Can’t stop stalking your guy’s ex online? While behind your laptop you may feel in “Ctrl” of your cyber-stalking, here’s why you need a “reboot.”
Every girl, at one point or another, has an indulgent, sneaky look into their boyfriend’s ex’s Facebook, right? Of course! Curiosity is natural, and with the expansion of cyber-space into mainstream culture, keeping an eye on a pesky ex has become easier than ever. So what happens when a sneaky look turns into obsessive stalking? [Read: 12 things you might do that will make him think you’re a stalker]
First, let’s find out why women do this in the first place. There are several reasons why we cyber-stalk our boyfriend’s ex, some of which are normal and healthy, others of which takes us down the self-deprecating road of self-doubt.
The healthy reason? There can only be two. Either it’s good old-fashioned curiosity, or the girl used to be your friend.
The unhealthy reasons: Ex-girlfriend mockery, sabotage, or intense hatred that stems from jealousy.
Why you should be quitting your cyber stalking tendencies
Can’t figure out what side of the line you’re on? Keep reading to find out if your cyber-stalking has taken a turn for the worse and why you should kick the habit now before it gets out of control.
#1 It’s creepy. When you’re spending more time obsessing over your boyfriend’s failed relationship than he is, things are getting kind of creepy. He was in a relationship with her, not you. The fact that you need to know every detail about her, her friends, her whereabouts and her habits may send your boyfriend’s skeez-meter through the roof.
#2 Jealousy ruins relationships and maybe even your sanity. They say jealousy can be good in a relationship, up to a certain extent. Healthy jealousy lets you and your partner know you care for each other and, when expressed maturely, can actually open the lines of communication between both of you. It’s normal to be possessive of your partner when feeling threatened. This is healthy jealousy.
Unhealthy jealousy can occur in many forms, most of which tend to bring out your crazy side and ruin relationships. Baseless or constant accusations, social media creeping and sneaky phone snooping would fall under the unhealthy jealousy category. Jealousy causes distrust between couples and can be especially fatal in relationships when the jealousy is baseless.
So what causes jealousy to cross that line into unhealthy girlfriend behavior? It’s when your stalker tendencies start causing fights and insecurities between you and your beau. Don’t let a has-been ruin your “right now.” [Read: 6 little things you can do to stop being so jealous]
#3 You open the way for your boyfriend to keep in touch. In time, you might start to mention what you’ve gleaned from your stalking to your boyfriend. If it sparks his curiosity, he might even make a move and contact the ex. After all, this was someone he was once close to. Even if you’re handing him past relationship updates with a side of sarcastic mockery, he may view this as an opportunity for him to start cyber-stalking the girl as well. [Read: 13 sneaky signs your guy isn’t over his ex]
#4 You’ll eventually find something you like. While you may be checking her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter hoping for the newest ammunition to mock with your girlfriends, unfortunately statistics aren’t on our side for this one. All this updating and ex-girl-stalking may eventually show you something horrifying: There was something good about her after all.
That’s right. After months of mocking her outfits and overuse of bimbo-style hashtags, you’ve found the holy grail of #IWishIDidn’tKnow’s – she’s not so bad after all. In fact, she’s actually funny, sweet, cares about her friends, tweets intellectual things about the world, and worse? She’s talented. She paints or sings or plays the piano and she’s actually good at it. In fact, you might find out that she’s a whole lot like you.
It’s bad enough your boyfriend has been inside her, so why do you need to see all the great things in her that he saw, especially if you and the ex-girlfriend have a lot in common. What, suddenly you’re both just carbon copies of one another that fit into his “type” category? You may then start to see her in a better light, thus making you feel a little insecure about the things she can do better than you, and then…
#5 You give yourself a complex. Ever seen the movie Little Black Book? Long story short, new girlfriend snoops around her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend so much that she actually starts to wonder if her current boyfriend was out of his mind for leaving the ex in the first place.
Unfortunately, this could turn into you. Now you’ve found out that she was a real human being after all, you start to wonder: Why did it end if she was so talented, clever and well-read? You begin to obsess over what went wrong in their relationship instead of focusing on your own.
You may end up giving yourself ammunition for insecurity in your relationship. How does it measure up? The worst comes when you begin to question your own relationship with him, wondering if he’d rather be with his ex, if the sex was better, if her boobs were bigger, or what private moments they’d shared otherwise. [Read: 5 ways to feel more secure in your relationship]
#6 It makes you look weak and insecure. There’s a perfect balance of ex-stalking, and that perfection usually consists of that stalking ending eventually. Continuing the habit starts to make you look insecure and weak. While your boyfriend has left his ex in the past where she belongs, you’ve brought her back into the present and you can’t seem to let her go.
You find yourself obsessing about her newest photo on Instagram or what she liked on Facebook, and in your heart of hearts, you know she’s got you hooked and it’s all downhill from there.
While a comforting cuddle and handhold is part of the boyfriend code, men like confidence, and they like a woman that they don’t always have to coddle. And besides, why would you want your man to see her cyber-presence getting the better of you?
And heaven forbid you become the “Crazy Stalker Girlfriend” and actually begin messaging this ex-girl out of the blue on some form of social media. This only puts you and her in a terribly awkward position. If you already have this urge, you’ve definitely gone too far. Don’t let the ghost of relationships past determine who you are or what you’re worth in the present!
You are a fabulous woman with plenty to offer a relationship, so why let someone’s old flame put yours out? If your cyber-stalking is starting to make you doubt your own worth, it’s time to reel it in. Take hold of the situation and wean yourself off of your cyber-stalking habit. Kick it down to one stalk a week and lower it from there. In time, you’ll forget that she even mattered.
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