We've all done it. Maybe it's first thing in the morning when your ex is still lingering in your mind or after a few drinks when you're feeling lonely. No matter which way you slice it, though, stalking your ex on Instagram is bad news. But it almost seems pointless to go on a rant about how it hinders your ability to move on or how you're putting yourself through unnecessary torture. Why? Because we all already know it's really bad for us... but we do it anyway. It's a natural temptation, and sometimes, it's just too strong.
The key to keeping some healthy distance between you and your ex on social media is to find ways to distract yourself when the urge to stalk strikes. Naturally, there are going to be times when you cave and decide to take a look anyway, whether it's weeks, months, or even years down the line. But once you realize you've fallen back into an Instagram hole, take a step back and give yourself the space and time to heal. But when you feel the urge coming on, instead of succumbing to the temptation, try something more productive instead:
1. Make A New Dating Profile
Getting over someone you used to be with can be super tough. Next time you feel the itch to see what your ex is up to — and whom they're up to — why not spend that time either sprucing up your dating profile, making a new one, or drafting a message to send to the cutie you matched with a couple days ago?
Some people may argue against jumping back into the dating pool too soon, but in my experience, casually dating before you are fully over your ex can be just the push you need to complete the process. Now, this doesn't mean that entering a new relationship is a good call, as it is will likely turn into a rebound. But there's nothing wrong with getting your feet wet again.
2. Remind Yourself Why You Aren't Together
Let's face it: One of the main reasons social media is what it is today is because tricking people into thinking our lives are more fun and glamorous than they actually are makes us feel good. From the outside looking in, just having access to an ex's curated content can make it all too easy to forget why things ended in the first place. But chances are, you've already had a front-row seat when it comes to the reasons why your ex's life actually isn't perfect. Don't let yourself get so nostalgic for the good times that you forget about the bad.
3. Find A New Hobby
Instead of wasting time making yourself feel bad or jealous by stalking your ex on social media, try finding a new hobby. Post-breakup is the perfect time to finally start those painting classes you've wanted to try or get on a gym grind. Even though your ex will still likely be in the back of your mind, at least you'll be doing something fun and enriching in the meantime to distract you.
4. Plan Your Dream Vacation(s)
Planning Pinterest-worthy vacations brought me back from the brink of breakup destruction more than a once. Even if you don't have the money to take your dream vacation anytime soon, just the act of planning and putting money aside when you can will give you something awesome to look forward to.
5. Make A Playlist
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome post-breakup is learning how to fill the pockets of time you suddenly have now that you're single. This is the perfect chance to get your music library in order. Instead of spiraling on Instagram, try making a new playlist with all your favorite songs.
Most people complain pretty often that they don't have time to really organize their lives. Cleaning out your closet, alphabetizing your bookshelf, or finally scanning you childhood photos and getting them into frames are all great projects to tackle in your free time, instead of obsessing over an ex online.
Sometimes, places hold the most powerful memories. If all you can think about when you walk into your room is how your ex helped you paint that lemon-yellow accent wall, then it's probably time to bring in some new vibes. Invite a friend to help you repaint and hit up some flea markets for some cheap new items to decorate your room with.
8. Adopt A Pet
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you can't seem to stop your stalking and you have the time and resources to spare (this is a major one), why not adopt that puppy you've always wanted? Everyone needs some unconditional love from time to time, and getting a pet can be equal parts rewarding and time-consuming, leaving little (if any) time to dwell on the past. However, it's important that you're certain you have the time, space, and attention to commit to a pet. If adopting a furry friend is too much of a commitment, you could also temporarily foster one until they can find a forever home.
9. Take A Social Media Break
If all else fails, it may be time to take a hard break from social media for a little while. Although this might sound too drastic to some, if you're obsessed with keeping tabs on your ex's life to the point that it's keeping you from moving on and living your own life, then temporarily taking a step back will definitely put things into perspective for you.
Don't ever beat yourself up for feeling the urge to stalk your ex online — literally everyone does it. The most you can do is try your best to avoid it when you can by focusing on something else. Before you know it, they will disappear from your recent searches, and you can forget that you ever used to care about what they were up to at all.
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