Orbiting is basically when one person incessantly interacts with or looks at the social media accounts of someone they’re dating without actually following them. It’s common behavior for exes, frenemies, and online daters, but I’m actually guilty of this with my boyfriend…
He has Twitter and I don’t.
Twitter is way too stressful for me. I’m the kind of person who believes that she can’t say everything she wants in 240 characters, so I opt for more visually stimulating social media like Instagram. On the other hand, my boyfriend thinks that Instagram is full of fake, curated content and he won’t touch it. We both have different social media habits and as a result, we don’t interact with each other online ever.
I like knowing what he’s posting, sue me.
Since we never cross paths on the internet, I also have no idea about his online persona—and yes, I do believe that everyone morphs a little bit or takes on a new voice when they hop online. Orbiting him allows me to get to know his online self a little bit since I otherwise wouldn’t be able to do so. It’s kind of cool to see him in that light.
I’m always curious to see how he talks about me online.
Whenever my boyfriend mentions me on his Twitter account, it makes me giddy. I like seeing what he shares about our relationship to the rest of the world who doesn’t know me, especially since we don’t use the same social media platforms. It’s cool seeing how the person you love presents you to the rest of the world.
My friends call it spying, I call it referencing.
My friends think that my orbiting tendencies are the equivalent of me spying on my boyfriend. I wholeheartedly disagree! Spies collect information on their enemies and use crazy invasive tactics like stalking or hacking to get extra information. Last time I checked, my boyfriend is not my enemy and I’m not breaking into his Twitter account and going through his direct messages. I’m merely perusing his public account.
I’m sure he does the same thing to me.
Although my boyfriend doesn’t have Instagram, all of his friends do. I know for a fact that they screenshot my stories and posts and send them to my boyfriend from time to time to tease him, especially if he’s included in the posts. I mean, he’s even sent me a screenshot of a text message from a friend in which a screenshot of my profile is in the text. They’re all super immature. Anyway, since his friends already send him my social media, I’m sure he logs on when he’s curious and checks up on what I’m doing too.
It’s not that I don’t trust him, I do!
Before you think that this is about my lack of trust, let me assure you that it’s not. Hundreds of thirsty girls could be sliding in his DMs and I would never know, but that’s not why I orbit. I trust that my guy isn’t doing anything shady online—this little addiction that I have is much more about curiosity and being outright nosy. I have zero shame.
I like to see who he’s interacting with online.
OK, so quick caveat to the above. I do trust my boyfriend, but if he has a girl sliding into his DMs or an annoying commenter who’s always replying to his tweets, I want to know about it so I can find out who they are. I’ll occasionally run an eye through his Twitter followers for good measure to see who he’s following and who follows him. Call me crazy, but I don’t trust other people and it’s insane how far people will go to get someone’s attention.
I get a glimpse into what he’s thinking about on a particular day.
Sometimes I peruse my boyfriend’s Twitter just to see what he’s into at the moment. Our communication is solid but I use his Twitter as a booster. For example, if he posts a heady political article, I’ll click on it, read it, and make sure to ask him if he’s read it that day and play dumb to the fact that he definitely has otherwise he wouldn’t have posted it. I think that this reminds him that we connect on similar things and that we have similar values and interests. So yeah, orbiting kind of helps me connect with him a little bit.
It’s my little secret.
I did confess this to my friends over a game of Never Have I Ever, but my boyfriend doesn’t know as far as I can tell. I plan to keep it that way. Big secrets like covering up an affair are obviously no-nos in relationships, but in my opinion, small ones like a tiny habit of orbiting my boyfriend’s social media page. I think those are harmless.
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