When my boyfriend and I met, we had all of the classic fantasy start-of-romance boxes checked off our lists. We met under strange and serendipitous circumstances. The perfect daydream fantasy romance was no longer an empty box on my bucket list but a very satisfied red checkmark. I had made it to where I had finally wanted to be, with the love of my life. But karma, life, or that wondrous higher consciousness was there to put me in my place again. As soon as soon as my love mentioned his ex-girlfriend, my inner confidence curled up into the fetal position.
I have issues with my boyfriends’ exes. Ever since my first boyfriend (who I was totally enamored with) left me for one of his exes I’ve turned into a emotional toddler regarding anything to do with exes.
So I hid the fact that him talking about his ex-girlfriend really bothered me—for months. For months I pushed down the urge to search through her social media or to ask questions about her—it all totally ate me up inside until one day I finally did it. It started with Facebook, which fed my hunger for a good few days, then Instagram for a good week or two and then everything else. My Google search history reached total stalker status.
She was an addiction. I found out all I could about her—where she had worked and where she went to school (LinkedIn), where she ate (Google+ reviews), who her friends were (Facebook) and all about her personality (Instagram). We had some things in common…we’re both artists (she went to a better school than me) and we both previously suffered from similar mental anguish.
I was fascinated—maybe even a little obsessed. Why? It seemed like at the I was more concerned about her than I was about my boyfriend! I couldn’t help but think that maybe he fell in love with me for the same reasons he fell in love with her. My obsession/fascination/crush for her was just an ego boost for myself. She fulfilled some deep, dark need for gratification.
After months of tormented Internet stalking the worst thing happened—my boyfriend saw my dirty Google search history. I was prepared for him to pack up and leave. I cried with embarrassment, “I was only curious!” But clearly, months of searching her name does not account for innocent curiosity. No. It was an unhealthy obsession, and he knew it.
There was a lot of crying and frustration before I could get over her—and I’m still working through it. Just know that if you’re in the same situation that you are not alone. Apparently thousands of women do the same thing. Social media is designed to hook us into tracking other people’s lives. Here are some things that can help:
• Block her on social media.
• Let’s face it, your boyfriend is with you. Not her. There’s no reason to give her any of your valuable time. Focus on being the best you can be for yourself.
• Do more of what you love.
• Try getting gratification somewhere besides social media. A walk, meditation, painting, reading—remember all of those things that made you happy as a kid?
• Talk to your boyfriend about it. Yes, take a deep breath and just tell him. If he’s worth it, he’ll tell you everything you need to hear.
He’s with you and not with her.