Ask Erin: Help! I Can't Stop Stalking My Boyfriend On Social Media

I’ve become kind of obsessed with this, and I know I shouldn’t.

She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to…Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.

Q.

Dear Erin,

Thank you for letting people contact you!

So, I have been dating this guy for four years. We have known each other for nine years. We actually grew up together.

The problem started when I kind of got obsessed with social media.

I wanted my boyfriend to post pictures with me. I posted pics as well. This might sound childish, but there were always these girls trying to break us up.

So, for me, that's how it worked — posting pictures regularly would let them know that we’re still together.

However, three months ago, we had this big fight, which has never happened before. After the fight, he deleted all our pictures; now I'm kind of pissed off and worried.

He refuses to post pictures with me. I know that's because I told people about our problems nobody wants to air their dirty laundry in public.

But now, he knows I have changed, yet still refuses to post pictures with me. I’ve become kind of obsessed with this, and I know I shouldn’t.

Every time we have a fight, I end up stalking him on social media, because as I told you, I'm now obsessed with these things.

Please tell me what to do!

Thank you!

A.

You are very welcome. It makes me truly happy that I get to help people by sharing my experience (based on years of mistakes).

OK. You are going down a path I have seen many friends go down. You’re not feeling secure in your relationship, so you’re obsessing on this one point (the picture thing), which is pushing your boyfriend away and causing your insecurities to snowball.

The more you push, the more he resists. Social media has not helped this sort of thing.

After being together four years, what concerns me is why you’re feeling so insecure. It’s either his behavior, your behavior, or a combination of both. I wonder if this manifested itself in other ways before or has only come up in the past three months. That’s something to think about.

First things first — you need to take an honest look at what’s bothering you.

I can understand that it feels frustrating that he is so resistant to putting up photos of the two of you, because it seems like a no-brainer. But not everyone feels comfortable posting all aspects of their life online.

My husband is pretty private on social media — I don’t believe he has ever put up a photo of us — and I have put up very few. I feel completely secure in my relationship; it’s a non-issue.

The pictures strike me as an indicator of a larger issue, and that’s what you need to investigate.

In the meantime, it’s doing neither you nor your relationship any good to waste time and energy stalking him on social media. Who would you be without it? Turn the energy and focus on yourself, on things you want to accomplish.

The next time you feel the urge to start investigating every “like” on his Facebook page, take a moment and pick something else to do — read, watch TV, write, go for a walk, meditate — anything but what you’ve been doing.

Tell yourself to do that something else for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes has passed, try another 10 minutes, and so on.

So often, many of our obsessive behaviors are rooted in the repetition of ritual, and we have to actively make decisions to change those patterns. Try that, while you figure out what’s really bothering you.

And when you do figure it out, have a calm, rational discussion with him — it just might change things in ways you never expected.

I promise you, no matter what ends up happening with your relationship, you are going to be so much happier if you can let this stuff go and put your energy towards activities that make you feel good about yourself.


If you have a question for me about the dating rules of social media, sex, relationships, broken hearts, addiction, BBC documentaries, 70s British glam, sugar gliders, or anything at all, email me at rarelywrongerin@gmail.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo

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