It begins innocently enough. You’re scrolling through Instagram and all of sudden you’re distracted by a like on a photo. There it is: your ex’s name. Without thinking, you click, and all of a sudden you’re looking at the past three months of their life, the time since you broke up. You can’t help but study every photo. You look closely at their face, wondering if they were thinking about you when the picture was taken. Twenty minutes pass and you’re spiraling down a dark staircase: You’ve moved on to their Facebook page.
Before you know it, the tears are pouring out of your eyes, and you’re reliving the breakup.
Internet stalking an ex is never a good idea—it’s basically a modern form of self-torture—and you almost always feel emotionally ugly afterward. We’ve all been there, done that, and gotten the T-shirt, so it’s high time we make a conscious effort to stop Internet-stalking our exes! To encourage you to break the bad habit, I’ve come up with a fun list of awesome things to do instead of stalking your ex online. If you feel the need to shoot them a text, don’t do it! Put your phone down and do one of the things listed below instead.
Please—it’s for your own good!
- Call your best friend. Tell her you were considering Internet-stalking your ex but decided to call her instead. Ask her to tell you something funny.
- Call your mom. Ask her about her day. Thank her for bringing you into the world. Tell her you love her.
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Make a list of random things that you would like to learn more about. Jobs working in the wine industry in Champagne, contouring, Jessica Biel’s new restaurant, how beef is dry-aged, proper growing conditions for avocado trees—whatever you want to learn, write it down. The next time you resist the urge to Internet-stalk your ex, grab your list and learn something new. Google to your heart’s content!
- Make a vision board. Grab some old magazines and start cutting out images and words that speak to you. Glue them together in a pleasing formation.
- Turn on your favorite song and have a dance party.
- Write down some affirmations. You are strong. You can find happiness in any situation. You are whole, complete, and perfect just the way you are. When you feel like texting the ex or stalking the ex, refer to your affirmations.
- Go to a workout class. If there are no workout classes that start in five minutes, search Tracy Anderson on YouTube. Do one of her amazing dance cardio workouts!
- Go on a walk. Put your phone in your dresser drawer and leave it there while you walk.
- Figure out something new to try. It could be something big like tennis or something small like a different route to work, or a coffee shop that you’ve heard about but never been inside. Then go try it!
- If you haven’t done so already, unfriend, unfollow, and block your ex from all social media channels.
- Order a package of star stickers from Amazon. Every day that you don’t Internet-stalk your ex, place a star on your calendar. When you’ve got to 30 stars, treat yourself to blowout or manicure/pedicure.
- Do some online shopping. There’s nothing like a little retail therapy!
- Think about getting a side gig. You know that workout studio you’ve been obsessed with for the past four months? Inquire about becoming an instructor.
- Make yourself something comforting and delicious to eat. Nobody can be sad about an ex while eating a perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, oozing-on-the-inside grilled cheese sandwich!
- Plan a trip to Disneyland. It is the happiest place on earth.
- Practice yoga.
- Take up a new hobby, like sewing.
- Paint your nails your favorite color.
- Write in your journal.
- Read something, even if you just do it for 10 minutes to take your mind off your ex. Grab a book, magazine, or newspaper.
- Meditate. Be mindful of the things you have rather than dwelling on the things you lack.
- Get an adult coloring book. Every time you think about your ex, pull out the markers and start to color.
- Watch a TED Talk or listen to a podcast.
- Go to Kinko’s and print out a giant poster of your ex’s face. Pin it to your wall and use it as a dartboard. Yes, I’m serious!
- Call your most fun friend. Ask her to meet you at your favorite bar. Give her your phone to ensure that you don’t do something stupid. Order two martinis and have a grand old time flirting with the cute bartender.
- Play a game on your phone or computer. Solitaire, Angry Birds, whatever is easy and distracting.
- Punch something. A pillow, the couch, the air.
- Watch the television show Revenge on Hulu.
- Take a bath.
- Book a spa treatment.
- Take an online class.
- Stalk a celebrity instead. What is Leo up to now that he won an Oscar? Did you know that Alicia Vikander’s boyfriend is Michael Fassbender? Wait, did Kendall Jenner really change her hair color from brown to blond?
- Take a nap.
- Plan a dinner party. Go to Paperless Post, send out an invite, and then figure out the menu.
- Look at pictures of adorable rescue puppies online.
- Start a stalk jar. Every time you want to stalk your ex, put a $5 bill into the jar. In a couple of months, use the money to treat yourself to a new dress or dinner at a much hyped-about restaurant.
- Bookmark this page. Refer to it when you feel like stalking your ex.
- Remind yourself that stalking your ex is a waste of your time. It will only upset you and make you crazy. When all else fails, take a break from social media. Delete the apps from your phone.
Below are some items that will keep you from stalking your ex.
How do you keep yourself from stalking an ex?