My Boyfriend Still Has Pictures Of His Ex On His Instagram: Here's Why!

Ahiri Chakraborty
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When you step into a relationship, you want that person to be truly and only yours. You don’t want anyone to be a part of your sweet little world. It’s just and your boyfriend. But sometimes an unwanted guest can intrude on your relationship unexpectedly.

And guess who can be this unwanted guest of any relationship? Well, you guessed it right, it’s the Ex. Sometimes even if how much you try, an ex can bother you a little. But the relationship is yours and the responsibility of not letting it ruin anyone is yours too. 

So when you and your boyfriend are having a pretty smooth relationship and you two are quite happy with each other, the world seems perfect. But one fine day, you just happen to come across your boyfriend’s Instagram, and who is there on his feed? It’s his ex. 

You are bound to be upset. But more than that, you would wonder why does my boyfriend still has pictures of his ex on his Instagram? When you are in a relationship with your boyfriend, you would expect that his social media only have pictures of you two and not anyone from the past. 

So, why does your boyfriend still has pictures of his ex on his Instagram? There can be many reasons for your boyfriend to keep his ex’s pictures on his Instagram. Perhaps, he is still friends with his ex. Or he dated her for a long time and wants to keep them as memories. Also, if your boyfriend was previously married, he might keep the pictures of his ex-wife. Again, he kept the pictures because he is having a casual relationship with you.

Before putting up a fight with your boyfriend or being upset with thousands of irrational thoughts in your mind, let’s find out the reasons for which your beloved boyfriend has still kept the pictures of his ex on his Instagram. 

9 Reasons Your Boyfriend Still Has Pictures Of His Ex On His Instagram 

Every couple has their pasts and they deal with that in their own way. Some like to have no contact with their exes while some stay in touch formally with their exes. Whatever it is, transparency should always be there in a relationship between a girlfriend and boyfriend.

Whatever you do, at the end you must be on the same page. And if you’re not, then you need to create the balance and look for that perfect spot.

So, when there is a lack of transparency and communications, things like these take place. Like you find your boyfriend’s ex’s pictures on his Instagram. So, what may be the reasons behind this? Let’s find them out. 

  1. Your boyfriend recently broke up with his Ex:

If your boyfriend jumped on a relationship with you just after his breakup, then it is most likely that he will have pictures of his ex on his Instagram. The breakup has been recent and he did not give himself a lot of time, before being in a relationship with you.

Basically, he is not into you totally right at the beginning. Probably, he will delete them later on when your relationship with him progresses, but currently, he did not feel the need to delete the pictures.

This can be a good sign because he did not hide your past from you. He might take some time to fully invest in this relationship and you, but he is candid about his past. If he had any intention to hide, he would delete them.

He wants you to see the pictures and he is ready to answer all your questions about his past and his ex. Just that, he wants to take things slowly this time. 

  1. Your boyfriend is still friends with his Ex:

Sometimes, breakups occur mutually. It’s not messy rather ist quite smooth. In such cases, couples often choose to stay friends even after the breakup. 

So, if your boyfriend is still friends with his ex, he will keep his pictures of his ex on his profile as a courtesy. Honestly, there is no bad blood between them and they are simply only friends. They occasionally talk, wish each other on birthdays and that’s it. There is nothing more than this.

Also, you don’t need to worry if your boyfriend has clearly confessed to you the equation between him and his ex. Deleting the pictures can be awkward and can bring unnecessary embarrassment. It’s just a formal gesture of showing respect, being courteous and decent to each other. 

  1. Your boyfriend had a long term relationship with his Ex:

If you are dating someone who has been in a relationship with him for more than 8 or 10 years, high chances are that they won’t delete their ex’s pictures from Instagram. Indeed they spent a considerable amount of time with each other and created many beautiful memories. It is unfortunate that the relationship ended and did not have a happy ending. 

But that does not mean that he will delete the pictures. He is serious with you and you don’t take the stress. He kept those pictures as a part of his life and memory. But he is completely over his ex and he is genuinely interested in you. 

One of my friends, Eliza faced a similar situation. She was dating a guy from her office named Brian. Brian had a relationship for 8 years. He was his middle school sweetheart. However, things took a bad turn when Brian moved to a new city for his job and his ex-girlfriend could not handle the distance. 

So, they broke up and after a year of the breakup, Brian moved on. He began a relationship with Eliza and told her everything about his past. He also honestly confessed that he still has his ex’s pictures on his Instagram and he has no plan to delete them. His ex was a huge part of his life and he would love it if Eliza gives him the space and respects his decision. 

Brian also said that he is serious with Eliza and wants to take this relationship to the next step. Having his ex’s pictures should not make Eliza insecure by any means. 

  1. Your boyfriend still misses his Ex:

Even when someone moves on from a past relationship, they still have some memories of their ex in their heart. And sometimes they do miss the company of their ex.

If your boyfriend spent a long time with his ex, or he was very much in love with her but she did not reciprocate his love, then it was hard for him to move on. So, a part of him still misses her.

Hence, he is unable to delete her photos from his Instagram. He will delete them later on. But if you notice it’s not just the photos, he also talks about his ex all the time, then you are certainly not a part of his life now. 

  1. Your boyfriend is casually dating you:

If you have spent more than 6 months with your boyfriend and you have expressed your feelings for him genuinely, yet he keeps the pictures of his ex, then your boyfriend is casual about this relationship. 

You have clearly expressed that you want this relationship to last long, you are ready to invest emotionally and you are into him for real. However, if you keep on noticing that he behaves very carelessly, hardly has time for you, never posts pictures with you, no friend of his is aware of your presence, then this guy is not into you. 

  1. Your boyfriend has stopped using Instagram:

Many people like to go off IG for a while. Sometimes they do on purpose to have a digital break. If your boyfriend took a break from Instagram after his breakup then he did not get a chance to delete the pictures of his ex.

He is not using Instagram anymore and he is general also quite low on social media usage. It just slipped off his mind. In this case, you don’t need to worry. He does not care for his ex or his social media. He is concerned about you and the relationship. He does not need validation online for his relationship. 

And, if you are hurt by this, you can tell him. He will gladly delete it because Instagram or those pictures do not matter to him at all. 

  1. Your boyfriend was married before:

Are you in a relationship with a guy who was married previously? Then, your boyfriend can have his ex’s pictures on his Instagram. 

Obviously, when the two married each other, the thing was pretty serious. But not all marriages are meant forever. You never know what can be a deal-breaker in a marriage. So they could not sustain the marriage. 

However, since it was a big event in his life, he has not yet deleted the pictures of his ex or the wedding pictures. He does not have anything to hide. If he is an honest guy, then he surely has confessed to you about his previous marriage and you had no issues with it. 

So, this guy is not hiding anything away from you. In fact, he wants the world to know that he was married before, although it failed, does not mean he would disrespect his ex-wife.

Also, if your boyfriend has kids from his previous marriage, then he will never delete the pictures because of his children. The issue is sensitive and he does not want his children even more. 

  1. Your boyfriend is a playboy:

If you’re dating a playboy, you won’t find just pictures of one ex, rather multiple exes of your boyfriend on his Instagram. He deliberately keeps the pictures to show you that he is a very popular guy at his school or university.

He has dated many girls in the past and you are just an add-on to this list. He will not delete those pictures even if you request him or you’re hurt by seeing them. The pictures help him to keep his cool, playboy image. So, he is going to keep them. 

  1. Your boyfriend wants to break up with you:

Did you tell your boyfriend that you don’t like his ex’s pictures on his Instagram? Did he react very weirdly? 

Well, if you have told him, yet he keeps them, then he wants to end the relationship with you. If your boyfriend does not pay attention to your feelings, to your likes and dislikes, and keeps on doing things that hurt you, then he is not worth being with.

As a girlfriend, you certainly have the right to tell him that you don’t like his ex’s pictures and if he loves you truly, he will remove them because he will also understand your point of view. 

However, if he reacts aggressively, always ignores your choices, and calls you silly and stupid for asking him to remove the pictures, then he surely does not want this relationship to be a successful one. 

What Should You Do, If Your Boyfriend Still Has Pictures Of His Ex On His Instagram?

  • Talk to him directly. If the pictures are bothering you then tell him your feelings. Tell him honestly that you would like them to be removed.
  • Ask him why still has them. Your boyfriend may have reasons like he can be friends with his ex, or he was married before. So, it is likely that he will those pictures. But you should know the real reason. You should not find out them from his social media. 
  • Fight with him. Yes, fights can solve issues sometimes. If he does not remove them after telling him again and again, then fight with him, show him that you’re upset. 
  • Do not meet him for a week. If his actions are hurting you, and he is not understanding that, then you need to show him that you are angry. So do not meet him for some time, it can give him a hint that you’re angry with him.
  • Keep a check on his social media activity. If you have been noticing something fishy about your boyfriend’s behavior, or he always keeps on mentioning his ex, then check what he is up to on his Instagram. Read the comments and try to understand if there is anything going behind your back. 
  • Stop posting stories and pictures with your boyfriend on your Instagram. This will surely catch his attention. Tell him that unless he deletes them, you won’t post anything about your relationship on a public platform. 
  • Set rules for the relationship. Having boundaries in a relationship is not unnatural. You two can set rules for your relationship and you can tell your boyfriend clearly, that you won’t like his past or your past to be involved in your current relationship. 

Should You Break-Up With Your Boyfriend As He Still Has Pictures Of His Ex On His Instagram?

If your boyfriend is not over his ex and you can understand that clearly by his behavior, if he always talks about his ex, is always gloomy and sad, or in fact, secretly talks to his ex, then you should not hold onto him.

Even if you love him with your heart and soul, he is still thinking about his ex and if he gets a chance, he will get back to her. So, there is no reason for you to stick with a guy who is still stuck in his past. 

On the other hand, if your boyfriend loves you genuinely and you understand that by his efforts, his actions, and he is loyal to you, a small thing from the past should not bother you that much.

You can have an open conversation with him and an honest guy will tell you the true reasons. He won’t hide anything from you. Try to understand his perspective and come to a mutual solution. 

Let him assure you, that his ex will only remain as a piece of his past, and his ex will never pose a problem in your relationship in the future. Once you two have talked openly and understood each other, then you have won the battle. 

In the end, both of you should understand each other and rationally think for a solution. You should not let a third person from the past break the rhythm of your relationship. 


Is it bad that my boyfriend still has pictures of his ex on his Instagram?

It is not bad if your boyfriend is not hiding anything from you and confused you with the real reasons for keeping the pictures. If your boyfriend is friends with his ex, there is no harm in keeping the photos, but if he is not over her, then it is bad.

Is it OK to keep your ex’s pictures on your Instagram?

It is only OK when your present partner has no problem with it and you have told her/him the real reason. But if keeping the pictures is a way to hold onto your ex, yet you are in another relationship, then it is a complete no-no.

How do you know if your boyfriend still has feelings for your ex?

When you have told your boyfriend that you don’t like seeing his ex’s pictures on his social media, and you’re seriously hurt by this, yet he keeps the pictures and always talks about his past memories with his ex, then he still has feelings for her. Also, if he still follows her and likes, comments on all her pictures, wish her on her birthday, sends her cards then your boyfriend is not over your ex. 


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