I’ve been avoiding having to write about how to stop stalking your ex, but I’ve gotten so many requests to write about it, I had to. So here I am, finally doing it.
Why didn’t I want to write about how to stop stalking your ex?
Because my answer to the “how to stop stalking your ex” question, is the most seemingly a*s backwards, insane and completely opposite-of-everything-that’s-out-there advice… but what’s new?
If you Google “how to stop stalking your ex,” here are a few things that immediately come up…
- Delete/unfriend/block him.
- Ask your friends for some tough love.
- Implement a “stalk jar.”
- Stay busy.
- Instead of stalking your ex, stalk a celebrity.
- Find a habit to replace the stalking.
- Get out there and start dating! Get back in the game!
Umm…. yeah. Let’s go through this one-by-one.
Delete, unfriend or block him? Good advice but needs to be more specific considering that this is nearly impossible post-breakup.
Ask your friends for some tough love? Your friends are in your life to be your FRIENDS; your partners in crime. They’re not there to be your mommy, daddy or the moral police when you’ve sh*t your emotional shorts or broken some breakup “law.” This sets the friendship up for resentment, deceit down the line, an uneven playing field and just isn’t worth it.
Implement a “stalk jar” (??!!). I’m not sure wtf a “stalk jar” is specifically, but I’m assuming it’s the same thing as a swear jar? My advice: Please don’t. You may feel emotionally helpless, but you’re not a baby. You don’t need to implement tangible punishment that’s meant for children, so that you can translate to yourself and the universe that you need to be treated as such.
Stay busy? IMPOSSIBLE. I don’t care if you’ve got the busiest schedule known to man. If your brain is set to “must stalk ex” mode, trust me when I say that you’ll find the time to cyberstalk. You could have have every minute in your day accounted for, but as long as your not emotionally busy, there’s no point in trying to get physically busier. You’ll just end up feeling worse and creating dis-ease within your body.
Instead of stalking your ex, stalk a celebrity? .. Why? So you can feel even more unattractive, unworthy, out of shape and depressed? I’ll pass.
Find a habit to replace the stalking? I would advise against this because when you’re in a compromised emotional state, you’re most likely not going to find a constructive habit to replace a destructive one (stalking). Why set yourself up for further destruction and failure?
Get out there and start dating! Get back in the game! No. HOW? That’s the last thing you need right now. And even if you’ve tried it or want to try dating, until you heal and deal, you’re only going to meet highlighters (people that highlight the absence of your ex), not erasers.
Whether you’ve just broken up or it’s been a while, stalking an ex on social media or in person has devastating effects. You may want to stop, but no matter what ultimatums you give yourself… there you are once again, 2173182736 times a day stalking your ex – his friends, his family and his new girlfriend, her dog (+ every girl he follows). It’s a full-time job in and of itself.
As time passes, you see your ex and all of these people that you don’t even know, moving on with their lives while you’re on your last emotional leg, zooming in on screenshots and feeling more used, forgotten, rejected, pathetic and abandoned than ever before.
You know it’s time for a social media/Insta-vention, but you don’t even know where to begin. You don’t know how to stop stalking your ex. You’re not only obsessing over his social media (and everyone he follows), but you’ve become hyper-ocd-paranoid about yours. You second guess everything and are in an emotional quicksand nightmare.
Here’s how to stop stalking your ex, put an end to the control it has over you & start living your life now
(a life that you’re proud to call YOUR OWN; not a depressing existence dedicated to getting a PhD in “the musings of a f*cktard”)
Before we even get into how to stop stalking your ex, it’s important to know WHY you’re doing it in the first place.
When you realize the exact reason why you’re engaging in a habit, that realization immediately disempowers the influence and power that the habit has over you.
Even today, I’ll sometimes find myself emotionally bored and looking through photos of families that I don’t even know and exes that I truly am indifferent to. The difference between that and how I used to be, is that I’ll do it maybe once or twice a year and within a few seconds, I’m logged off and uninterested (as opposed to diving into the deep obsession and emotional investments I used to make).
The first thing you need to understand is that the desire keep tabs is a normal human reaction (especially if you have low self esteem), and it’s okay.
How to stop stalking your ex? Know why you’re doing it in the first place.
Here are the only 3 reasons why you social media stalk your ex:
- Because you can. Since no one really knows that you’re cyber creeping, the freedom (entitlement) that you feel to do so is maximized while consequences are minimized (who’s ever going to find out?). Jackpot.
- You’re Pain Shopping. You were so hurt, controlled, mind f*cked and betrayed in the relationsh*t, you’re more comfortable being in a state of pain than you are making the scary effort to move forward (and potentially FAIL at yet ANOTHER thing). The only difference is that by cyberstalking, you can essentially control the pain that’s inflicted upon you (because you’re inflicting it). Yes, your pain is dependent upon what your ex likes and posts, BUT you get to control the exposure. It’s all about inflicting, controlling and re-inflicting pain. This dynamic is not only familiar, it’s all you know. You went from the uncontrollable mind f*ckery that was having your ex inflict emotional pain upon you, to now giving yourself that very same pain in controlled doses.
- Connection. It’s the last little connection that you have to your ex. EVERY time you log on, you’re looking for one of 2 things: 1) You’re looking for any sign that he’s just as lonely, miserable and depressed as you are (so that you can run with that little bit of hope and remain invested. 2) You’re looking for any information possible to affirm that he’s moved on, happy and a better guy in a better relationship (so that you have a license to remain stagnant, invested; continue to feel badly about yourself, never think you’re good enough, obsess more about the superficial… and eventually settle for another f*cktard down the road).
My advice on how to stop stalking your ex? Don’t.
That’s right. You don’t have to stop.
TOLD YOU my advice was a little different.
If you’re doing anything like driving by his place, showing up at his work, calling him and hanging up, making up fake social media profiles and following him and/or his friends (been there, done ALL that)… if you’re doing anything in which you could potentially get caught and get into legal trouble… please STOP.
You’re not that pathetic and no one is THAT irreplaceable, valuable or special that you need to jeopardize your reputation and livelihood to such an irreparably damaging extent
If you’re checking your ex’s WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc., every minute and can’t stop won’t stop, there’s no point in forcing yourself to quit. Seriously.
Trying to cold turkey stop and placing ultimatums on yourself is only going to make you feel much worse. Just like with strict dieting – because you believe deep down that you’re “depriving” yourself, the desire to satiate is going to be even stronger; even more desperate. Why is this bad? It’s bad because you’re human, which means you’ll eventually give in and when you do, it will be 10 times more intense, painful (and potentially humiliating), because you’ll be “making up” for the starvation/deprivation that your “dieting” has incurred.
If you want to dedicate your life to checking up on someone else’s, have at it.
All I ask are 3 things before you do so (things that will eventually lead to answering the “how to stop stalking your ex,” question):
Dead & Gone.
When you’re looking at photos of your ex, realize that it’s okay to feel sad and cry as long as you’re mourning the death of the person that you thought existed. I’m not asking you to believe that the sun sets in the morning, I’m asking you to stop arguing with reality and accept that the person you thought existed is dead and gone. Look at your ex’s photos and understand that this is SOCIAL MEDIA. No one (including you), is going to post themselves swimming in the ocean of misery. If your ex posts photos about how happy he is or chronicles a big change; something out of the ordinary, that just means he’s fishing. The more he uses an abundance of exclamation marks or posts admirable/inspirational quotes, the more he’s looking for a reaction from not just you, but from everyone. This means that he’s JUST as validation hungry as you are because remember – we attract what we exude. Look at those photos and mourn. It’s okay to cry. Mourn the death of the person that you thought existed. If he’s already posting photos, in a new relationship, etc., you can bet that he hasn’t changed. The only person that’s truly changed is YOU. You’re no longer willing to have an emotional jerk off session with your own projections. Don’t provide ANY kind of reaction or opposing force. You can’t claim to want to be “the one that got away,” while single-handedly sabotaging that campaign by ACTING like a psycho. It’s OKAY to
look atstalk photos as long as you’re MOURNING a DEATH. You WILL eventually get tired of it. I know it hurts… but you’re not alone.
Wet Bathing Suits are GROSS.
If you’re driving yourself up a wall, stalking the every social media move of his new girl, I want you to think about this: Imaging you got a beautiful bathing suit and you put it on. You never quite felt comfortable or totally beautiful in it and it wasn’t constructed that well, but it grew on you and you loved it. You wore it proudly the entire day – in the ocean, playing beach volleyball, in the pool, on the sand, on a boat, back in the pool, when you peed in the ocean, etc. You finally get home, still wearing it and the bathing suit is dirty and still damp. It’s got ocean water, chorine, sweat and SPF all mixed in. You feel gross from being in it all day, so you immediately take it off, hang it up on your shower rod and take a long shower to clean off. WHILE you’re showing however, a new girl comes into your bathroom and PUTS ON (so gross), your wet bathing suit that you’ve been swimming in, sweating in, peeing in (who hasn’t peed in the ocean?) and running around all day in. She may look way better than you did in the bathing suit; she may be able to fill it out in all the right areas and make it look sexier and more expensive and valuable than you ever did but… it’s your WET, USED & DIRTY bathing suit that she’s wearing. When you social media stalk the new girl, have some empathy and be kind. Don’t hate on her. She’s wearing your wet bathing suit and has no idea how dirty it is. She just thinks it was wet because it came fresh out of the washer. Yikes.
Use the success, happiness and resiliency that your ex portrays on social media, to propel you into your OWN. For REAL. The kind of success that you won’t need to announce because it will be known. LIVE those inspirational quotes instead of posting them. Leave the posting to your ex (and the people he associates with).
If you’re going to pain shop, at least use the pain that you acquire to motivate you into badassness. Some of my greatest work has come from rolling in the proverbial mud with the pigs, choosing NOT to react for instant gratification and making the decision to ACT on those painful observations. The ABSOLUTE BEST revenge is a successful and private life, well lived. Trust me.
Instead of sticking your head in the toilet and then crying because you smell, get to the point where you’re so dirty, you’re finally ready to flush the sh*t & (at last!) take a shower. Stop being scared to flush and wash yourself off because you’ve convinced yourself the sh*t is the last token you have of a meal you once enjoyed.
Go MIA on social media for a while. It’s okay, I promise the sky won’t fall. USE the dysfunction that you see on social media to propel you out of your own. Feel free to unfollow whoever you don’t want to follow because it’s YOUR profile. If anyone wants to interpret your unfollowings, so be it. You’re no longer playing that game.
Since when did recognizing yourself, your needs and your pain in a healthy manner become a bad thing that you should feel guilt for?
Figuring out how to stop stalking your ex is something that doesn’t really need to be “figured out.” Every time you stalk, you’re taking a huge deposit out of an already negative self esteem bank account, but guess what?… YOU are doing it this time, not your ex.
You have the power to stop just as easily as you have the power to magically make time in your busy schedule to snoop. You’re clearly getting something out of the stalking or you wouldn’t be doing it.
Why not work toward getting a LIFE, a life beyond your wildest dreams, due to the motivation that the stalking provided for you to (finally) get off your emotional a*s?
I’ve been super busy lately with writing my book, traveling for work + a few projects that I cannot wait to share with you all! I’m back in action now with all new posts for you, all week 🙂
– Natasha x