You split up. It’s over. It doesn’t matter who instigated the break up, it’s done. So, why do you have an overwhelming urge to stalk your ex?
Breakups are rarely clean. They are never easy and it can be really to hard to let go.
I mean, going out with someone is like a habit. When it's over, it can feel natural to want to know what he's doing, and with who.
You might feel there is a gaping hole in your world and the only way to fill it is by getting a fix on his life.
Yet, checking out your exes movements on social media or any other way, is likely to cause you pain. Think of it as dwelling on the past instead of moving forward. Or, picking at a wound rather than allowing it to heal.
It's never gonna be a good move.
So, if you find yourself wanting to stalk your ex … I are here to talk you out of it.
Good reasons NOT to stalk your ex
Stalking your ex is illegal
Let’s get this out of the way straight off the bat. True stalking is illegal and if you are here for justification for sending your ex 100 texts a day, hiring a private investigator and tailing him in your car, we can’t say we approve.
On the flip side, you wouldn’t want someone doing this to you.
And don’t think that cyberstalking is exempt from the law. It can also be considered illegal. If you feel yourself crossing the line between looking at their profile and posting abuse on their page, you may have to consider getting some help.
It will be so embarrassing if you get caught
It's not just the shame of being caught red-handed, but if your ex gets fed up with all your stalking, he might file for a restraining order or sue you for harassment.
I don't want to sound serious but these kinds of things actually happen.
How will you explain to your kids why you have to be 100 yards away from Daddy whenever you fetch them? How will you justify your acts to your parents or worse, the law enforcement?
Your world will turn upside down all because of what you thought were harmless video call attempts. Do not cross that line, ever.
It’s not good for your mental health
For the rest of this article, I’m going to refer to virtual stalking in the way of so-called ‘innocent’ browsing. This means spying on your ex via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat … whatever your virtual poison happens to be. This behaviour can quickly reach an unhealthy level.
One minute you are on your ex’s page and the next … you are 20 pages deep in his new girlfriend’s, sister’s, husband’s page.
When you stalk your ex online it can lead to feelings of resentment or insecurity.
- Why is he at your favourite spot?
- Who is that girl with him?
- Is that random comment on his page directed at you?
This behaviour can quickly lead you down an obsessive rabbit hole. This is the time to boost your self-esteem and when you stalk your ex you will only feel worse. Instead, join a gym class or dye your hair, basically do anything that makes you feel good.
You have to let it go
You have kids, you’ve seen Frozen. Let it go. You can’t hold onto the past if you want to move into the future.
Holding on too tight may begin to affect your friendships, as if all you ever talk about is your ex it can become emotionally draining.
Think about your future and give yourself a clean slate so you can move on. Allowing yourself that time to heal without the constant reminder will help you get your groove back.
This process will give you a chance to find someone new … that is, when you are ready to start dating again.
You will see a distorted reality
Speaking of mental health, whenever you stalk your ex, you will see a distorted version of reality.
Not everything we see on social media is true. Of course, your ex will only put up positive photos or videos. You don't know the whole story behind every post, but will believe what you see.
I used to think that my ex-husband was happier than I was after we separated. Yup, I also got myself into the "stalking his social media" mess. Since I thought I was the only one miserable, I would get drunk and send him countless messages (you don't want to know the content).
How your ex portrays himself on social media is (like everyone) very different to his reality. He might post him and his mates taking shots on his 'fab night out' but you won't see that it was actually a crap night and he was home by 10pm with headache. Likewise, he might post a stunning photo of a mountain range where you assume he frolicked for the day with some gorgeous sex nymph, only to discover it was taken out of a bus window on the way to collect his car from the mechanics.
Stalking will only provide part of the story. You will join the dots and nearly always get it wrong.
Two extra reasons not to stalk your ex because we really don't want you to do it
Time is too precious to waste
Your time is precious, do you really want to waste it stalking your ex?
If you find yourself feeling lonely after a break up, use the extra time to start something new. Find new friendship groups or rekindle old ones. Join the Single Mum Vine Facebook group. Try a hobby you have always wanted to do.
There are so many better ways to spend your time than worrying about your ex’s life. If your life is full, you will stop caring about his.
It can be tempting to stalk your ex. But, it isn’t good for you. Take back control and focus on the relationships right in front of you.
You will never get closure
You're free now! Live your life. Do the things you haven't done because your ex stopped you from doing them.
If you wallow in sadness and misery and stalk your ex all day/all night long, you will never get closure and move forward.
It's okay to be sad and miss him, that's normal. What's not healthy is to refresh his profile every 5 seconds to check if there's a new update.
If you're not yet in the mood to go out, that's totally fine. You can binge-watch all the shows and movies that you didn't get to watch because your ex only liked John Wick. Don't forget to pick up the kids from school, though.
My summary: Why not to stalk your ex
It's not just you. Everyone gets the urge to find out the latest on their exes. It can happen while you're sitting on the couch after the kiddos are finally asleep — the temptation to take a peek into your ex's social media.
But hold on, sister! Let's hit pause on that remote.
Because if you stalk your ex, it will be like opening a can of emotional worms you don't want in your life. It's like a muddy puddle you don't want to get dragged into.
First off, getting caught will be a huge embarrassment. Like the time my best friend found my ex's name in my profile's search bar (oops!).
What would you tell your friends or your kids? Trust me, it does not look good. Plus you're not setting a very good example for your little ones.
Secondly, the stalking mess will stop you from moving forward, from embracing the awesomeness that is YOU.
Final words of advice, whenever you get that urge to stalk your ex (personally or virtually), distract yourself! Redirect that energy into something more fabulous (and more worthy of your precious time). Like, maybe, planning the next family game night or treating yourself to a solo dance party in the living room. (But get away from that wine bottle!)
And know that you deserve better. Period.