Just when you were beginning to convince yourself, you were over him and the breakup, SHE pops up on all his social media posts. What the hell?? All sorts of thoughts run through that pretty little head of yours: “He has replaced me already?”, “that was fast, did I even mean anything to him?”, “and with who? What’s her name? Wanda? What kind of name is that?”.
And before you know it, you start obsessing all over again…except now it’s not him, it’s her. I get it, I’ve been there myself and know how excruciatingly painful it can be.
I am not proud to admit that I indeed spent countless hours stalking the new girl – my replacement – on social media, gathering all the information I could get from her Facebook page, which was – inconveniently for me – set to private, making my mission a bit more difficult. Within minutes I had screened all the likes and comments on her profile pic (43 likes and 1 comment to be precise) and cover photo (28 likes and no comments), looked up all her friend’s profiles as well (granted, this took a little longer) and found out that her birthday was February 2nd, making her an Aquarius. You can guess what I did next…I spent another couple of hours reading every zodiac sign compatibility review the internet had to offer, frantically looking for what I so desperately wanted to hear: that their relationship was not meant to last and that they would make each other miserable. Turns out Aquarius and Leo are a great match, no matter how hard I wished for the opposite to be true. Pathetic, right? Especially since I normally don’t give a rat’s ass (excuse my French) about zodiac signs, and yet here I was, learning everything there is to know about an Aquarius female and figuring out ways to be more like her.
I desperately wanted to stop and then again I didn’t. The painful thrill I felt each time she changed her profile picture or posted something on Instagram, was so exquisite, so addictive – I couldn’t stop obsessing and comparing myself to her. I would lose myself in analyzing every detail of her pictures – even more so when she posted one of the two of them together. “Do they look happy?”, “I wonder what he sees in her?”.
I wish I could tell you that something good came out of this thorough research of mine, but the truth is, it did me no good whatsoever and was a huge waste of my precious time. Of course, if somebody would have pointed this out to me at the time, I would not have seen it that way at all.
What we experience in situations like these is that feeling of competition most of us go through after a breakup. We feel vulnerable, hurt and are still licking our wounds. When one of the two finds a new mate, it sends out a clear message that they have moved on and it forces you to confront yourself with your own reality: where do you stand?
You come to realize that perhaps you have not moved on as quickly as you wanted to and resent yourself for that. Admitting to ourselves that we are still very much heartbroken is admitting to ourselves that we feel vulnerable and that is never an easy thing to admit to oneself.
Nobody wants to be the one still reeling from a breakup. We think it makes us look weak and so our goal becomes to get over the relationship as quickly as possible (preferably before he does) and to make it look like we don’t care – when in fact we do.
My advice is to acknowledge these thought patterns and to accept them without being too hard on yourself. So, you still care about him. So, what? That hardly makes you a criminal. It makes you human and means you are capable of feelings and emotions, which is a good thing. You wouldn’t want to be a cold, emotionless person, would you? Having feelings is the essence of life. It’s what we live for.
Next step is to stop stalking her online immediately. Go completely cold turkey – it’s the only way. The more you engage in this self-destructive behavior, the more you are inflicting pain on yourself for no reason. Because what you are doing is, you are comparing yourself to somebody that is not even real. You have created this image of her in your head, based entirely and solely on the information and pictures you got from her social media. And let me guess, she always looks happy – radiant even – in all of her pictures with perfect makeup and hair etc, right? Do I need to remind you that all of us do on the pictures we post of ourselves online? You do too!
You are comparing yourself to a person, which does not exist in real life. For example, judging by her latest post, showing her in the sun smiling at the camera, you immediately come to the conclusion that she must have such a fun, outgoing personality. Well, she might have, or maybe she’s the most boring person on the planet, or – most likely – she’s just an average human being like the rest of us. You’ll never know (unless you meet her in person, which I do not advise at this point) and that’s just as well. She has nothing to do with you and is not part of your life.
Her name could be Gretchen, Giulia or Anne…it doesn’t matter and wouldn’t change the fact that he’s with somebody else. It hurts and that’s totally legitimate, but you have to realize that she’s not the real issue here and neither is he. It’s you. You and the fact that you should be moving on with your life and instead seem to be stuck in a bad place of comparing yourself to a total stranger. And for what? Ask yourself, what you are truly getting from this behavior. Is it so you can wallow in self-pity, telling yourself that if you were more like her (again, you don’t even know what kind of person she is) you’d still be together and so on and so forth?
Do you see where this is getting you? Nowhere! Instead, you are pulling yourself down further. You should be focusing on getting your life back on track. The truth of the matter is, if you have that much time on your hands to stalk her online, then it’s high time you find yourself a hobby or something to keep yourself occupied.
Ask your friends and family for help to distract you. I don’t care if you get yourself a pet, enroll in a cooking class or throw yourself into work. Just do something and engage in activities from which you’ll actually benefit. Distract your mind and body enough to forget about them and to leave them behind you (see also How do I get over him?).
Invest your energy in finding a partner of your own and be happy. Personally, I find repeating my own mantra to myself helps a great deal, whenever I am in a crisis. I go by something along the lines of “I will focus on becoming the best version of myself and on taking good care of myself” (for more on this, read my posts Don’t prove – improve and Go with the flow and live your life). Taking good care of yourself means giving yourself the time you need to heal and to move forward. It might take you a while and maybe a little longer than anticipated, but that’s all good. Take all the time you need and keep going. Don’t look back, you’ll only risk missing out on all the good stuff that is yet to come your way.
Don’t despair. Get off that computer and focus on yourself.