The sad saga of Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande, the couple who briefly gave us all hope and then gave us only disappointment and bangers, drags on, with the news that he’s blocked her for the sake of his health.
Davidson shared a note on his Instagram earlier this week, talking about how he’s been bullied and trolled online this year, and the resilience he’s needed to push through the resulting hits to his already-difficult mental health.
His relationship with one of the most famous women in the world raised his profile, and the sad death of her most recent ex, Mac Miller, at the peak of the world’s fascination with their engagement fired up the trolls who blamed both him and her for Miller’s overdose.
And with her latest #1 single ‘thank u, next‘, not only mentioning him by name, but also featuring him in the blockbuster clip‘s Mean Girls homage and confirming it was she who broke off their engagement, it’s no wonder he’s had to smash that block button.
She asked fans to be kind online, insisting in an Instagram story that she “will always have irrevocable love for him and if you’ve gotten any other impression from my recent work you may have missed the point”.
But no matter how kind fans are, he clearly doesn’t want to hear from her either, and he definitely doesn’t need to see a zillion headlines about how she covered up her tattoo of his dead 9/11 hero dad’s NYFD badge number with one of the name of Miller’s dog.
But your relationship doesn’t have to have been the pop culture obsession of half the world for your ex to haunt your online life.
It takes a while for your various social media algorithms to figure out that they aren’t one of the most important people in your life any more – even longer if you’re lurking on them 24/7, trying to figure out if they’re having a better time than you or moving on.
You can be ambushed at any time, by pictures of them doing something you used to do together, maybe even with someone new; by a nice selfie where they look happy; by their Insta story when you’re on infinite watch mode, or those diabolical Facebook Memories.
Facebook does have features now where you can “take a break” from someone without unfriending them, restrict what they see, and make various other tweaks to how they orbit in and out of your feed.
And if a straight-up, cold-blooded post-split Unfriend is something that feels right, go for it – especially if you enjoy the thought of however they’ll react when they twig.
But a block is easy, and feels a bit less permanent and intrusive. You never need to overthink a good old-fashioned blocking, and you never need to feel guilty about it.
Even if you’re on good terms, even if you’re not those exes who can’t be in the same room and require WWII-level strategy to both attend a mutual friend’s birthday drinks, do anything you can do minimise accidental exposure to their post-you lives and activities, at least for a while.
After all, there’s a whole internet out there where your ex isn’t the biggest story of any given day. If Pete can get through, so can you.