Is It OK To Stalk Your Ex On Social Media? Here's What Experts Say, & They Have A Point
One of the most tempting things you'll probably face post-breakup is the urge to stalk your ex on social media. Are they online right now? Will they see my subtweet? Who's that person commenting on their pictures? It's easy to want to know everything about someone who was such a big part of your life. But really, is it OK to stalk your ex on social media? Maybe it'll give you the answers you were looking for, but do you actually want to know if your ex has moved on? Or if they deleted all your pictures together? Or who they're spending their time with? A part of you might, but I spoke to two experts, and they both agree that stalking your ex is so unhealthy.
"Stalking keeps you engaged in a mental (and sometimes, physical) relationship," Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, and author of The Self-Aware Parent, tells Elite Daily. "You end up thinking obsessively about your ex and he or she fills up all of the front and center space in your mind. This unhealthy process does not allow you to let go, grieve, and mourn the loss of the actual relationship." And that mourning process after a breakup can be incredibly important if you want to be able to fully move on.
In order to get used to your new life without your ex, consider eliminating the things that will hinder your healing process. "That means you have to take measures, like avoiding places they will be or viewing them on social media," matchmaker and dating coach Julia Bekker tells Elite Daily. "I suggest unfollowing them so they don't pop up in your feed, and make a promise to yourself that you will not go to any of their pages, as tempting and hard as it may be." If you've tried to stop going on their page but you still feel the urge to check, it may be best to take a break from social media completely — at least for a some time. "Remove yourself from the temptation," she says. "Out of sight, out of mind."
Cutting social media and your ex out of your life may seem like an extreme measure, but it can do wonders for you down the line. It definitely won't be easy, but it'll be worth it. "It requires motivation and determination," Dr. Walfish says. "The person really must want to stop! They need to begin with self-observation and notice every time your mind wanders to thinking about your ex." Every time your mind wanders to your ex, and the urge to stalk them begins to creep in again, stop yourself and then distract yourself, she suggests. Keep busy!
The thing about stalking your ex on social media is that it allows you to keep tabs on someone you're used to knowing everything about, because you've been in a relationship for an extended period of time. That's why it can be so tempting — it's like giving up something you're conditioned to already have. But continuing to stalk your ex on social media does more harm than good, because you're not allowing yourself to heal properly from your breakup. If you want to truly heal, you have to "tell yourself it doesn't matter what they are doing or who they are with because you are moving on," Bekker says. "Then, put action behind your new mantra." You'll be over your ex eventually, but that day will feel further and further away if you continue to let your desire to keep tabs on your ex take up space in your mind, and in your heart.