What’s with the compulsion to “check in” on your ex semi-frequently or stay in touch on social media? The relationship is over so your contact should be too. If you find yourself constantly looking into what your former partner is up to, here’s what may be going on.
You’re not over him yet. It could be as simple as that. Maybe you check up on him because you haven’t quite moved on from your relationship. Checking in, staying in touch, stalking his Instagram—these are ways to keep contact with someone who was a major part of your life. The impulse doesn’t necessarily mean you’re crazy, it just means you’re human.
You miss having someone to check on. When you’re in relatively consistent contact with someone for months or even years, you build a routine around checking in on them. They become entrenched in your mundane daily habits and they fit into the flow or your day. When you break up and that all goes away, it can be challenging to deal with that part of your routine gone. I get it… but that doesn’t make it healthy.
You’re grieving and that’s OK… for a little while. Breaking up feels like a death for many of us. I know that all of my breakups have felt that way even if I knew we needed to end our relationship and/or I was the one to do it. When people die, it’s totally normal to spend time going through photo albums and other mementos as your work your way through your grief. If you’re fresh out of a relationship, give yourself a break. You’re grieving. That being said, at some point, you have to put up a wall between you and your ex and rebuild your life without him. Challenge yourself to a 60-day cleanse of your ex. Try to break your habit. It’s the healthiest thing to do.
You’re over him but you’re just nosy. Sometimes you’re not even feeling any particular type of way about your ex. Sometimes you’re just nosy and you satisfy your urge to know things by reaching out or scrolling through his page. I am that girl and I have zero shame.
You want to know if he’s moved on yet. We are all 1000% guilty of this one and it’s pretty normal if you ask me. Wondering if your ex has moved on yet is a part of navigating your post-breakup life. One time I straight up asked my ex if he was dating again after rumors started swirling and he blocked me from his social media accounts. I think I wanted to know so that I could have control over the situation. I needed to know that he was over us in some messed up way so that I could start moving on too.
You want to know what his new girlfriend looks like. Quite frankly, many of us stalk our exes social media accounts just to see what the new girl looks like. Does she look like you? Does he still have a type? Is she prettier than you? Has she met his friends and family? You can totally drive yourself insane with all of these questions. What starts out as a semi-jealous curiosity turns into a mild obsession and before you know it, you’re even checking her social media.
You’re gauging your chances of getting back together. Sometimes your reason for checking in or stalking or staying in touch is that you want to see if there’s room for you to come back into your ex’s life. As they say, information is power. What easier way than to go directly to the source… or the source’s Instagram/Facebook/Twitter page?
You’re still making sense of your breakup. It’s been years since my last breakup and sometimes I find myself on my ex’s pages because I still don’t have an answer to the “where did we go wrong?” question. It’s super easy to get yourself back in that headspace because memories exist, photos exist, and things remind you of him. Still, no good can come of it.
You’re looking for something you’ll never find. Along the same lines, it’s entirely possible that you’re looking for answers, clues, changes, or something in your ex to explain what happened to lead your relationship to its ultimate demise. Maybe you’re looking for yourself. I’ve definitely lost myself in a relationship before to the point that when I came out of it, I didn’t even know who I was anymore. The thing is, you might never find what you’re searching for. Answers come in time but sometimes they don’t come at all.
You’re just addicted. You could just be really addicted to the check-ins and the Instagram scrolling. These things seem relatively harmless and they give you some sense of instant gratification so you keep doing it. If this is you (it’s also me, I’ll admit it), work on paring back the time you spend stalking. This year I’m making a bigger effort to mind my business, focus on my relationship, and leave the past in the past. Let’s see if we can’t do that together!
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