So you broke up with someone and you’re in that WTF stage of going from sharing moments and being all loved up together, to realising you now have no effing clue what they’re up to any more. You miss them like mad, you know their routine pretty well and you know they’ll be at their mum’s this weekend…or will they? Your mind wanders, you start thinking the worst and imagine them naked (i’m not sure why) in a brothel (obviously) with a bunch of skanky women draped all over them (naturally). As you visualise this nightmare that is obviously accurate, you realise the stark truth about your breakup: you are now powerless to knowing where they are, who they are with and what they’re doing. You realise that everything you once shared is now just a memory, and that sooner or later they will forget you.

In a panic you reach for your phone, you go on their Facebook, Instagram, any form of social media that you know they’re on. You check their Whatsapp to see if they are online or if they’ve changed their photo…you check their Snapchat points to see how many they may have used recently. Your heart is racing as you scroll through their feed, and see things and search for hidden clues in photos. There’s two glasses on the table in this photo so maybe he’s with a woman, this photo is of him and his friend but who took it – was it a woman? He’s online on Whatsapp so obviously HE’S TALKING TO A WOMAN. You go a bit nuts.

Eventually you find something to torment yourself about and justify your view that they have forgotten you and are over you already. You may notice he’s started following new women on Instagram, or that he’s going out more since you split up because that’s normal he wants to get laid. You may even be blocked so you annoy your friends by constantly asking them if he’s updated his social media, written any tweets or posted any stories because he’s private and you can’t see. When your friend reports back “yeah he just posted a story about a football match he’s watching”, you breathe a sigh of relief and then your mind goes into overdrive again…BUT WHO IS HE WATCHING THE FOOTBALL MATCH WITH. Lol.

We’ve all been there, we’ve all allowed ourselves to go a little cray cray over someone we dated or were really into. I hear from many women every day who tell me some of the crazy sh*t they did because they stalked their ex and found something they didn’t like. Some didn’t even find anything but they had expected to so much in their mind that because they didn’t they had to release the crazy anyway.

The thing about stalking an ex, especially in these modern technological times is that it’s so easy to do. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to search for your exes name on Facebook, or get a friend to screenshot their latest posts as you’re blocked AF. If you’re still friends or following each other online, it’s very hard to then click the ‘unfollow’ or ‘block’ button and know that you’ll never be attached to them in any way again. Plus you wanna show off your bikini photos this Summer in a LOOK WHAT YOU MISSED OUT ON YOU FOOL type of lowkey I’M OVER IT thing. So either you convince yourself to keep them on your accounts, or you remove them from everything but then feel compelled to stalk anyway.

So why should you not stalk your ex? Well, aside from the obvious fact that it stops you moving on, there are other factors here. For those of you who don’t feel like you want to move on yet, you may struggle to let go of the stalking. It may have become a new routine in your life to replace the void of the relationship actually going. You may be checking their Whatsapp status 2374940 times a day, or have a whole cyclical routine of their social media accounts that you routinely go through morning, noon and night. The truth you need to ask yourself is: how is this helping me in MY life? What good is checking what they are up to doing for me?

Stalking your ex is essentially the same as slamming your fingers in a door and then going back to do it again, and again. It hurts like hell, it’s not letting your fingers heal from the other times you’ve done it, it’s no good for you – but you do it anyway. Sometimes we actually feel comfort in pain. Sometimes the idea of actually putting ourselves first and promising ourselves to stop stalking, is actually more scary as that means we are letting go. We are letting go of a relationship or person that we invested time and energy into. We are letting go of a life we had hoped to have with this person, and to let go of anything is scary, and sad.

You want to know how your ex is coping since the breakup? Even if he was a total fuckboy user, if things have ended he will be suffering a bit. He will have low moments, and times when he feels completely alone and isolated. He will have certain points when he thinks about you, and maybe he’s stalking you too or checking your Whatsapp status throughout the day. Even if he’s a total narcissistic moron, he is still going to have crappy days where things don’t go his way and he feels like shit. Maybe that won’t be in relation to you, and in some cases where these fuckboys only think of themselves he is playing his ‘poor victim’ role. He may have numbed what true emotion he should be feeling and got straight back out there being the fuckboy to someone else. Regardless, and even if he’s already found some other woman to cushion the pain, he’s still going to have crap days and crap moments.

It’s so easy to visualise your ex as living their best life since they split with you. Our mind wanders to them having the best life ever, finding someone who is perfect and having all this amazing sex whilst we are left crying in a ditch somewhere. The truth is, breakups suck for both parties, they really do. Even if your ex has already moved on to a new relationship or just been sleeping with anything with a pulse – that doesn’t mean they’re in a great place, they’re probably just trying to numb their real emotions.

In conclusion, the reason you should stop stalking your ex is because it is like taking 10 steps back each time you do it. You may have this overwhelming urge to do it, and also a relief when you’ve done it and find nothing worthy of being upset over. But that just means you are returning to a place of limbo, where you actually aren’t allowing yourself to move on at all.

What I found helped me the most when I was in my worst stalking stages, I would tell myself that I had to go 1,2…5 days without looking at their social media. When the amount of days was up I was either allowed to check things, OR I could continue on for a few more days and then check. What I ended up finding out after I began limiting myself with how often I could check things, was that actually I FELT BETTER. In the end, I didn’t actually want to search and look for things any more. Like a horse that wears blinkers so that they can only look forward, I decided that in order to keep moving on with my life I needed to stop giving in to the weak and very easy option of checking up on them. That is when you move on, and that is when you start focusing on yourself and your own welfare again. Something that you probably haven’t even thought about is you because you’ve been so focused on THEM.

Don’t beat yourself up if you do stalk them again, but just start limiting the amount you do it. Trust me, the less often you do it, the less you’ll start to care = you moving on to better things. Breakups involve the shift of thought changing from them to us, and that is something that it takes time to get in a habit of doing. However, if you know them to be the type of person who only thinks of themselves, then you really need to try and adopt a similar outlook and focus on you, your life and your goals.

Good luck!