Depressed man collapsed on his laptop

Stop stalking your ex online: here’s why

If you’ve been following your ex-lover’s every move on Facebook, you’re not alone. Are the temptations of social media making it harder than ever to get over a breakup?

When Nikhil broke up with Sarah, she found herself turning to his Facebook for comfort. She would look back at old pictures of them together. ‘It made me feel better, when I missed him, to be able to look at happier times. I would stare at his profile pictures for a few minutes before resuming my work,’ she says.

If you also can’t resist the urge to keep checking out your ex online, you aren’t the only one. Social media makes it easy. But it’s important to know where to draw the line between fondly recalling your ex and keeping tabs on his every move.

Needy ex

In Sarah’s case, the habit became a concern. She started to read posts by his friends. She got jealous of how he seemed to be unaffected by the end of their relationship. She even went as far as calling him up to tell him how insensitive he was, trying to tell the world that he was fine. ‘It was only when a friend pointed it out that I realised how my behaviour was becoming obsessive,’ she says.

‘He was fine,’ she says. ‘I obviously wasn’t. But I was channelling that hurt the wrong way. I only ended up looking like a needy ex.’

It’s evidently a common problem. Almost half of all twenty-somethings check up on old flames online, according to a Pew Research Center survey in the USA. Social media makes it all so much simpler. If you feel the need to check how your former partner is doing, you head to their Facebook page. You look for new friends who may be liking or commenting on pictures, you seek out emotional messages they may have left on Twitter that would explain their state of mind, and you hunt through their Instagram account to track where they’ve been.

But if they wanted you to know what they have been up to, they would have told you. That means you’ve overstepped a boundary, and admitting this to yourself is the first step towards dealing with the issue.

Tormenting yourself

If you are following the no-contact rule to deal with a break-up, know that this extends to social media as well. It may sound unbearably difficult but it’s the only way to truly heal and move on.

It may be hard to control your urge to check up on your ex but you must be strong. If tough love isn’t your strong point, block him.

It will be easier than tormenting yourself by going through their images and wondering whom they are hooking up with or worse. Remember, social media accounts can be deceptive. Social media behavioural experts point out that people are more likely to post content that makes their life look amazing. Your ex is not going to tell the world that his or her life is meaningless without you. It’s a defence mechanism that makes them either stay off the internet or post only positive news.

Later, when you are back to your usual happy self and you bump into your former lover on the street, you can explain yourself and unblock them. They’ll probably understand.

Moreover, you need to focus on healing and moving on. You’ll never know who is waiting for you around the corner if your nose is buried in the past. 


Have you shadowed an ex on social media? Tell us your thoughts below or on our Facebook pages for Naija and Kenya.

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Recent Comments (18)

  1. i would txt her daily morning
    i would txt her daily morning and good night till i saw im not healing i went to love matter web and read how to deal with a heartbreak and im now healed though its hard to trust again ive decided to remain single

  2. i would txt her daily morning
    i would txt her daily morning and good night till i saw im not healing i went to love matter web and read how to deal with a heartbreak and im now healed though its hard to trust again ive decided to remain single

    1. That’s great!

      That’s great!
      But don’t worry, you will trust again!

  3. lts a yr since BT l keep on
    lts a yr since BT l keep on going on his fb post, his wars up status. l deleted his contact BT its never deleted in my mind.

  4. i always do that n after
    i always do that n after reading the above i will try and stop.thanks

    1. We are glad we could help!
      We are glad we could help!

  5. am the one who ended our
    am the one who ended our relationship and everything was fine until sometimes back he started chatting me and he called claiming he misses me,he wanted us to meet and i accepted his invite at his place,in there we talked and later he wanted us to have intimacy which i denied and it wasnt an issue to him ,i came back to my place and there was no more communication until there is a time i just found myself wearing his sweater and i had a photo that i put it as my watsap profile , i was suprised that he still had my number wen he send me a text after seeing the pic,all that time i was just thinking about him ,hoping we gonna get back together,but until his birthday wen i saw him thankful to a certain lady that she is the one who made it succesful i was jealous i thought she might be the one and i had to block him

    1. Wambui,

      it’s totally normal to have feeling welling up like this again at some point. After all, you shared a part of your life together.
      But it’s great you were able to take the final step away from him. Well done!

  6. am married but heart broken
    am married but heart broken ,because I realised my hubby had affairs outside our marriage. Is it possible for me to heal.. I always see the matter being new everyday.

    1. Melodie,

      so sorry dear! Have you talked to him about this at all?

  7. my bf en I broke up a week
    my bf en I broke up a week.ago I tell myself that I can do it without him but things get hard day by day…my friends are really trying to get us back together but am so confused koz thez a part ov me that still wants him back but thez also another part ov me that thinks I shld stay without him en everything will b.ok.afrall thez always an end to evrything.even life itself. …plz advice

    1. Sharz,

      first of all, you need some time to heal. Right now, everything is fresh and emotional, and it’s totally normal and okay that you are confused. Take your time and find out what you want and need from a relationship!

  8. We broke up with my ex some…
    We broke up with my ex some years ago and I got married 3years ago but after getting married my ex as been calling me saying he misses me and now am confused about my feelings for my husband

  9. I will never trust any man…
    I will never trust any man in my life we can talk and he goes it’s finished until we shall meet and start from there

    1. Lydia, you seem to have…

      Lydia, you seem to have strong sentiments on relationship; what happened to you? Perhaps you can consider talking about it with a trusted friend or a counselor so that you are helped on how to deal with the issue. 

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