Shortcuts: “Why Does My Ex Still Have Pictures of Me on Facebook?”

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FacebookIt’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I have an ex-girlfriend who still has loads of pictures of me and her on Facebook (a friend messaged me after he saw the pictures, asking if we were back together). Some of them are of me on my own and some are of us hugging, etc. She broke up with me six months ago. I saw her the other day and she was wearing a ring and a necklace I bought her, which I thought was strange. She is with someone else now. Do you think this is a bit weird? — Not Her Boyfriend Anymore

Do I think it’s weird that someone would break up with a boyfriend and then not delete all his photos from her FB page? No. Do I think it’s weird that someone might continue wearing jewelry she likes even though an ex gave it to her? No (especially if there’s any chance she picked it out herself). Sounds like she knows moving forward doesn’t mean needing to erase all evidence of her past.

I have known my boyfriend for three months now and everything was flowing smoothly until one day when I asked him what he thought of me (shoot me for asking that). He then said that I love being a leader and making all the decisions. I was so flabbergasted and hurt at the same time. I let it pass and also tried to make sure that I don’t decide for him, so now, before doing anything, I first check with him to try and make sure that I am not deciding for him but rather we are in agreement. After that, he said I bottle things up and snap at him using sarcasm. Then he said that, when we first met, I was outspoken but now I don’t have confidence in myself. This is the same guy who says I am too controlling. Well, how can I be outspoken when I need to watch what I say half the time making sure that I am not being sarcastic and controlling?? I love this guy with all my heart. Please help me. — Lost Confidence

You’re only three months into this relationship and you’re already second-guessing yourself all the time and trying hard to be whatever it is you think this guy wants you to be. M the fuck O A and just be yourself. If a guy doesn’t like you for who you are, he’s not the guy for you.

I am a 41-year-old widow with two grown kids wand a grandson. My boyfriend is 52, divorced, and has two kids — 16 and 20. I have been exclusive with him for 10 months. When he has family things on holidays, he doesn’t ask us to come, but he comes to all my family functions. I feel he wants both worlds. I don’t want that. I don’t feel I should have to be alone on holidays. Do I need to drop this relationship now? Am I being selfish? — Wanting More

No, you’re not being selfish, but, if you plan to drop the relationship without talking to your boyfriend first, you’re being unreasonable. Express your needs to him. Tell him you want to be included in family functions. If he ignores you or can’t give a satisfactory answer for why you haven’t been included and when you will be, THEN you should move on. It’s ok to want what you want, and it’s ok to move on if your needs aren’t being met.


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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. Sunshine Brite says:

    WTF LW 2.
    Why were you “flabbergasted and hurt” that your boyfriend viewed you as a leader and decision-maker? It sounds like you do bottle things up. MOA like yesterday, but find your confidence again before going into another relationship. I’m not sure how the controlling part was communicated, but getting pissed at someone for calling you a leader and decision-maker is a bit strange.

    1. Yea, I didn’t think that was negative. I LOVE when I get to make all the decisions and plan things. That doesn’t mean I do it all the time but I love being the planner.

      1. Sunshine Brite says:

        It comes off to me as trying to fit within gender stereotypes all at the same time. I have a friend who comes off strong with decisions and leadership. She claims that she can’t find a guy because they’re threatened but part of it is because she’s naturally attracted to other leaders/decision-makers rather than someone to balance her out with other strengths. Then they’re both trying to lead and that dance doesn’t really work.

    2. THANK YOU. I logged in to concur. What the f-ck is wrong with loving being a leader and making decisions?? Not a damn thing. FFS.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I was thinking the same thing!

  2. LW1 – are you kinda hoping she still is hung up on you? Stop looking at her FB. If you don’t like that there are pictures of you two together, untag yourself.
    Yeah, for LW2, if at three months in you’re not still thinking that sunshine comes out of each other’s asses, it’s likely not going to work long term. This is way too much drama for a relationship that is so new.
    LW3 – WWS.

  3. LW2, he was being honest with you! And the way you described it, I don’t think he meant to hurt your feelings or make you feel like you’re a jerk. And the fact that he said you USED to be confident when you changed your ways means (to me, at least) that he LIKED that you were a ‘leader’ and misses that about you! I think you took it a little too personally. Sure, it’s great to be in agreement and to not be the one making all the decisions, but maybe he was okay with you doing that once in a while. Maybe that’s why he liked you in the first place! Stop changing yourself to meet his expectations, because there’s some miscommunication here. Be yourself, I’m pretty sure that’s why he’s with you in the first place.

  4. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

    LW2 Why did you take ‘you’re a leader and like to make the decisions’ as a negative? It really sounds like he meant it positively. Also, you’ve known him for THREE MONTHS. You don’t ‘love him with all your heart’, you barely know him. I actually disagree with the MOA conclusion, but I do think you need to learn to relax and just go back to being yourself. You don’t “have to watch what you say half the time”. Stop trying to change yourself to fit what you think other people want you to be, and just understand that if someone doesn’t like who you are, they will move on.

  5. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

    LW1: Dude, it’s facebook, who cares that she has pictures of you on there? My ex is married now and still has pictures of me on her account, it really doesn’t matter. Like Wendy said, moving forward doesn’t mean erasing the past.
    LW2: I would MOA. Your confidence is shot. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a leader. For a lot of guys, they see that as a great thing. He’s giving you mixed expectations of what he wants from you, so I would move on.
    LW3: Talk to your boyfriend about it. Also for some people, having other become apart of their family gatherings is a really big step and may take more time than it does for you.

  6. Lw2, Don’t ask a question without reminding yourself the answer could go in a good or bad direction, then be prepared for both. I think his answer was a positive one.

  7. LW3 and her boyfriend have been dating less than a year and she’s already having holidays together? That seems quick to me. It might also have something to do with his kids being younger than hers (the 16-year-old probably isn’t out of the house) and that’s he’s divorced and has someone to co-parent with while she doesn’t. I agree that she should bring it up and not just dump him without talking about it, but I also think that’s a somewhat unreasonable expectation as well.

    1. Meh I don’t think 10 months is too quick to have holidays together. My ex and I had our first holiday together at 6 months.

      1. I know some people do that and feel comfortable doing so. If it were my relationship, it would seem fast. I feel like there’s a good amount of variation in how fast people move with this stuff, so really, the biggest problem seems like lack of communication rather than the actual issue anyway.

  8. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

    My ex still has photos of my on his facebook page from what I’ve heard (people love to tell me these things for some reason) even though he’s engaged to someone else now. And I’m sure he kept some of the gifts I gave him. I, on the other hand, in order to fully move on, had to remove most traces of him including photos and gifts.

    People move on in different ways. Doesn’t mean she’s still hung up on you.

  9. LW2, I think that without knowing the tone and the way he exactly answered her question (What do you think of me?) we can’t tell if he meant well and she took it too personally or if actually is giving mixed signals about what he wants from her.
    Either way, my advice is just be yourself (be the best version of YOU you can be) and someone should appreciate you for who you are. If he really is criticizing you about some innate qualities you have, you probably aren’t a good match. But do consider if you have taken it a tinyyyyy bit too personally, look at the conversations objectively and see if maybe he was giving positive feedback instead 😉 Either way, stop trying to make yourself fit to your partner’s criteria of what they think you should be like, it’s not a lasting way of being in a relationship.

  10. LW1- When my ex and I broke up, I found out through facebook that he had another gf like 3 days after. Obviously that upset me, so I (wisely, I think) stopped looking at facebook entirely until I was over it. Then, when I went back on, it seemed like a silly waste of time to go comb through old albums to find and remove pictures of him. Plus, you know, we went to some cool places and did cool things, and I don’t want to just delete all those memories because they have his face in it. So yes, the pics could mean she’s still hung up on you, but it probably more likely means she’s SO over you that the sight of your face in her photos causes no reaction at all.

  11. This is off the topic, but hey, it’s Friday. So my question is: WHY do we even HAVE exes? Sure, I get that if you share a child with someone, then they are always present in your life. But why do we accord people who are only in our past this status in our lives? Why is the past looming in the present? M and I have been together for 26 years now, and even we still each have that last person who holds the status of ex, like some champ who retired undefeated and retains the title forever. When you are 22, your ex is someone you dated six months, a year ago. But these people are long gone. It’s close to 20 years since we spoke to hers. About ten since I last ran into mine for a quick “hi how are ya?” on the street. They are forgotten but not gone. And I also have people who are not in my life, some for years, but who hold the status of ex-friends. Why do we have this vague non-status status for people we used to know? Are we dumb?

  12. I still wear jewelry that my ex gave me. It doesn’t mean I’m not over him.

  13. LW2, you set the dude up to fail. You gave him a “test” with that question. When he didn’t answer it the way you wanted, you did a 180 and started acting like a different person. Which, predictably, confused the shit out of him. When he brought up this strange turn of events, you turned it back on HIM and believed he was sending you mixed messages about what he wanted.
    Noooo. Just no. Are you taking your dating tips from How to Be A Crazy Girlfriend For Dummies? Pro tip, for LIFE, as well as dating: be your genuine self all the time. Don’t try to be someone else, and don’t hinge your self worth on how whoever you’re dating views you. I’m actually not sure you need to MOA, you just need to stop giving this poor guy bizarre tests and changing your personality because it’s what you *think* it’s what some guy wants. What do YOU want? Who do YOU want to be? I bet you don’t even know. Figure that out, and take a chill pill or ten.

    1. Perfect advice, this was exactly what I was thinking.

  14. wobster109 says:

    LW2: Why did you change? Your BF said you love being a leader, which is very different from calling you bossy. If he said you loved dancing, would you stop dancing?

  15. My boyfriend whom I’m with for over 2 years has an ex-wife who still has a family shot as her profile pic on facebook her, her kids and him with his kids, I find it odd, they aren’t the Brady Bunch any longer it was a nasty court divorce. I won’t give my boyfriend the satisfaction of my questioning it, he may not even be aware but I do find it strange that this woman would keep it on as her main photo.

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