Why You Should Stop Stalking Your Crush’s Ex on Instagram

We can all admit that one of the first things we do when we find a new crush is to stalk their social media. Of course, we never really intend for it to happen but every once in a while we may run across a certain ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend that they shared a photo with. One thing leads to another and somehow we end up six years into their past. As harmless as this seems, it may actually have a bigger effect on you than you think. If you still think it’s a good idea, here are five reasons why you should stop immediately:

1. You might find yourself knowing too much

One of the most obvious but overlooked reasons is that you may accidentally say something about something you shouldn’t know about. In casual conversations it’s often easy to speak without thinking and this is definitely not a situation you want to be in with a new crush. Although it may not seem too creepy to know all the details of their romantic trip to Canada, it’s probably not the best topic for a first date.

Heather Peart, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that this is definitely a possibility. “I don't think you really realize how much you know until someone else points it out,” she says. “When you’re going through anyone’s Instagram in general, you almost get a summary of who that person is. It becomes just common knowledge and you really can’t keep track of what you should know and what you have to pretend you don’t know. “

That’s a pretty good way to put it if you ask us. You don’t want to seem like the crazy, paranoid girlfriend/boyfriend before you even start dating. Even if you think you’re being careful, it’s easy for something to slip. 

2. It may affect the way that you act

If you’re busy studying up on your crush’s past relationships, you may feel the need to be more like his/her ex. It may seem like it’s unlikely, but you may find yourself subconsciously thinking about the photo they posted of her reading and feel the need to show him/her that you love to read too. We all know how crazy we can get when it comes to impressing someone like. It’s all the little things we tend to focus on to get their attention. However, this is the last thing that you want to happen. Even if you’re oh so positive that they are gonna be the love of your life, you want to make sure that the relationship starts off as honest as possible. You want to show this crush your true self instead of who you think they want you to be.

Elyza Bailey, a sophomore at Southern Methodist University, couldn’t agree more. “You shouldn’t try to be someone that you’re not,” she says. “I know people say that all the time, but sometimes you don’t even realize that you’re doing it. When you study someone that you know your crush liked and dated, it just seems safer to be more like them.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. A little inspiration is never a bad thing, but you never want to copy someone else, especially if you’re trying to impress someone else.

 3. You could find yourself comparing yourself to them

 Even if you’re not trying to copy how their past significant other was, you may find yourself mentally comparing yourself to them. Whether it be the way that they look or the things that they do, you may start to think that you’re not good enough. While we all make occasional jokes about how we will never find love because there’s too much competition, we never want it to actually get to our heads. It’s important to remember that Instagram is a reflection of only the best version of a person, not who he or she is entirely. People rarely go around posting their crazy moments, bad angles and horrible habits. When people post an Instagram photo, they make sure to spend ample amounts of time to make it the best that it could possibly be. However, if you compare their moments to your worst, it could really take a toll on how you view yourself.

Vanessa Le, a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, says that this is a big problem in today’s society. “There have been multiple studies showing that looking through Instagram can make people unhappy because they find themselves comparing themselves to them,” she explains. “I think in the case of an ex of a crush, it’s even worse because they’re real instead of a celebrity.”

That’s a good point. Many people find themselves feeling like they aren’t good enough because of the standard that photos on Instagram may set. However, it’s important to remember that they’re probably as much a mess as you are behind the camera.

4.  You may get worried when he/she doesn’t treat you the same

Even if you don’t find yourself getting jealous of who the ex is as a person, you may start to get worried and paranoid when he/she doesn’t seem to treat you the same way that they treated their past significant others. We know, you’re probably wondering how in the world could you tell so much by just a couple Instagram photos right? Well it’s important to take into consideration that the app is much more than just the photos. They also show comments. If your crush was the type to comment words of affection on every single photo and they don’t immediately do the same, it may create unreasonable expectations. Even if they don’t comment anything, even a picture of a bouquet of roses they may have received from your current crush could make you worried. These things may seem petty, but we never want to underestimate a boy or girl in “love.”

Ellie Butler, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, says that you should never look back when starting a new relationship. “There comes a point where you realize an ex is an ex for a reason,” she says. “If you're going to be a meaningful part of their future, you need to stop focusing on their past.”

5. Social media distorts the truth

One huge reason why you should not get caught up in researching the ex of your newly found beau is that social media never tells the whole story. This could apply in a variety of different ways. For example, people don’t show who they really are on social media. Whether it be editing a photo or simply picking and choosing the best ones, social media only shows the side of people that they choose to show. When you see the perfect Instagram photo of the seemingly flawless ex, you’re only judging their appearance. We know, it’s hard to put appearances completely aside but at the end of the day it is true that looks will only get you so far.

Thalia Carrillo, a junior at the University of Texas at Austin agrees that she’s had similar thoughts. “I feel like it’s hard to remember that things like Instagram are a way to advertise the best sides of a person,” she says. “Of course, no one is going to admit their flaws on such a public platform. I’ve found that stalking my crush’s exes has only created a false image of them in my head. It makes me overthink about how their relationship might’ve been and that can really eat you up.” We’ve all been there.

Furthermore, the pictures they may have posted during their past relationship probably only highlights the best parts of them. We highly doubt that they would go around posting pictures of the endless arguments, crying, and fighting that may have gone on in the background. Either way, stalking the ex is only showing the ex’s point of view of the relationship. No matter how perfect the relationship may have seemed from the ex’s side, it may have been a total wreck from the side of your crush.

Related Article: 10 Common Long-Term Relationship Mistakes & How to Fix Them

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you are not anyone other than yourself. The person that you choose to love should love you for being you’re own perfect self. We know, it’s about as cliché as it gets, but there’s a reason that it is such a popular idea. It’s always tempting to do a little bit of research on the person you’re potentially going to date, but you should never delve too deep into trying to get to know the person. Remember, the best way to get to know a person is by having real, in-person conversations with them.