The Ethics of Blogging About Exes

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 12.07.29 PMThis article was sent to me by an old friend:  http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/dont-write-about-the-people-you-have-loved/ – Needless to say, it's a fucking good read and brings to bear an important discussion: Should we, as relationship bloggers, blog about our exes?

The author, Nathan Savin Scott, writes “You own part of everything that has happened to you. You own your perspective on the matter. And, sorry kids, but a lot of the time your perspective can be wrong, or unfair, or tinted by whatever shit you were going through at the time.

I take a deep breath when I read that. Why? Well, I disagree with it. That's why. I own everything I've been through. Period. No one else. Ultimately, I am the master of my universe. What I perceive as the “the truth” may and does differ from that of anyone else. That means that I may see things incorrectly, as pointed out by the facts. Even though I may be wrong, my memory may be skewed, I still own my feelings. Therefore, I should be able to write about whatever I want to with respect to my exes.

In George Straight's day, it was easier, because I don't think he had the internet and they all lived in Texas. Yet, he was a wildly popular entertainer (and a horribly shitty actor) and could sing to millions about his dating life. So why can't I? I mean, I can't sing for shit and I sure as hell can't play the guitar. But, at a basic, Avatardian level, I can write. And that's what I do. I write. Writing has been an unexpected form of release for me over the years. It's helped me work through some of my own issues and get things out of my head and out into the world. It's helped me become a better person. I don't see how I COULDN'T write about my exes and past relationships!

That said, there are some ethics involved and considerations to be made. the Urban Dater isn't a wildly popular blog by any stretch. But it gets some circulation. All of my friends and family know that I have it. So when I write something about an ex, they know who I'm writing about. So here's where the decision making and deciding how carefully to tread comes into play and this is where I think Nathan Savin Scott speaks true.

It will leave you alone. If you write about all the people you have loved, people will stop coming to you. They will know your wrap — they will know you will expose them. People will stop loving you. They will stop trusting you. It’s the boy who cried wolf, with emotional intimacy. Blow it once and no one will trust you again.

I believe the above to be an absolute truth. There are some of my fellow bloggers out there that write pretty harshly about their exes. Really, really harsh. If any of their future beaus were to become aware of the type of blogging they do and the nature of the blogs that come out about those exes who scorned them, well, that beau has to think carefully. “What will this person write about me when I fuck up?” “How will this person write about our arguments?” Sure, sure. We can set guidelines when we're in a relationship. But if that relationship dissolves, the proverbial kid gloves do come off and what's to stop us from trashing someone we used to love?


In retrospect, I don't feel I've written anything particularly scathing about an ex. Though, I've written a shitty thing or two, especially about that one who I broke up with after one of my halloween parties… Was that wrong? Looking back, yes. I think so. Why? Because it's embarrassing and disrespectful. I've since taken it down, though, there may be some other posts that reference that, that I need to lookup.

The women I've loved, I have loved for good reason and for a time in my life, they made me as happy as I could ever hope to be… Maybe they trashed me, cheated on me, disrespected me… Maybe. Would that be worth it to trash them in kind? What does that say about me as a person? I think when we bash our exes, it says a whole lot more about us than it does about them. As bloggers, we need to think about the ethics of such writing and really consider who we are and what we wish to project to the world. After all, they are watching AND reading what we do…

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Alex is the founder and managing editor at the Urban Dater. Alex also runs: DigiSavvy, for which he is the co-founder and Principal. Alex has a lot on his mind. Will he ever get it right? If he does, he'll be sure to write.

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  1. This is an interesting article, but it seems the ex is given too much thought. The ex is an ex for a reason. Forget about her. I feel this post can translate to other platforms beyond blogs, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. People go on rants on these platforms driving people away.

    Why is there a need to discuss the ex publicly? If writing about them is a good release, keep a written or typed private journal. It doesn’t do anything positive for anyone to put out that negative energy to everyone. Besides, do you really want to have the detail of how terrible an ex treated you to linger online forever for you to stumble upon?

    Ex the ex out of your life, if they bring nothing positive to you. Don’t let them live on forever through you.

    Just some advice for people struggling with where to express their feelings.

    Love for all,

    Eight at Eight Dinner Club

    1. Carrie,
      You nailed it with saying “Don’t let them live on forever through you.” The negativity will always live on if one keeps writing about it.

  2. This is a very interesting and since I had a habit of always writing about my exes on my personal blog, I can say it can be very good to write about personal details, but if you know your ex is going to frequent your site, then you really do deserve all the drama from it.

    There is such a thing as dating blogger’s remorse and although I do think it’s okay to talk about the ex from time to time on a blog, you risk looking self-indulgent, self-important and you might cause drama with your current partner. (Speaking from experience!)

    Good blog though nonetheless!

  3. Thanks for sharing that article and your perspective. As a new blogger, this is very helpful and will definitely be noted for the future!

  4. Great post and good food for thought. I find writing about my ex-periences quite therapeutic. I never give ALL the dirty details but I do give my perspective and I respect their anonymity by not using their names. I’ll keep writing and if they don’t want me to write about then they better behave 😉 I only write good stories, not boring ones!!

  5. Currently my blog is largely about my ex-husband. Largely out of respect for him and his privacy, I’m writing under a pen name. I don’t want to hold back, but I would if my words could be traced back to me. While I agree that my experiences are mine and I have the right to share them, it doesn’t change that my ex has feelings too. There’s no need to humiliate him while I’m satiating the need to share my life.

    1. I think that’s a good point, Kat. I know no one is perfect and some are far less perfect than others. But how we choose to handle how we recount our experiences does, indeed, say a lot about us. And if we want to be considered as a whole, and what we do, by those who might love us in the future, how would the see the way we write about loves lost? Certainly something to keep in mind.

  6. “I think when we bash our exes, it says a whole lot more about them then it does about us.”
    Did you mean this the opposite way?

    Aside from that: Bravo! This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read from you, Alex. I think your insight is spot on.

    1. For fuck’s sake, yes I did! Lol. I fucking suck and I wrote “then” not “than.” I need help. Seriously…

      1. If you ever need an editor… *raises hand*

        I just won’t edit things that say mean things about fat girls. You know, solidarity and all! 🙂 Otherwise, though, you have my information!

        1. You will have license to re-imagine my words so you can rephrase my content to say all kinds of unseemly and wildly kind shit about people I say mean things about….

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