Why is your ex-partner keeping an eye on you, monitoring you online or offline, or sending you messages to check in on your life? Maybe they are still following your profiles on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, trying to keep tabs on you.
This situation might feel confusing, particularly if they aren’t communicating with you. They might even appear to have moved on, possibly being involved in a rebound relationship. So, why would they continue to monitor you even when they don’t initiate a conversation?
8 Reasons your ex still watches your stories
The first reason could be extreme curiosity from your ex. Following the relief stage of a breakup, there’s the curiosity stage. It’s clear that during this stage, your ex might inspect your social media to discern what you’re up to.
As they progress through each stage, the journey becomes increasingly challenging for your ex, especially during the curiosity stage. This usually happens when things aren’t unfolding as they anticipated.
When people break up, they typically don’t think about what the next few weeks will bring. Their main focus is on getting through the breakup, and once they’ve achieved that, they often don’t know what to expect.
However, as they begin to ponder on it, they realize that they expected you to reach out, which is a common expectation post-breakup.
Given that they were the ones who initiated the breakup, they may have felt more attractive or superior.
I know this may sound like a broad generalization, but often people feel better off without their exes, thinking you’d always want them back. This isn’t always rational thinking but is based on the notion that they left you and assumed you’d always want them.
When you act against these assumptions and expectations, it makes them curious. Why aren’t you trying to win them back? So, even if they appear annoyed by your pleas and attempts to communicate, if you don’t do those things, they start to wonder why. This is mainly because initially, they weren’t sure about their expectations post-breakup.
But what if the ex still watches your stories months or years after the breakup?
In this case, it’s probably because the two of you might have spent considerable time together, sharing many experiences. So, they might naturally be curious about your current status and want to know what’s happening in your life.
There might not be any romantic reasons involved, just simple curiosity for a person that was at some point an important aspect of their life.
The second reason your ex might be viewing your social media is due to a phenomenon known as “intimacy withdrawal”. Essentially, they were used to constant contact with you, either physically or through calls and texts if it was a long-distance relationship.
This regular interaction, discussing your day and planning your future, constitutes a form of intimacy. When that’s gone, it leaves a void, making them yearn for what they’ve lost, despite their reasons for ending the relationship.
The ex still loves you
The second possible reason could be that the ex still loves you. If they have strong feelings for you, they would naturally want to keep a track of your life and see how you’re doing because they can’t help thinking about you.
It may seem perplexing, especially if your ex has verbally expressed that they’ve moved on or even if they are in a new relationship. But it’s important to understand that they can still harbor feelings for you, regardless of what they say or the image they project.
There’s a significant difference between what someone verbally expresses and their actual emotions. There could be numerous reasons why someone might project a certain image, even if their true feelings differ substantially.
Ego and pride
The third reason is quite straightforward – it’s all about ego and pride. Seeing you struggle post-breakup can make them feel desired and important.
So when you maintain your distance and don’t show signs of distress, it can hurt their ego, making them feel less valuable to you.
The fourth reason involves a tactic known as “breadcrumbing”. This is when your ex makes minimal efforts on social media, like viewing your story, knowing you’ll notice and hoping it’ll provoke you into contacting them.
Be careful not to fall for these breadcrumbs. It’s a manipulative tactic they employ to avoid risking rejection by making the first move.
Another reason your ex might be monitoring you is because they regret the breakup. Sometimes your ex might not openly admit and say “I made a huge mistake. I regret breaking up”.
This reluctance to admit regret could be due to pride, stubbornness, or even fear of rejection.
In many situations, your ex might have made assertive statements like, “I never want to talk to you again” or “It’s over for good”.
However, over time, they may realize that their feelings don’t align with what they are saying. Their pride, ego, or stubbornness might prevent them from expressing their true feelings, such as “I miss you”.
Your ex might regret the breakup, particularly if they believed the grass would be greener on the other side, i.e., they thought they would be happier being single, in a different relationship, or following a different path.
But when they experienced the reality of their decision, they might have found that the breakup didn’t bring the perpetual joy they imagined.
They are competing with you
A rather peculiar reason why your ex might be checking up on your stories is because they are in a competition with you.
After a breakup, it’s not uncommon for people to feel compelled to compete with their ex. Society often encourages this competitive spirit, urging us to see who can move on first, who seems happier, or whose life appears more picture-perfect.
Your ex may be checking up on you to see how you’re doing in comparison to them. Please remember that the image people present on social media often portrays a highly edited version of their lives. So, if you find yourself comparing your life with your ex’s, bear in mind that you’re likely seeing a filtered perspective of their reality.
It’s essential to understand that this comparison isn’t healthy and is indicative of both parties not being on the same team – a primary reason why relationships fail. To mend and establish a healthier relationship, it’s crucial to opt out of this competitive mindset.
Fear of permanently losing you
Lastly, your ex might be worried about losing you. This fear usually sets in after they’ve experienced the curiosity stage and can’t figure out what’s going on.
This fear becomes more intense when they constantly check your social media profiles or stories. What they’re experiencing isn’t the same as breaking up with you willingly; it’s a fear of losing you even when they want to keep you. This fear often leads them to question their decision to break up.
If your ex is consistently engaging with your social media, it could signal that they’re regretting their decision and might want to reconcile.
Does this mean the ex wants to get back together?
If your ex, views your stories, it sometimes (but not always) implies they may still have some interest in you.
They might not know you can see they’re viewing your stories, or they might be trying to communicate something. Either way, it suggests there could still be a future for both of you.
Is the ex still following you on social media?
If your ex follows you and still watches your stories, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re still interested.
It depends on how and when they view your stories. If you post multiple stories and they watch only the first one, it’s not a good sign. But if they watch most of them, especially if they’re one of the first viewers, it indicates they’re actively engaged.
But what does it mean if the ex unfollowed you but still watches your stories? It could be linked to how things ended.
Did you break up with them? Was the relationship toxic towards the end? Did you ask them to reconsider the breakup? Any of these could have led to them unfollowing you.
Alternatively, they may have unfollowed you to move on. If they can’t resist viewing your stories, it’s clear they haven’t been successful in moving on (for now).
If you want to get back together, should you contact them or not?
If your ex still watches your stories after a breakup, it means there are some reasons to think they regret the breakup and might want to get back together.
Should you contact them in this case?
The answer is complex of course and depends on the quality of the relationship, whether the two of you have matured during the breakup phase etc.
But what’s clear though is that if you do decide to reach out, the ex is probably willing to give it another try or at least talk things through.