I Internet-Stalk My Ex Boyfriends’ Girlfriends And It’s A Problem

I don’t know exactly why I do it, but I go online to creep on my exes and then end up falling down the rabbit hole by clicking on their girlfriends’ social media accounts. I do all sorts of mental gymnastics, comparing myself to and judging them, and none of it feels very good. I’m working on stopping the habit but that’s easier said than done.

It always starts out feeling like it’s no big deal.

Whenever I head online to do some light stalking, I convince myself that it’s super casual and I’m just taking a peek. No biggie! Then I find my way onto pages that I shouldn’t be on and I talk myself into it being OK when it’s really not. I always end up feeling crappy afterward so it’s never worth it.

I start by focusing on my exes—their current partners aren’t part of the equation just yet.

I find my fingers tapping my exes’ names in the search box on a social media page. I do it without too much thought, kind of mindlessly at times. Next thing I know, I’m on their pages and feeling all sorts of feelings. Then I bring those feelings to the next level by clicking on their girlfriends’ pages. When I do that, the onslaught of emotions takes over.

I compare myself to their current girlfriends even though I know I shouldn’t. 

I don’t just scroll through these women’s Instagram feeds and shrug. I compare our sizes, how successful they are, and their happiness with my exes and vice versa (or what I can gauge from social media). I lay all of that up against my own life and I inevitably fall short because I’m comparing myself to their projected best selves. I’m assuming that I know anything about their lives just by looking at their pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

I judge them harshly. 

I’m not only comparing us and being mean to myself, I’m judging them way hard about how their thighs look, how ugly their faces are, and how they look with my exes. I know it’s super petty—I didn’t say I was proud of all of this. I know that they’re human beings and deserve kindness and respect, I just can’t find it in myself to give to them.

I wonder why my exes are with their girlfriends and not me.

Even though I don’t want to get back together with any of my exes, I still find myself wondering why they’re with their partners and not me. It’s a crazy line of thinking that has no basis in reality, yet there I go. I think about all the areas that I’m probably better than their girlfriends and I drive myself crazy with thinking about it.

I wonder what their lives are like and if they’re better than mine.

I think about what their jobs and their day to day lives look like. Mostly, I wonder what their relationships are like with my exes. I know, it sounds crazy. None of this is any of my business, but I’m just being honest about what goes through my head. I have a strange curiosity about what their lives look like, particularly in comparison to mine.

I worry about accidentally liking something—how mortifying would that be?

Remember that old game Operation we used to play when we were kids? You’d be holding the metal tweezers trying not to bump into a wall to set off the buzzer—this is totally how I feel when I’m creeping through their Instagrams. I’m so terrified that I’m going to double tap on one of their pictures and not be able to take it back. Whoops.

It’s none of my business really… but I make it mine.

What my exes and their partners are doing with their lives is totally none of my business at all. I know that I shouldn’t care about what they’re doing, but the reality is that I do. I care and I’m nosy and I make it my business even when it’s not.

They probably couldn’t care less about me.

The funny thing is that I waste all of this time and energy, and for what? To only make myself more upset? It’s not like they give two craps that I’m looking at their profiles. I highly doubt they’re wasting their time checking out mine. Maybe they’ve creeped on me once, but they likely don’t make it a consistent habit. Yet this isn’t at all a deterrent for me.

It’s not like I’m not over my exes.

I may be making it sound like I’m still super hung up on my exes. The reality is that I’m really not. I’m over them all. I don’t even think about them on a day-to-day basis. It’s just that once in a while, they’ll pop into my head and I’ll find myself making my way from my exes’ profiles to their partners’. I can’t really explain why it is that I do it, but I know that I’m over them.

I know it’s an unhealthy habit. 

I may be over them, but I’ve formed this unhealthy habit where I find myself typing their names into the search bar without even thinking twice about it. It’s only causing me pain, discomfort, jealousy, and an assorted array of other feelings that are unpleasant. I’m working on breaking the habit.

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