Delete all of his old texts. Delete him from social media. Delete him from your contacts list.
But don’t delete all of the photographs you have with him. Remove them from your phone and hide them inside of a folder you can’t see from your desktop, so you aren’t tempted to look at them every time that you miss him. So that it isn’t any harder for you to get over him than it already is.
After all, you don’t want to be looking through old albums and crying your eyes out every night.
Right now, looking at those photos will hurt. Right now, those photos are better off burnt.
But in ten years, you’re going to want to remember what you looked like when you went to that concert or took that vacation or celebrated that birthday. And if your ex happens to be in some of those pictures with you, so what?
He was once a major part of your life and that’s okay. You have to accept that he was once around all the time and now he isn’t anymore. You have to accept that you can erase him from your future, but you can’t erase him from your past.
Think about it: Do you really want to throw out a year’s worth of memories, just because you happened to be dating your ex at the time?
Delete his photos from off of Facebook and Instagram. Delete all of the kissing selfies that you took inside of your bedroom just because you thought they looked cute at the time.
But don’t delete the photos where you went to Italy together or where you went skydiving for the first time. Don’t delete the photos that you would definitely save if he wasn’t standing next to you in the frame.
One day, it won’t hurt to look at them. One day, you’ll be happy that you have mementos of your past — even though they include a boy that you don’t want anything to do with anymore.
One day, once you’ve officially move on, you’ll feel thankful for the fun moments you shared with him. You’ll be able to say that you enjoyed that time in your life, even though you’re glad that you moved on, even though you’re glad that he’s only a memory.
One day, you’re going to want to show your future children and your forever person what you did when you were younger, what your clothes looked like and where you spent time during the summer.
Don’t let an ex ruin those memories. Don’t let an ex take that away from you.
Your photographs shouldn’t be sitting on your work desk or stored in your phone where you can access them anytime — but they should be kept in the back of your closet, on a flash drive in your drawer, somewhere you can reach once you’re ready to look at them.
Delete your ex from every other area of your life, but don’t delete the pictures you took while you were dating him. Don’t delete the girl that you once were.