This post. My goodness… Miss Maxie nails it here. I notoriously stalk significant others (both past and present). It’s a problem and I know it’s a problem. Yet I still do it. And I still get all upset and then go back for more. It’s horrible. Sometimes I feel crazy (you know, more than normal), so I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in this.
We’re nearing the end of the year which means you are beginning to consider what 2014 will hold. What habits will you attempt to change? What will you try to do more of next year? There’s probably something in there about more vegetables, vitamins, workouts, appreciation, and quality time. And while those are great goals, I have a much more provocative resolution for you: quit social stalking your ex.
Social media has made it easy for every one of us to be Level 5 stalker. I will be the first to Google every known detail about one of my dates to verify his background. I’ve found out an ex cheated because of what someone wrote on his Facebook wall (he still doesn’t have Facebook to this day #caught). And I’ve caused unnecessary emotion in my life because I can’t fight the temptation of checking out that old love’s Instagram account.
I’ve written this post from perspective of a hetero couple but it’s almost 2014, this applies to everyone. No matter who you love, I know you’ve been there too. You’ll be casually Facebooking and before you know it your fingers start to tingle, your face gets a little hot, and you start this entire internal dialogue about how you are not going to look at his profile. You are not. And then you do (your fingers were possessed, so not your fault). And after 15 minutes of looking through every comment, picture and like, you immediately delete your Facebook account because you can’t stand how it feels to look at his new life— his new girlfriend, his #Luckiestguyintheworld hashtags, them saying I love you back and forth, his trip that you two were supposed to go on together, the play he went to go see which he refused to do when y’all were together.
You’ve done it. You do it. And next year you’re going to stop. Here’s why:
You’re better than this. The meltdowns that happen from seeing his latest Instagram picture. The jealousy you feel (and you’re not even a jealous person). The big ole elephant tears you shed about a dude that wasn’t even good to you to begin with… It’s such unnecessary emotion in your life. You’re hurting yourself, and it’s not healthy. And just like giving up the Oreos, you need to break this one too.
I know plenty of women who are in perfectly awesome relationships, or date like mad women, but still have a little problem keeping up with their ex. While we can blame social media for making it so dagum easy, we have to take personal responsibility on this one. If you want to give the next guy a chance, the one who is right in front of your face being as lovely and handsome as can be, you have to quit being hung up on your ex. And the more you stalk, the harder you’re making it on yourself.
I totally understand that the timeline is a devilish thing. You’ll be having a perfectly great day and up pops his newest picture on Instagram, leaving your heart beating a little faster than it was before. How could you not click? And then the other extreme is deleting your accounts, and who wants to be that girl (you’re giving an ex way too much power in that case, but sometimes you gotta go what you gotta do). The trick is to find balance. Make this New Year’s resolution easier on yourself. On Facebook, unsubscribe to him so he doesn’t show up in your feed, but yet you don’t have to unfriend him or delete your account. On Instagram simply unfollow him. It’s not like homeboy is going to get a large blinking sign that says you’re gone. Unless he audits his followers on the regular, he’s never going to notice yet your heart will be so much lighter.
And if this is one of those big epic loves that you really feel like you need to keep tabs on, do it through a third party. Make sure one of your best girlfriends still follows him somewhere on social. That way she can let you know when he’s engaged, or deployed, or fat.
Listen, you and most girls, single or not, have dealt with this. I’m obviously writing from personal experience here. We’ve all been there. But know that breaking this ugly habit is something that you need to do next year. Whether you make it known to the world as one of your 2014 goals or not, I hope you give yourself the gift of freedom and stop social stalking him. Quit killing your own joy. Know that your love is so big and powerful, when put in the right direction, it will be unstoppable.
PS (Carly here again!) Not going to lie here… I think this also applies to stalking your S.O.’s exes. With social media, it’s too easy to look up girlfriends of relationships past and compare everything going on between you know and what went on between them. (Just me?!) I’ve picked fights and caused unnecessary emotional turmoil by going through and (#guilty) collecting every single Tweet, Instagram, and Facebook photo. And then comparing. Not. Good.
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