Thoughts We All Have While Stalking Our Exes Online

We’re all guilty of stalking our exes online at some point — and why wouldn’t we? The advent of social media has made it so incredibly easy to pop into someone’s life from afar and the temptation is nearly irresistible. If you’ve found yourself 14 weeks deep in your ex’s Instagram stream, you’ve probably had these thoughts:

  1. It’s not a big deal, right? I’ll just take a quick peek. Everyone does it, right? This is not weird. I’m totally not a stalker. Besides, he set it as public, so obviously I’m meant to see it.
  2. Wait, why do I feel creepy and stalkery right now? As much as we’ve normalized this behavior, isn’t it a little weird to be stalking someone I’m totally over online? I’m over him, right? Of course I am. Again, EVERYONE does this. I’m not some kind of weird freak.
  3. Or is it weird? Oh God, I AM a freak. I bet if anyone caught me doing this, they’d think I’m such a crazy person, especially since we broke up, like, a few months ago. Okay, like, a LOT of months ago. A year ago, but who’s counting?
  4. But wait, check out this new photo he posted on Facebook. Is that new girl hotter than me? No, no way. Besides, who cares? I’m totally over my ex. He can hang out with whoever he wants. I still hope he’s not dating, though. I’ve hooked up with a few guys myself and I know we’ll both get in new relationships eventually, but just… not yet, y’know?
  5. Don’t accidentally “like” anything. Oh god, that little heart/thumbs up button is just way too close for comfort. What if I accidentally click on it? Ugh, I don’t even want to think about it. I’m just going to be super careful. Whew.
  6. I hope I don’t accidentally share this somehow. I know I’m typing his name into the search bar and no one can see, but it feels like literally everyone can see. That can’t actually happen, right? Am I freaking out over nothing?
  7. Does he look cute or nah? He’s definitely gained a few pounds since we were together. There’s no way this is just my imagination. He was way cuter when we dated, for sure.
  8. Not gonna lie, though — he still looks pretty hot. Or does he? No, he’s not hot. I’m totally over him. Nope, no longer hot. I don’t know what I saw in him, anyway. Who picked out that shirt? It must have been a gift and it’s super ugly. I bet that girl in the other picture gave it to him.
  9. But seriously, who is that girl hanging on him now? I wonder if they’re serious. Are they more serious than we were? They can’t be THAT serious, right? Actually, it doesn’t matter to me. Totally over him, like I said. He can see whoever he wants. I don’t care who he sleeps with… or whatever.
  10. Is he happier than me? I’m pretty happy without him. Right? Right. Way happier than when we were together. There’s no way he’s happier than me now. No. Way. I’m definitely happier, for sure. Not that it’s a competition or anything…
  11. Oh God, did I just like that picture from a year ago? Please tell me I didn’t.
  12. Was he always this much of a jerk? Did he just post that political thing in jest or is he serious? What did I ever see in him? I must have been crazy. he’s definitely a jerk and I’m so glad we broke up.
  13. How dare he look happy! How could he possibly be happy without me in his life? Stop smiling in all of those selfies!
  14. He’s getting along so well without me. I need a bottle of wine and some tissues for the rest of this stalking this vacation album with his new S.O. He never took me to Costa Rica!
  15. Is this vague, passive-aggressive public status update about me? I bet it’s about me. He must still think about me sometimes. We were together, like, forever. He must have been thinking about me while he was posting this.
  16. Did he delete all our pictures together? OMG, he cut me out of our vacay photos! What a loser. Maybe I’ll just cut his face out of a few of my old photos. It would only be fair.
  17. But wait — then he’ll know I’ve been stalking him. Or maybe he won’t even notice. I need more wine. Ugh.
  18. What if he’s been stalking me on Facebook? I should make sure my privacy settings are up to snuff. Let him wonder. My new life is none of his business! Although, I’m pretty happy so I’d like to show it off…
  19. Does he miss me? He must miss me, right? I mean, I don’t miss him since I’m totally over him, but it’d be nice to know he hasn’t totally forgotten about me. Why do I care?
  20. Now I just feel worse. Nevermind, I’m not amazing. I feel like garbage. What kind of crazy person stalks their ex? Please don’t let me be out of wine. I’m never doing this again. Until next week, at least.
Christina Smith is a writer from NY. She likes books and is politically active. Her and her husband regularly stay up too late and eat too much junk food.