If You're Still Social Media Stalking An Ex, Here's What It Means, According To Experts
Breakups seriously suck — that's just undeniable. No matter who ended things, or what the reasoning behind it was, breaking up is not easy on anyone. But perhaps, even harder than breaking up is just being able to move on. It takes time to get your ex's name out of your head, to stop picturing their face so often, and to quit typing their name into your Instagram search bar. If you're still social media stalking an ex, then you're definitely not alone. Turns out, it's actually totally normal.
But don't just take my word for it. "In an ideal world, you wouldn’t feel the urge to stalk your ex at all," Trina Leckie, Breakup BOOST podcast host tells Elite Daily. "That said, most people will do this after a breakup." It's hard to not stalk someone when you know how easy it is to look at their Instagram posts and stories and see what they're up to. However, it's experts warn against this, because it has the potential to be truly unhealthy.
"If you are having a really hard time healing, you need to stop looking altogether or else you will drive yourself crazy," Leckie adds.
Sure, you might be broken up, but if you continue to check in on their social media accounts, then it's going to be even more difficult for you to truly move on. "It can become an addiction to keep checking, which then keeps your ex top of mind all day, and that clearly isn’t healthy," says Leckie. "You won’t be able to move on fully until you stop looking, so the sooner you stop, the better."
But of course, it's not that easy. Experts suggest that if you're struggling with this, try to understand why you're doing it. Usually, people stalk their ex because they "want to see if their ex is happier without them or dating someone (and comparing themselves to this person)," Anita A. Chlipala, dating and relationship expert, licensed marriage and family therapist, and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, tells Elite Daily. "They may try to get answers to why the breakup happened. They still have feelings for their ex and maybe have hope that they will get back together. Also, the first few weeks after a breakup are particularly difficult because you have a big void. So stalking an ex on social media can help fill that void."
Instead of stalking your ex, try going on a walk, taking a bubble bath, or seeing that new movie everyone is talking about. Try to get your mind off them if at all possible.
It's not uncommon to stalk your ex on social media, but that doesn't mean it's the best thing for you. "In most cases it means you are having a really hard time letting go and accepting that the relationship is over," Leckie says. "In other cases, it could just mean that you are curious as to what they are up to."
Most importantly, remember that stalking your ex isn't going to help you move on. "It really is serving you no purpose to keep looking... it’s only going to make you miss them and depressed," Leckie explains. You deserve to move on and be happy again, so put your phone down. Hang out with your friends, go on a blind date, or learn a new hobby. Put yourself and your well-being first, and if that means doing your best to quit stalking your ex, you deserve to give yourself a fair chance.