Why I Stalk Your Ex-Girlfriend Online

I stalk your ex-girlfriend online for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I want to see what made her so special that you dated her in the first place. I know — it would be so easy to verbally ask “Why did you two break up?” but I never get a straight answer. “We were just too different” or, “She broke my heart” doesn’t tell me anything. Sometimes I get a little more, like “She cheated on me” or “She moved to California” but your defenses cause me to find the answers on my own.

My favorite response from you is that “She was a crazy bitch.” So I try to find out why she was a crazy bitch, to prevent me from emulating her craziness. I troll her Facebook profile or anonymously follow her Twitter page in hopes that some kernel of koo-koo might spring up. Call it schadenfreude, but knowing I don’t possess the psychotic qualities of your ex-girlfriend assures me that we may stand a chance at this dating thing.

If the breakup was a tough one, I might stalk your ex-girlfriend to make sure she is recovering normally. You know, just to monitor that she isn’t threatening to stab us on the street, or worse, that she’s suicidal. I want to enjoy our newfound relationship, and avoid taking out restraining orders if possible.

There have been occasions when I’ve stalked your ex-girlfriend because I’ve caught her talking sh-t about me. I’m not one to care about people’s opinions, if everything being said about me is true. But if your ex-girlfriend is spreading rumors on her blog, or slandering my name to mutual friends across Facebook, I want to know so I can refute her claims via Mother Teresa Retaliation Tactics:

“I forgive Mike’s ex-girlfriend for talking sh-t about me. Clearly she has been having a hard time getting over the breakup and seeing how happy Mike is now. I hope she finds happiness herself soon.”

Sometimes, I’ll stalk your ex-girlfriend because I want to know what it was like to be in a relationship with you. Weird, yes. But those two months or tw0 years or 10 years dating her are two months and two years and 10 years I will never get back.

What kind of person were you when you dated? Seeing photos of you two backpacking through South America and having the time of your life — would you repeat the trip if I asked? It kind of hurts, knowing that the two of you hit some important milestones that will always remain memories of then, and not now.

Your ex-girlfriend is the most recent person you’ve been with that I can compare myself to. Comparison shouldn’t be necessary, but most people in a new relationship are a little curious as to how they measure up to the last one. If she is prettier than me, do you think I am ugly? If she is smarter than me, do you think I’m stupid? I don’t want to know if she was better in bed, but I do want to know if I’m better in bed.

Also, I stalk your ex-girlfriend because I am afraid that one day, you might wake up and realize just how good you really had it.

That’s the worst — when I stalk your ex-girlfriend because I think you are cheating on me. I know, it’s a total breach of trust, and low self-esteem on my part, but some guys just can’t shake their ex, no matter how hard they try. Love is a potent and addicting drug, especially when taken in large doses over extended periods of time. Maybe you broke up, started dating me, realized you missed her for whatever reason, and started to have sex with this chick again on the side. We all know that there is no good way to break up with someone. It’s going to hurt, one way or other. Lots of people would rather cheat than feel guilty for hurting someone’s feelings.

I know that I have to believe you. I know that I have to trust you when you say that you love me, and that you are done with your ex, and that I am so much better than she ever will be. That’s when I stalk your ex-girlfriend because I believe we are too good to be true. Because great relationships like this don’t actually exist. Because by going back through the Facebook pages of your ex-girlfriend’s past, I can uncover — and avoid — the skeleton in your closet that could possibly break us.

Today’s access to all things social media has made internet stalking somewhat mainstream, and socially acceptable in the sickest sense. Gone are the days of stalking your prey in broad daylight. I’ve since thrown away my baseball cap, dark sunglasses and hooded sweatshirt disguises. I have even given up squatting in the neighbor’s bushes or loitering across the street of your ex-girlfriend’s house, waiting for a glimpse of the wild beast. No, I much prefer to learn everything about her like a legitimate creeper — sitting on my couch in my pajamas and typing her name into a Google search box.

And hoping to God that she’s hideous. TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2311203 Kevin Pritchard

    To quickly re-write this from the male perspective. 

    “What was your ex boyfriend’s name again, Jim? Oh yea, Mark. Sorry. Who cares anyway, that guy looks like a tool.”

    • Guest

      ^ the only reason i could ever wish to have been born with a penis

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2311203 Kevin Pritchard

        I’ve thought about this quite a bit.

        Guys don’t seem to have the same competitive jealously towards exes and other guys in general. Even though I’ve never been in a fight in my life i think it’s the primitive instinct of “Whatever, if he tries anything funny I’ll kick his ass.”

        To be fair some guys have this instinct a little TOO MUCH and they actually do just try to fight everyone. That’s much worse than a little harmless FB stalk. 

      • http://raymondthimmes.com/ Raymond Thimmes

        Cool story bro. 

    • Bark Muckerzerg

      Amen, brother.


    DEAD ON.

  • Guest

    WHOA ARE YOU ME?!?! this is so amazingly accurate in every way.

  • Katy

    It’s funny, reading this and being the ex-girlfriend and not the “stalker.” I’ve never had to do this, considering my ex was the only serious relationship I had (5 years), but I stalk his current girlfriend quite a bit. So I guess it goes both ways?

    • Guest

      indeed it does

    • Kat

      My boyfriend and his ex are not in touch, and I started dating him a couple of weeks after they broke up, yet, she knows who I am. Every social site I go to somehow brings up her account as ‘suggested’, or ‘someone I may know’. I have no idea how that’s even possible, since we have no friends in common…so I wonder if she’s stalking me. :)

  • Rachel Butters Scotch

    Even if I know I’m better, I’m still curious because she was a girlfriend for a reason. 

  • helloelvia

    Lol it is sooo relatable. It’s all about ‘i want to know who you were when you were not with me.’

  • june

    This was me until two weeks ago, couldnt believe how good we were. He told me how silly how was to be insecure, how much he loved me, how no one compared to me in his eyes.
    I convinced myself he was right, I should just stop being afraid of getting hurt and live the relationship without fear. When all of the sudden he stopped answering my calls, answering my texts, disappeared. I also thought maybe something happened, I was sick worried. But his facebook and his tweeter account showed me he is alive and well. For some reason I’m not even worth breaking up with, With me just stop talking, I dont have feelings or anything, I dont love you or anything. I’m just disposable trash apparently.

    Be carefull, if you feel its too good to be true, it might be


    • Anonymous

       This was me 5 years ago. Somehow I still think about why I wasn’t worth even breaking up with up till now. It hurts to believe this but sometimes I really think all my negativity pushed him away from me. Even though he still should have bothered actually breaking up with me instead of leaving me hanging, I do believe quite strongly that my negativity contributed a whole lot to him drawing away from me.

      • june

        someone that doesnt bother to finish something they started is just a coward, a child, and crueal selfish one. You’re negativity is nothing compared to what they did to us. I still wish he would text explaining, or something, but just so I wouldnt think what we lived was a big fat lie.  I have flaws, obviously. But he has many flaws aswell, screaming flaws, and I was still by his side. You know why? That’s what you do when you’re in love. None of it can be pinned to you.
        Both my ex and yours, are sorry excuses of men

  • Rosiemccapp

     Annnd (unbeknownst to the editors of Thought Catalog prior to approval) this article was published on my birthday!  WACKY!

    • Anonymous

      Happy Birthday!

  • Kalyn

    It’s pretty shitty when those reservations, fears and insecurities turn out to be true, and he actually is back to boning his ex. Ruh-roh.

    • Guest

      y’all are making me nervous. does it really happen that often?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001521169427 Roman P. Aguila


      • Guest

        aw shit

      • Guest

        Obviously I can only speak to my own experience, but I was definitely this way when I was with my ex-boyfriend. I constantly worried that he wasn’t over her. I obsessed over how much they still talked to each other (or, perhaps more importantly, the WAY they still talked to each other). I could never get a straight answer from him about why they broke up, simply a “we’re better as friends” and “we got too busy with our jobs,” none of these responses satisfying. It got bad enough that I eventually stooped so low as to read his emails and texts with her, which did nothing but make me worry more without providing any absolute proof of anything. He eventually broke up with me (around the 8 month mark, after he made me fall for him because he acted so crazy about me) and, while I can’t be certain since we don’t really talk much anymore and don’t really know what’s going on in his life now, various signs suggest he tried getting back together with her and she denied him. 

        I say all this because now I am with someone who makes me deliriously happy, far happier than he ever did, and I never worry about his ex because I feel so secure with him. I guess my point is that I can’t help but think that we worry about the ex because other signals we’re receiving from our SO (perhaps even subconsciously) suggest he’s not over her. I only started worrying about my ex-bf’s ex after I received information that indicated he might not be over her. As my worry led me to gather more information, it only made me worry more. This could be due to confirmation bias, but – at least in my case – I’m pretty sure it was due more to him, in fact, NOT being over his ex. 

        It’s tricky, though. I think every situation and relationship is different. If you’re constantly worried about your bf’s ex, stop and think about why that might be. I know when I was still with my ex I thought my worries were all in my head. Any disagreements we had over his ex I thought were my all my fault, due purely to my own neuroses. In retrospect, however, I now know I had good reason to be worried and I was not out of line to raise my concerns. Without the benefit of hindsight it’s hard to know whether you’re being rational, so just try your best to check yourself when you think you might be blowing something out of proportion or worrying without just cause. But I’d also say don’t be afraid to listen to your gut. It’s right more often than I think we’d like to admit.

  • http://twitter.com/julia____e Julia

    Guys do too have this. Crazy ones, at least. My ex FB messaged my current boyfriend that he “hopes they run into each other,” and used to “like” everything that had to do with him.  This was over a year ago and we both still laugh about it.

    Moral of the story: Men can be just as cray and the ladies

    • ab

      Oh absolutely! Not quite the same thing, but one of my flat-mates in London was like constantly stalking the guys his ex-girlfriend was talking to and like even messaging them sometimes when they were hanging out to like “protect her” and “make sure she doesn’t get home too late bc she gets tired easily” or start ranting to then about how soon it is that she’s seeing other guys since they just broke up or whatever. He was nuts. (She was in London too, so it was very close to home that she was seeing other guys, but still.)

  • Anonymous

    Oh my god. It’s like someone was taking what I was thinking and made into essay form (except the cheating part). So speechless! I definitely thought this relationship is “too good to be true” since the only problem we’ve ever had is my stalking. Thank you for this Thought Catalog, I think I can finally move on from stalking the ex-girlfriend and just enjoy the relationship :)

    • Guest

      well you’re still stalking for a reason, right? i wish i could find a way to see the positive. more power to you!

  • aebi

    instead of “this is your brain on drugs” they should have “this is your brain in a relationship” x_x

  • ab

    I’d love to read this same subject from the point of view of someone stalking the ex-girlfriend of the guy she’s talking to / casually dating / crushing on / not really sure because he’s giving her totally mixed signals but definitely one or a combination of those things. (Sorry, was that too specific to me? haha… Maybe I’ll write that article! Except I haven’t really figured out yet why I stalk her so…) 

  • Southernvtgal

    Oh wow, I was just like this! I stalked my girlfriend’s ex and then freaked out on her about her ex, and she got so mad she called a break and started flirting with her ex again…but still had me move in with her… then she was talking to her ex and I knew something was going on and she never told me…then we just kind of got brought back together after my girlfriends ex kissed her and she realized she loved me? But her ex was suicidal and kept texting my girlfriend and my girlfriend was afraid her ex was going to kill herself. So she was trying to deal with her ex and me..then I became friends with her ex… :)

    • Swati

       I don’t know if you actually exist or you’re just a character from Gossip Girl or OC that has escaped into real life.

  • http://twitter.com/aetherlight .

    oh, you mean it’s not just me?

  • Pinion

    This is neurotic as fuck. Don’t do it to yourselves, just transform and roll out.

  • Sam

    Oh my this is so true and relevant! Jealous is such a horrid thing. I’ve been with my partner for 18 months now and I still have a tendancy to stalk his ex’s every now and again, usually for different reasons each time but all were mentioned above. It makes it a lot more difficult that my partner works for his ex girlfriends father and his ex works at the business sometimes too. And when things go wrong in both his ex’s lives he’s the first person they call. He says its because they have no one else to talk to but its quite hard to believe. I think the most relevant thing in this is stalking because you feel like your relationship is too good to be true. My boyfriend is amazing, so loving and caring and understand, ive never had someone like that before, only past relationships that ive never fully recovered from. Its hard to move on and accept love and kindness as the truth after consistently being lied to and let down.

    • guest

      agreed 100%. i never really gave myself enough time to heal and work on letting go after my last breakup, so unfortunately i’ve carried over some paranoia into this one. it sux.

  • Guest


  • anonymous

    crazy true on all accounts…

  • Anonymous

    This is a brilliant article and even though cyber stalking is so wrong on many counts, I’m ashamed to admit I do this too.
    On another note, I don’t want to be an ass but I think “addicting drug” in the 3rd last paragraph is supposed to be “addictive drug” (:

    • AB

      I don’t think it’s really “wrong,” unless you’re breaking into accounts (like checking someone’s e-mail or FB without his or her knowledge.) I mean, when you put something out there on the internet, that’s on you. If there’s something you don’t want people to see, up your privacy settings, you know?

      • Pal

        AB, the sad thing about that is that if you up your privacy settings, people flip their lid about your facebook privacy being up there. I have very minimal info available on mine, and no longer have a facebook wall, because I find people use it to cause drama from their own agendas. It’s stupid, but true. I agree with you to an extent, but it’s also unhealthy to go back through people’s fb history just to see what they said to this ex or to that ex. When i got divorced, I started dating a girl who would constantly tell me this or that about what my ex wife posted on a daily basis… it got to be too much for me. It was insane. lol

  • Love

    That picture is so weird, i thought the legs were going the other way around. 

  • http://www.anamocagrama.wordpress.com/ Ana


  • peachmango

    thanks for writing a biography of me.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/amberrrjade Amberjade Pappas

    I want to hug you and cry with you.

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