THE BLOG
08/31/2014 10:29 pm ET Updated Oct 31, 2014

Dumped? 6 Ways to Save Face on Facebook

When you're in love, social media is very good to you. Every encounter -- date night, food fight, and strolls in the park -- becomes a selfie photo shoot, and you just can't wait to upload those images to your page. There you are, the Facebook Couple of the Day, and you're so cute and loving and full of promise. The Like gods rain down on your every post.

Your Facebook life is good.

But when you're dumped, social media can be a really, really bad place.

There you are, sitting in your cotton jammies, feeding on your cookies and ice cream when your ex-boo and the new chick invade your Facebook timeline.

You're hypnotized by the endless updates: There they are, checking in at the movies. There they are, hanging out with friends -- your former friends -- at the basketball game. There he is rocking that shirt you bought him; there she is rocking that new pack of hair extensions.
Finally, there it is -- his relationship status update that confirms your worst nightmare -- he's now claiming her on Facebook. It's official, he's moved on.
What. The. Hell?

Dumped? 6 Ways to Save Face on Facebook

1. Don't disappear from your social network. After a breakup, it's normal to want to unplug, run and hide. Being suddenly single doesn't make you less of a woman. Making up and breaking up are just facts of life, and although you can't control the course of love, you can control how your breakup plays itself out online.

If you've built your identity into being a couple, reclaiming yourself as a single person may take more time, but it still can be done.

2. Update your relationship status. After the breakup, change your status to reflect that you're now single. This simple change will alert your followers of your life change and it will kick-start the healing process. Announcing the breakup first also helps you to save face when/if your ex posts pictures with his new chick.

The announcement also avoids the disaster of mutual friends tagging and emailing you about your ex's "infidelity" because they don't know that the two of you are no longer together.

3. Lead the conversation. This is your breakup; no one should be authorized to speak on your behalf about it but you. If friends post "you're better without him," or "keep your head up," delete it immediately. Thank your friends for the post in a direct message and politely tell them not to post such sentiments on your wall again because this chapter of your life is painful and you don't want things to get ugly.

4. Take new photos for Facebook. Update your profile pic with a spanking new makeover or take funny pictures with your children, pets or friends. Your pictures should reflect the truth about falling in and out of love: Life goes on. Warning: Don't post lingerie or booty pics to make your ex jealous, it can backfire and make you appear to be desperate for attention.

5. Remove the cutesy couple photos gradually. Remove the cutesy couple pictures (within 72 hours) that are no longer relevant. Hastily erasing the person, say, within 15 minutes of the breakup, signals that the breakup was an emotional affair for you and that you're hurt or overreacting. Besides, your NEW photos will generate the majority of the buzz and the couple pics won't be missed as much.

6. If all else fails, block your ex-lover and his loudest cheerleaders. Don't invite the opportunity for others to rub your nose your ex's brand new life. Also, if your ex is posting nasty comments or racy photos about you, report it to Facebook immediately and the offensive posts will be removed. In extreme cases, his/her page can be disabled. If the ex harasses you online, you have options to press charges or to sue for defamation. Never engage in an offensive exchange online. Remember, your posts are forever, even if you delete them. (Likely, someone will save a screen shot of the drama.)

Also, install privacy controls so that any posts made about you must be approved by you before they appear on your timeline.

Polite society says that you should remain online friends with your ex; we're all adults, right?
However, only you know if that's the truth. If it pains you to know about what he's up to now that you're no longer together, please just un-friend the guy. Don't put your mind and heart through the pain of seeing his new life without you.

Shift your focus to the new fish in the sea.