We get it. You can't help but be tempted to "see what they're up to" and social media makes it all too easy. But when you're on their new partners IG (3 years deep, for that matter) you know this isn't healthy. We discuss how to ween off social media (or at least your ex's feed), why you aren't getting the information you need anyways through this medium, and to channel this energy into YOU and what will be better for your present day state.
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#brunchtalk: How do I stop stalking my ex on social media?
00:00:01 - 00:05:05
The dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that The Huffington Post calls one of the top ten podcasts about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about everything from sex parties to sex droughts, date fails to diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host UA Shu, former dating coach turned dating sociologist. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Kraft chick as we explore this crazy dateable world. Hello, Friends. Welcome to this week's episode of brunch talk where we answer your burning dating questions and hopefully eat some brunch along the way. What better way to spend a Sunday? I can't really think of that many others. Someone did remind us that Julie is very much tied to brunch if you didn't know already. If you have been with us since the beginning, you'll know that Julie used to run a company called 500 branches where she matched people over brunch and these would be strangers and it was a great way to meet people IRL. That's actually how we met. Yes, it is. A mutual friend brought me to one of Julie's events and was really fun. So when we talk brunch and why this is called brunch talk, it has a lot more meaning than just omelets and tater tots. You know that idea started off as a data gap, right? Like the idea of it started off to meet people. I don't think I know. Yeah, it was to meet in real life because I like others were frustrated by data gaps. And felt like there weren't enough avenues that would bring people random people together in adult life. Like in college, you know, there's so many parties and ways to meet people, but events in adulthood. You go and you talk to zero people. That was the whole premise. And then when I talked to another friend that I used to work with, he was like, why don't we just make it broader? And also when you lose the dating context it becomes more organic because you know it would have been really freaking weird to be like a singles branch. But you did meet your ex that way. So it did work. I did. So it works so that I can shut down shop after that. I'm done. A mission solved. It's like Amanda with the league is basically like find myself a boyfriend was the whole premise of it. I'm just kidding. It was really nice because obviously it brought, but I think that's actually a really good point though, is even if that's your motive going in, the fact that it brought us our connection, which has far exceeded my relationship with him. So you never know in your dating. And I think that's honestly one of the biggest problems with dating apps is you go in with this laser focused motive. And if someone doesn't fit that, you're quick to dismiss them opposed to letting the relationships play out and see what comes from it. And this is why we don't want to do dating events or singles events. So many of you have asked if we're going to do them in different cities. It's a big hell no and not because we don't love you all. We love to match you all up, but it's really the premise of dating. It just puts this weird context around the event and then it tracks bad energy. It's just always strange awkward energy and then everybody's in there looking for the love of their life when they could really just be meeting cool people. So no, we're not doing singles events, but we will do meetups without the dating context. Yes. Well, now that we reminisced about the past, let's get into our question. Questions? Here's a question. How do I stop stalking my ex on social media? Oh, okay, and more context. My ex got a new partner and I feel like I'm turning it into the crazy ex because I look at her social media and compare myself to her. I keep thinking why her, what does he see in her? I also found myself secretly hoping they break up. Any advice on how to stop doing this, I know it's not healthy and want to stop going down this path. This is exactly why I virtually murder my exes, okay? For this temptation to look at their social media, I've definitely been there, so let's just start there. What you're doing is not wrong. Don't be too hard on yourself. We've all been there, curiosity gets to the best of us, and then you go down this dark rabbit hole of who are they seeing, who's now in their life, why is this person better than me? How can I be better than this person, et cetera, et cetera. As long as you know that this is what you're doing, that's step number one. I think the next step is to carve out time to do this. And there are later steps and we'll go into them, but I think the easiest way is to carve out time and say, I'm only going to give myself Tuesday, nights at 7 30 for ten minutes to do this. Yeah, 5 minutes. Okay. I was like 5 minutes. You're like ten minutes, but maybe 8 minutes. We could be to the middle. 8 minutes of stocking every Tuesday is only. That sounds like a good plan. But I think with this case, it sounds like I would say agree if social media is too tempting, unfollow your ex delete them.
00:05:05 - 00:10:04
Whatever you need to do, it's not petty. It's putting yourself first in this case. It sounds like you've now moved on to the girlfriend social media, which could be someone you're probably not even friends with, but you're looking at public profiles. So that's where it gets hard. It's not as simple as just even unfollowing. I think it's like you actively going. It's not even being shown in the feed. Honestly, if you need to take a social media break entirely, if that's going to help you. Again, not petty, not like, I don't want to give them the last word. I don't want to let them win. You were putting yourself first, do what works for you to keep your sanity. Yes, putting yourself first, that is just at the forefront of what we should be doing when we're trying to get over an ex. And I love this book atomic habits because it shows you not only how to get rid of old habits, but how to create new habits. And one way to do that is to pair what you're doing with something you really hate doing. For example, if you absolutely hate doing the dishes, every time you go on your ex's social media, you have to go do the dishes. So then you start associating the two and before you know it, you're going to have a negative association with this habit and it will hopefully change your behavior. There's a certain things I hate eating. There's something I really do not like eating. I compare that with this as well. Think of just something you really hate doing or you put off doing and make yourself do it right after you go on your ex is social. I want to make a comment about one thing that was said is that this person is better than me and what do they have that I don't have? It's so easy to look at dating this way in terms of validation that it's personal that you're deeply flawed if it didn't work out. The reality is for whatever reason you two are not a match. Doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. Also, one, this person just might be a better match for them. There's that possibility. The second piece is you are not seeing 99.9% on social media. It is a highlight reel. They are not posting their fight they got into. They are not posting, you know. The issues that are presenting themselves. So it's so easy to look at social media and think people have the perfect life or the perfect setup or they are perfect. You're not seeing any of the flaws, any of the challenges, any of the pain points, so I think the more you can remind yourself, social media is not reality. I like this framework of thinking. It's not that you are more or less than this next person. It's just a you are not a fit for this ex and we can't argue with that. We say there's a lid for every pot, you're just that lid that does not fit that pot and maybe this lid does fit that pot. It doesn't even matter at this point because you're not trying to get on that pot. I think the reframe of thinking comparing yourself to this new person, it's a very dangerous place to be because you're always going to be finding evidence and we know our brains can really spiral in that way. So maybe when you find yourself spiraling and comparing yourself to this new person, get out of notebook or get out your notes app and start just texting yourself. Hey self, just to let you know I'm doing this comparison thing again. I know that this is not the most logical thing to do and just start talking to yourself like you would to a friend because your friend would tell you this is not a very safe place to be and I want to get you out of this spiral. I do want to do a quick sidebar that by partners pointed out that we do say a lid for every pot quite a bit on this podcast. Oh yeah and I think it is a statement that we do like there is a lid for every pot. We will continue to go by that. I mess up on the other day and he's like, you know, there's a cover for every pot and I said no, it's a lid, okay? The cover. You did not. Right. Anyways, that was a quick sidebar. Back to the good stuff. I think another piece of this too is to give yourself some grace that everyone does this. Again, the fact that you can recognize that this is unhealthy. This is not a path you want to keep going on is really good. You know, we talked about kind of reprimanded yourself with punishment doing the dishes or whatever, but also how can you be like, okay, I'm not going to sit and look at Instagram for 30 minutes. I'm going to go for a walk. I'm going to do something that helps me puts me back in the power seat. I am the most important person here. Not my ex, not this random person they're dating. Like, how do we start to kind of have the self confidence to say, I matter more than this? I like that. It's more of a positive association. So maybe try this is that for every one minute you spend on your ex's social media or their new person's social media, you spend a minute doing something nice for yourself. Some sort of pampering or donating to a charity, there is this rule in spending that helps people curb their spending, which is like, you splurge on a thing and then you use the same amount and you donate it to somewhere. So that next time you take the guilt out of the spending, I think we could do the same thing here.
00:10:04 - 00:15:04
Do that one to one, one minute with the X and then one minute doing something good for yourself. Let's hold that thought for a quick message. This episode is brought to you by attitude, want deep, restful sleep without taking melatonin, trying to stop your night sweats or looking to get a little more eco friendly. You won't get these with any old cotton sheets, but you will with bamboo. Upgrade your stuffy cotton bedding in attitudes naturally breathable bedding made from their innovative clean bamboo fabric. It feels unlike anything else you've slept on, and no, they won't cost you or the earth, because right now you can get 20% off your first order by visiting attitude dot com slash dateable. These unbelievably soft clean bamboo sheets have over 15,005 star reviews, and they've been performance tested to be 51% more durable than standard sheets, 17% better at regulating temperature and 24% more moisture wicking. 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Maybe you've recently reentered the dating scene. Maybe you've gone on one too many dates that went nowhere, or maybe you're just ready to take your current relationship to the next level. That is exactly why we created the sounding board, a true extension of our podcast that delivers a personalized experience, which includes monthly office hours where you can drop in and chat with us about anything. Weekly sound offs with guided discussions and regular virtual happy hours, allow Julie and I to become your dating sherpas to provide real-time guidance and wisdom in a more intimate way so we can all navigate dating and relationships together. Join the sounding board today by going to dateable podcast dot com slash sounding board. Again, that's dateable podcasts dot com slash sounding board. So have you done this before you, 'cause I certainly have and I've gotten deep down rabbit holes of the pages of this person. I'm like, on their mother's page, their father's page, their best friend's page. You have to ring yourself in and just be like, what am I doing? Is this a good use of my time? But the irony is there's been a few of these that have actually met in person after the fact. It's like long after when I was over it. And just their social media persona did not match who they were in real life. So we have to remember that we are just seeing this snapshot. Probably if someone looked at us, they would think that we maybe had it more together than we really do. When I say we, it's like all of the people listening to this that might be on the reverse. So we do need to just keep some perspective of what social media is. It has been a good litmus test for me to see if my feelings have really gone away for this person. So now I still do this. I still stalk some of my excess, even though I've murdered them, like I said, but I can still find them on social media. And if I see them with someone and they're married, they've got kids, and I feel like good for him. I'm so happy for him that he found someone, then I know I'm in a good place myself. But if I go on their profiles and I get in that comparison mode or I get envious, then I know I'm not in a good place myself. Maybe it has nothing to do with the X it's actually where you are in your life right now. So that's a good way to step back and say, maybe I'm just not in a place I want to be. It has nothing to do with this person. How can I get myself to be in that place that I ideally want to be? A 100%. I bet if you have the partner of your dreams, you wouldn't care at all about your ex and their partner. No, we need to stop looking at it like competition. You know, I feel like bad movies and TV shows have drilled in. You need to be the one that meets someone first and then you are the one with all the power and you're the one that's more desirable. It's not true. It's not true at all. It's better for you to take the time to heal than to rush into something and just have that blow up and maybe your ex did find someone that they felt was a better match for them. But also they could just be suppressing feelings. It just don't want to be lonely. So there's so many reasons why people jump into relationships and it's hard to know from social media the entire backstory. Near impossible. Maybe that's a major lesson here is whatever you see on social media treat them like celebrities.
00:15:04 - 00:20:07
They're not people really know these lives you're not intimately involved with. Same with your ex, same with your Friends, hell, same with your next door neighbor. What you're looking at on social media is such a glossy painted picture of their real lives. And if you really got behind the doors of what they're living, day to day, it would not affect you in this way. So maybe you can just treat social media, especially when you grow in your excess profiles like, hey, here's a celebrity I've been following. Let's see what they're up to. And then you can create a little distance or think of a thing that irked you the most about your ex and imagine that's what they're dealing with right now. Yes. If we're letting our imaginations run wild of all the positive things, we can also bring in the negative things. That's why I think this is kind of unrelated to stalking, but like any time you break up, keeping a list of what wasn't the right match for you is just as important because we tend to have rose colored glasses and only remember the high points. So if social media is just enforcing those high points, we need to also remember what low points they might be in. Maybe they were super moody and shut down when you were having conversations. Remember that. Imagine she's going through that right now. Oh, that poor woman. She has to go through so much. Just don't reach out to her. I actually thought about that at some point. I was going to reach out to her and warn her what she's getting herself into. It doesn't really matter, but I also think about you being on the other end of this scenario. You being the new girl in the picture or the new person in the picture and having the X stock you, what would you want to say to the ex at this point, right? If you being the new person, I think if I'm the new person, I've actually had my exes current people accidentally like my posts. Yeah. And I just thought I had like a moment of fantasizing of saying, if I saw her, what would I say to her? And I probably say something like, I'm sorry, it didn't work out with you guys. I do think we're a better match, but I don't think I'm better than you. I thank you for releasing him to me. Right. I mean, remarried, right? So it's like she found someone. Yeah. That's a good match. And even if you haven't found that person right now, eventually you will. So again, it's not a you're better than they're better than none of that situation. If you are going to time box your stocking, like we talked about earlier, make sure you don't like. Wait, Julie, what is the worst stocking situation you've ever been in when it comes to stocking the X? What's like the deepest you ever gone? Oh, I mean, I've definitely gone to other people's pages that are related. And if I haven't done this, thank goodness. But if I liked one of their photos, that would be mortifying. But every time I'm on even their page, I'm like, do not like, do not like, because that is terrifying. They just get this random person that they maybe don't even know who you are at this point. That would be so embarrassing, I think. And then they look up and they see there's a connection or they ask their current partner. That would be so mortifying. I mean, I've definitely deep liked people's photos, not necessarily an ex's new partner, but like a person that I had like a situationship, Friends with benefits, and that was pretty embarrassing 'cause it was clear I was going way back and stalking them. So if you're gonna do the stocking takes up precautions, that's all I could say. Don't multitask in stock. What is your stance on deleting your old photos with exes on social media? Once you're in a new relationship, I've thought about this before. I'm mixed on it. I think if it's gonna bother you, then by all means delete them. I think if the ends of the day, you are the most important person here, whatever is gonna help you in your recovery and moving forward. That's what you gotta do. The other side, though, is if they don't trigger you, I don't love like deleting memories of the past. So I personally have them up. That being said, I've been fortunate to not date anyone that's really deep in social media. Most of my current partner by X is none of them have any social media. So I've been very lucky that this isn't really something that I have to deal with, but if they were very active on social media, I may have a totally different stance. What about you? So I had a friend who just started dating this guy and we went on his social media and he was engaged. So he still had a ton of photos with this previous woman, like a ton of them because they were engaged, but they were pretty far into their relationship like three to four months. So she was very confused about whether she should confront him and ask him why he still has the photos up. I do think some people are just not as active on social media and don't think that way. So maybe they're just like, I don't need to deal with this. But I think there's a level of respect for your current person. I don't think you need to delete all your old photos, but what I discover you can do on Instagram is you can archive them. It's not their deleted. You can see them. Other people can't see them, and that's okay. I think that's perfect because you're not removing the memory, but I do think there is a level of respect for the new person that you're not stuck in the past either.
00:20:08 - 00:25:04
So I'm all for the archive. And I think it just comes down to like the volume of them. When I have, I currently have maybe like three or four photos of my ex because I just didn't use Instagram that much back then. So I don't have that many in general. So I don't, in my current partner, doesn't use Instagram. So I think it's like, you gotta take in situationally what this actually means. Will this offense someone? Does it feel like you haven't moved on from a past life? All that, I think, is a factor. What a weird generation for us to be growing up in. It is weird. Everything is chronicled online. Like back in the day, you broke up, you never saw them again. Maybe you ran into them somewhere. Here you can find someone in a second, regardless. You can find them on their digital footprint. It's easy to know semi what they're doing at all times, especially if there's someone that is active on social media. But not a real picture. It's definitely not a real picture. The people we date today, we make judgments about them before we even indulge in a relationship with them because they have this online footprint that we can always reference. Oh, totally. But back in the day, you could have killed someone and nobody would have known. And you're still back out there dating, you know? So UA and I, we've alluded to this we are doing a secret project right now and we're talking to a lot of daters. And it's mind-blowing to me how many of them keep in touch through Instagram. Even if they went on one date, they're now following each other on Instagram. And I feel like there is in what way it's nice that you're having a friendly vibe, but then the other is just setting yourself up if you do get feelings for someone to be in this pit hole that we're talking about now of just seeing what's happening in their life after you're out of their life. I realize they're like three layers of friendship or relationships. There's like the real life IRL, the people that you actually see in person. There's the people in the metaverse. So playing games with people, you never met, either just an avatar. And then there's this purgatory stage of people you had relationships with in the past, where friendships, and then you dump them into this virtual graveyard where you still kind of like each other shit, but you're not seeing each other anymore. I think that is the purgatory part is the weirdest stage to be, 'cause even the people we talk to Julie, they were like, oh, we're so Friends. No, no, you're not. I mean, this is it like helping my personal Instagram, but that will not be the one I publicly put anyways, but I got rid of people that I do not have an in person connection with, which is dropping your follower count. So I guess it just depends what you're going for, right? But it is definitely a weird world that we're in today that it's so easy to get sucked into what your ex or this past person you are dating is doing and who they are doing it with. And it's easy to make these assumptions. It's easy to feel bad. So remember that this is a trap. So social media is a trap. It's set up this way. So again, no shame in the stocking, but how do you curb it in a way knowing what you know? And know that we're here to support you if you need to send us a DM and say, I'm going down the X rabbit hole. We will try to stop you in your tracks. So we can support you in that. If we can support you in answering other brunch talk questions, please send those our way. You can email hello at dateable podcast dot com or DM us at dateable podcast on Instagram. And on Instagram, if you are friends with us on Instagram, you are a real friend, okay? You're not a fake friend, you are a real friend, and we authentically engage with you. It's not a bot. Okay, so don't get worried. You can DM us any time because we do read those. Awesome. Okay, we'll see you next week on brunch talk. Bye. The dateable podcast is part of the frolic podcast network. Find more podcasts you'll love at frolic media, slash podcasts. Want to continue the conversation? First, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the handle at dateable podcast. Tag us in any post with a hashtag stay dateable and trust us. We look at all those pose. Then head over to our website dateable podcast dot com. There you'll find all the episodes as well as articles, videos, and our coaching service with vetted industry experts. You can also find our premium Y series where we dissect, analyze, and offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We're also downloadable for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google Play, overcast, stitcher radio, and other podcast platforms. Your feedback is valuable to us, so don't forget to leave us a review. 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