construed as overbearing and/or creepy. I’m sure that hurts, but did you just want us to tell you what you wanted to hear?

  24. He didn’t say they broke up nine days ago. He said they last spoke nine days ago. But, LW, I agree with other commenters that you should leave the sunflowers as your last message. Maybe she will contact you, maybe not- but any further contact is too much pressure. If she put them in a vase of water, they’ll last long enough to remind her, and if she didn’t then that is probably that. If she doesn’t get in touch,try to accept the good times you had as a sweet memory.
    Then if you happen to run into each other years down the line, you’ll both be happy to see somebody you have fond memories of. That may sound like a very poor consolation for the pain you feel right now, but life is long and sweet memories are a thing worth having.

  25. The Writer says:

    I know some things aren’t meant to be mean on here, but they still stung.
    Sometimes guys ruin a good guys name. For that I’m sorry…
    The whole story…we broke up on April 7th. I recently made a move back to an area that filled my life with stress and anxiety. I didn’t know it would do this. Under these conditions I wasn’t the man she fell in love with. I would be upset over small things. I would be upset at other things and not pay attention to what was in front of me. I wasn’t ecstatic.
    I was negative. For that I’m sorry.
    When I told her sweet things in her ear, I wasn’t being a creep. I was telling her sweet things cause I loved her. I’m sorry.
    We all are different. Even though you called me a creep, I would still help you fix a flat tire. I would give you directions. I would talk to you if you ever were down. I would be your friend. When you got only one friend, it doesn’t help in these situations.

    No relationship is perfect. I’m not saying their all bad either. But people work with what they can sometimes. Especially when they love each other.
    We did finally talk. We talked and she said she just wasn’t ready. I didn’t force her but we came up with the idea of the break. Bettering ourselves. Talking still and communicating. Maybe even coffee, so I could visit her and her son.
    But I did realize that a month isn’t much. She’s two weeks into the split and she’s barely coming around. So I did what I felt was right. I feel like the last two days I talked with her, I’ve just slipped into the habit of being sweet. Trying to be a Swooner. I can’t do that to someone that isn’t ready. It’s not fair to her. She’ll eventually get upset with me. She did say she enjoyed the me that’s been talking with her. She felt good inside.
    She’s not ready and I see that now. I’m sorry it took that long to see.
    I told her I would back off in all entirety. Pretty much a ghost. Even though she wants me to call and text. I can’t. She needs space. This really upset her. Maybe she’s just coming to terms I’m actually gone, because I called it this time.
    But she is so upset, on so many levels.
    I told her I was truly sorry. I told her sorry for the messages and never wanted to bombard her. I was trying to win the love of my life back. It may be wrong. But I didn’t know what else to do. Being shunned was rough. She said she liked them. She liked the flowers. She loves me so much and she hasn’t forgot me, and never will. The same goes for her.
    As one guy on here said I ended up being a sad needy girl at the end of the day…
    Well I’m sorry. I just let my best friend, her parents, her family, and her son down.
    I was trying to make it right…
    I’m a good guy. I’m not sorry I wanted to be apologetic.
    They weren’t massive bombarding texts but just enough to let her know I was there.
    All and all, maybe I ruined it. Maybe I didn’t.
    But what’s important is I’m giving her what she wants. I actually moved away after the split. Somewhere peaceful. Been running everyday. I’ve lost 16 pounds. Bettering myself in all forms. Taking nothing but postive looks on life.
    Maybe she’ll miss me, maybe she won’t.
    Either way I’ll understand.
    But one day someone will make her extremely happy.
    That on it’s own makes me happy.
    I want nothing but good for my sunflower.
    Make fun all you want. I love a girl.

    I hope someone loves all you too.


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