‘Crazy’ thing all women do after a break-up


Fact: if you’ve dated any of my exes I’ve stalked your Instagram. Probably more than once. In fact, I probably follow it regularly.

Not from my real Instagram account. Oh no, I’m not that bold/tragic. I follow you from my ‘finsta’ account. Which is an abbreviation for ‘fake Instagram’.

Yes, if you see someone called Sir_Oatmeal_fuffy_pants17393 then it’s me. Peekaboo.

I know all about your recent travels. What you ate at that fancy restaurant the other day and I was even there to witness your hard launch as a couple on Instagram.

I’ve seen it all. Usually at around midnight on a Tuesday when I’m wide awake and the mind is racing.

What’s crazy is that even after I’ve overcome the heart-wrenching feelings for my ex, I will probably still follow you. Because what was once an initial need to obtain as much information as I can about the person who has replaced me, often turns into a fond interest.

In fact, just last night I was in a deep scroll of an Instagram account of a replacement girlfriend from seven years ago. She kicked my ex to kerb a while ago, but she’s a fabulous interior designer and I genuinely love seeing her work featured on her insta page.

Truth be told, should I win the lottery I would very much like to hire her one day.

What started as pure jealousy (yes, I can admit it) has turned into admiration. From afar and behind a fake Instagram account. But an admiration, nonetheless.

I think he was a doofus for messing up that relationship. She has style, a hilarious sense of humour, and the things she can do with a feature wall is truly amazing. If I ever lose my horniness for men and end up swinging the other way, I would happily slide into her DMs.

And she’s not the only one. Oh no. There’s also the current fling of one of my ex-partners that I follow. How do I know she is his fling? Oh, I saw them making out in the background of another mutual friend’s Instagram story, and then happened to notice they both went to the Barossa Valley last week. Same spots. Same time.

No hard launch yet on either of their Instagram accounts, but I’ve got the popcorn and am awaiting patiently.

And reading this back, I sure sound crazy but guess what … I’m not the only one. In fact, I would be so bold to say you’ve done it to.

You’ve wondered what happened to your old high school boyfriend and found yourself in a late night scroll of his wife’s Instagram, or perhaps facebook account. You know they’ve now got three children and perhaps a golden retriever. You know she works as a schoolteacher and they went to Canada for a family holiday last year.

Don’t deny it.

Chatting to friends earlier this week they all admitted to taking a cheeky sneak-peak on an ex’s new girlfriend’s account.

We’re a curious species and we love nothing more than collecting data. Whether it makes us feel better or worse, we can’t help ourselves.

And let’s be honest, it’s usually worse. When I find out my ex has a new person-of-interest I wish upon all the wishes that she has six fingers, a crooked nose, and an ugly boil in the middle of her forehead. But spoiler alert: they never do.

Dang it.

So here’s a public service announcement: if you are dating my ex-partner, for the love of god can you please put your account on private. You would be doing me a solid.

But in all fairness, perhaps I need better self-control.

And here’s a nifty trick I learnt. Write down a list of things about your ex that you didn’t like. That way, when you find yourself in another deep scroll looking at their soppy romantic photos you can slyly say to yourself ‘well at least I don’t have to put up with his stinky protein-shake-fuelled farts’. Or ‘yes but she has to put up with his handsy grandpa at Christmas, and I no longer have to’.

Is it shallow and slightly wicked? Yes. But does it work? Double yes. I mean, don’t share this list with the world, just do it for yourself.

But if that doesn’t do the trick here is a jolly good reason to stop stalking your ex’s new partner; this study found that when participants looked at pictures of their ex- partners, the areas of the brain that light up when one is experiencing physical pain were activated. Yes, pain! You can only imagine how much worse it would be when seeing them with someone knew. I can tell you, very painful.

So at the end of the day, perhaps we all need to put down our damn phones. Yes, I may be talking to myself here. At least in the early days of heartbreak. No good comes from those late-night scrolls. Well, unless you’re looking for a fabulous interior designer, in which case I really can recommend a fabulous one.

Jana Hocking is a columnist and collector of kind-of-boyfriends | @jana_hocking

Read related topics:Jana HockingRelationship Advice