Swivel Away From the Computer: The Thin Line Between Stalking and Research

July 25, 2012  |  

Many people do it, look up their current mate’s old beau, or their ex’s new main squeeze, the problem is when you begin to spiral into  madness and start stalking.  Recently in Little Rock, Arkansas a man was stalking his ex-wife’s new boyfriend and threatened to shoot him in a public shopping area.  Help intervened before he acted, but the thought still is that when someone becomes consumed with doing a little too much “research” on a person, when does it get out of hand?  When does it turn into stalking, and how close are you to going over the edge?

Things to consider when you feel like your “research” is starting to tread into stalker territory:

Asking yourself why should I care?

So you find the name of your current partner’s ex and you want to look them up, but before you do, think about the reasons why.  What are you hoping to find with this new information?  Also, what does what you’re hoping to find say about you?  Are you wondering if they are better looking than you are?  Are they more successful?  Let’s be honest, sometimes we want to find something out about a person that we’re intimidated by to make ourselves feel better.  Instead of find a flaw in them, try to strengthen all of your perceived flaws.  Once you begin to feel better about yourself you’ll begin to forget about looking for issues in others.

Do you want to know why/how they broke up?

Unless that person is completely open to all of their social media associates, you’re not going to know the entire story.  Do you feel like you have to put in the extra leg work to get information because your current boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t telling you everything?  Is it a trust issue? Do you feel like the person you’re dating is hiding something?  Going to the ex’s page isn’t going to fully answer the questions you want to know.  Instead, have a dialogue with the person that you’re in a relationship with.  Only they can give you information.  But if the issue is you can’t trust them to tell you the truth on why their last relationship broke up, maybe you should reconsider who you’re involving yourself with.

Leave the Past in the Past

Your boy/girl broke up with their ex for a reason.  Rehashing all those details internally while you’re “researching” is going to do nothing but bring up more feelings of insecurity within.  You have a past as well, and you know better than anyone else that there are certain people in your past that need to be forgotten, so do the same for your current love interest.

How much time are you spending “researching”

If your “research” has gotten to the point where you type in the first letter of their name in your search engine and the rest of their name automatically pops up… back away from the computer slowly.  If the first thing you do when you get online is to look up their name and see if there’s a change in their profile or status you’re spending an expansive amount of time on someone that might not even know that you exist.  Don’t let this person have so much power over you and your mental well being that you become consumed in wanting to know everything that they’re doing.  Remember, you have a life worth living and improving, so do so.

Kendra Koger is sympathetic to how you feel.  “Research” her on twitter @kkoger.

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