No matter what a woman's daytime occupation is, she also performs miracles as a working -- though usually unlicensed -- therapist. I, a copywriter, am no different.
Despite the fact that I am not a relationship therapist, friends pour their woes into my ears and heart. Guys, I'm beginning to worry. We have fallen prey to an attacker that we don't even know is killing us: social media.
My girlfriends are constantly filling my inbox with requests to check their ex's page, check their ex's new girlfriend's page and help them make their own page as flawless as possible because “I know he still checks my page.” This kind of cyber-stalking and self-indulgent behavior has got to stop at some point.
So, here's what to do if you can't stop stalking his page:
The Tough Love
You're checking his Instagram page on the hour, every hour. You're hoping to feel some recharge of a connection. You want to find some sign he misses you, or that his life is a boring sh*thole without you.
But silly rabbit, that's not how social media works. No one's allowed to let his or her life look like anything less than a blockbuster movie. Guys would post pictures of themselves walking away from explosions if they could.
Most guys post Instagram photos of buildings, sports, their favorite hobbies, their families or shots from their vacations. If you dated a tool, he might post gym selfies.
From what I have seen over the years, only on occasion do guys even suggest having a relationship. So don't hold your breath for a subliminal Pinterest quote hinting that he misses you or a “What have I done today besides letting 'the one' get away?” emo caption.
You must realize that when you go to his page, you will be presented with two options: something you don't care about or something that will crush you.
Tips And Tricks
Let's get the obvious tips (that never effing work) out of the way:
- Unfollow him.
- Just, like, stop going to his page.
Here are some less obvious (but more helpful) tips:
- If his page is private, you've won half the battle. You can have a friend change your password for an allotted amount of time while you begin to heal (or continue to heal: no judgement).
- Literally say, “I will either see something I don't care about or something that will crush me” aloud before checking his page. There's a psychology behind saying something out loud. It gives the thing you're thinking or hoping more power, and thereby gives you more strength.
- This one is a little drastic, but desperate times call for taking the Internet off your phone. If you call your carrier or go into your settings, you can disable your Internet capabilities.
- Ask IT to block social media sites on your work computer, and give your phone to a co-worker to keep stored away. Actually work while you're at work. What a concept.
- Science has proven that a “rewards system” -- even in your 2os -- is effective. Keep a calendar at your desk or in your room that you can constantly see, and record each day you don't succumb to cyberstalking with a gold star. At the end of the week or month, reward yourself. According to studies, you're more likely to stay on track when you have something physical to remind you of your goal and something physical to remind you of your progress.
Here's what to do if you can't stop stalking the new girlfriend's page:
The Tough Love
There are layers on layers on layers to the neurotic behavior that comes along with creeping the new girlfriend's page. You want to see if she's basic or the bomb, what they're doing together, if he's liking her couple shots, etc. I've run that marathon, and it's a road that leads nowhere. Life is truly 100 percent better now that I don't do it anymore.
Here's the straight sh*t: It doesn't matter if he's liking their photos because he's with her now. Regardless of whether they're blissfully happy or whether there's trouble in paradise, he's choosing her every day: not you. As much as that may suck and break your heart, you have to start choosing yourself every day: not him.
Certainly don't make the choice to check out the new girlfriend's social media platforms.
Tips And Tricks
- See all the tips listed above.
- Remind yourself that an Instagram post only tells one side of the story. Haven't we all put up a picture that reflected a life much more put together than the way we felt? The same goes for relationships. Time and time again, I've had friends post adorable photos, but they've called me crying with really stressful relationship problems the same day. It's literally insane to compare what you two had to what they have because Instagram can't tell you the difference, just like it can't tell him or her how much you care.
- Block her. What's more petty? Blocking someone you barely know, or letting your day go to hell because you saw a sweet post made by someone you barely know?
- Consider this: People either change for the better or don't change at all after a breakup. Either he hasn't changed and she's dealing with the same ebbs and flows you did, or you changed him for the better. You made him more mature, more affectionate, more considerate and an overall better partner. In time, you'll find solace in that. I eventually did.
Here's what to do if you can't stop obsessing over your own page:
The Tough Love
Hi. Are you constantly controlling your Instagram page? Do you take your Instagram aesthetic more seriously than you take your life? Have you reached the point of actually asking your friends, “Is this good enough to post?”
Do you flat out hand them your phone so that they can write witty captions? If so, it's time for an Insta-vention. You need to cut that sh*t out.
I'm a recovered Instagram abuser. I remember spending copious amounts of time on my Instagram image specifically after my breakup in order to let him know that I was living. I was too #blessed to be heartbroken. It was a long road of thirst traps and Pinterest quotes, but I am proud to say I'm six months Instagram sober. I have some helpful aids to assist you on your road to recovery.
Instagram was meant to be a way to share “Kodak moments” with friends and family, but it has become an often greedy business, and a prolific pissing contest. Most of us have become contestants. We measure our lives in double taps, color schemes and how likely someone is to murmur comments of jealousy or praise after scrolling through our pages.
We're slowly becoming greater assh*les with each post. We are the worst during breakups.
Tips And Tricks
- Hold on to a photo for a few hours before you post it. We're often craving instant gratification, and we're looking to post anything that might satisfy that craving. Conditioning yourself to be more patient will curb your appetite to over-post. Particularly don't over-post photos that no one has any interest in. We've all seen sand, OK?
- You're not “winning the breakup” with the thirst trap photos. Can you limit those to like, twice a month? Please. Your ex remembers what your ass cheeks look like, and I never wanted to find out.
- Make your account private. For some reason, it's never our friends we want to impress: It's the people who barely know us.