Seriously, DO NOT Look Up Your Ex

sad.jpgPut this under Things You Should Not Do If You Want To Remain A Happy Person: finding out what your ex is up to now.

To preface, I’m not talking about the person you dated for a month who you kind of cared about but never enough to commit and / or introduce him to your friends. If you want to look through that guy’s Facebook or Myspace, go ahead. Seeing him with his arms wrapped around another girl will probably do nothing but make you kind of glad you’re no longer seeing someone who thinks weird neck tattoos of skulls are cool.

But look, if you loved the dude (or chick), and it kind of ripped your heart out when things ended, do yourself a favor let them remain a mystery. Don’t try to find them on Facebook if you’re not already connected, unfriend them if you are, don’t ask mutual friends about who they’re dating, and for the love of god, DON’T GOOGLE THEM.

I am a naturally nosey person, but after The Big Ex and I split up years ago, I refused to seek out information on the girl he started dating a mere few weeks after our 4 year stint ended. I knew my friends had info, I could tell by their eyes whenever they tried to jump away from the subject, but I never pressed them. And when information was accidentally spilled to me, I made a conscious effort to change the subject and told people “I really don’t care to know”. It was hard, because I did care to know, but I knew that need for knowledge was coming from a macabre place in my brain that loved to torture the rest of me. He was happy with someone else. That was painful enough. I didn’t need to know if she was prettier, thinner, or more talented than I was, and I certainly didn’t need to see any pictures on Facebook of them making out on the streets of NYC.

If you’re still smarting from a breakup, even if it’s years later, the more information you find out about your Ex, the more crippled you’re apt to become. So you find out he or she is living happily in some small town in California — you probably won’t be able to travel the entire state without schizo-ing out a little that you’ll run into them. If you find out they’ve moved on to a new partner while you’re still single, those lonley nights are apt to become a little lonelier — because what are you doing wrong that you haven’t found someone else too? And what if their name pops up on a Google search next to some crazy award or accolade? Even though you’re awesome…watching someone who hurt you continue to prosper just don’t feel good.

Since there’s an exception to every rule, most likely there are people out there who can read the Encyclopedia Britannica on their Ex and feel fine about it. I have never been one of those people, and I’d wager there are a few people like me out there. So look, to all of you sensitive types, I know you want to know what the Person Who Kinda Broke Your Heart is up to, but for your own health — do something else instead. You’re a good person, you’re doing great things, and someday you’ll find someone else. Don’t waste your time soaking up the sucky, soapy water of heartbreak all over again.

[Agree with these thoughts? Have rentching examples? Share!]



    1. Steph says:

      Damn coincidences. I just looked up my ex and then opened up college candy to find this post at the top of the list.

      Good advice, darlin'.

    2. grace says:

      yeah…clicked on mine yesterday to find that he not only has a new someone but is freaking engaged!

      I’m going to go ahead and click the “block” button before the engagement pics come up because I know I won’t have the will-power…

    3. al says:

      thank so much for this post. after just ending things with a boyfriend of a little less than 4 years, i find myself constantly thinking about what hes up too. and this post has convinced me to stop because your 100% right. thank you again!

    4. ela says:


      this is EXACTLY what i did after a 4.5 yr run w/my ex and it probably saved my life. i deleted myself off facebook, myspace and everything possible so i had 0 contact. i knew he was dating one of my ‘friends’ and i knew that my other ‘friends’ were trying not to make it obvious. i played dumb the whole time and ignored it…with a lot of alcohol in the beginning nonetheless- but i did!

      i dropped almost everyone who was trying to play me in my life and i’m so thankful for it. My bff is the nosiest person i know alive and i knew she was Sherlock holmesing his profile month and month. But i told her straight up with anger in my voice that i simply did not want to know ANY THINGGGG.

      I went off in the world on my own , and i didn’t know what was going on with the one person who as my best friend from childhood. yes, i was alone a lot of the time… i cried, i ate, i gained weight…all those things but now that i haven’t turned my head back since, i have no regrets and i never think about it anymore. you come to realize… i dont KNOW THIS PERSON ANYMORE.


      … so one of my fav sites is ‘’- i go on it…and what DO YOU KNOW!?!?!?


      i spit my sprite almost thru my nose.

      after 2 years of completely unplugging myself and disappearing…i was faced with my biggest fear of seeing him/his pic.

      guess what?

      i didn’t feel a THING. In fact…i laughed. ..and i realized that i had conquered all my fears and all the pain had slowly been cured my time!


    5. F says:

      You people are pathetic. If you have to unplug yourself from reality to prevent your ex from interfereing with your life, what are you accomplishing? So you give up all your friends, things you like to do, even gain weight and think you actually did something good?

    6. Christine says:

      Haha I resisted the temptation to look up my ex for about a year when I went off to college, but then I gave in when I saw that we had a mutual friend on facebook. At first it kind of hurt to see that he had acquired a cute new blond girlfriend but then I realized that he hadn’t acquired many friends during his freshman year–she was pretty much the only one who wrote on his wall. I almost wished he could see my profile and all of the new friends and boys I had made. So in a sense, it was empowering. But I don’t want to become the crazy stalker ex so I haven’t looked him up since.

    7. JTchicago says:

      For either Girls or Guys it is a bad idea to go stalking ex's. Jeaz, there are SOOO many peeps out there and getting upset over one is useless. Especially in today's use-it-and-lose-it society (girls don't deny some of you act just like us guys do). Hey, I am no saint and have been a sinner at times, even have a regret or two, but if you’re focused on what you’ve left behind, you will not be able to see what lies ahed.

      Now go up, and look around!

      (I think I got that from Ratatouille)

    8. Kyle says:

      I got dumped by a girl who I met that is going to be at my college this fall. We originally started as friends and I thought it would be a good idea to see if she’d want anything more. I was going more for a fun summer “fling” at first but then she started being clingy, calling me alot just wanting to talk and all that, and her friends sent me a few messages on facebook saying that I was hurting her by not asking her out, so I did even though I wasn’t looking for commitment so I sort of had to make myself fall in love. I fell for her and then it turns out that she didn’t want a relationship after all (I found out she was manic), and so she called off the relationship and started talking to a bunch of other guys. It’s hard to avoid her since she signed up to be in the same dorm as me and she wants to be best friends, but now I get to see everyone she talks to and it’s really hard :-\

    9. Daisy says:

      Great advice, but far too late for me… The other day I was terribly bored, so I googled my ex. And it wasn’t pretty. Not only is his carreer booming, he and his new girlfriend (they started dated only weeks after we split, now they are together for several years) moved to another country (for HER job, not his) and he gave her the same petname that he used for me. How tacky is that?! I should have read this post sooner…

    10. Ski says:

      funny thing===mine added me to his. oh well he can suffer while i continually have amnesia on who he is……and he texted me after he changed his number too. why am i going to keep in contact with him? so i changed my number and got a new phone-without his # in it. but i know i have better fish to fry—-

    11. Jaden says:

      I broke up with my boyfriend three-four months ago. To get over him I deleted him off my buddy list and deleted his number off my cell, and then refused to click his name on Facebook or Myspace. Now, I’m pretty much over him. Kind of. I still like him a teeny bit but I can easily go to his page w/o breaking down and start crying. It’s gonna suck seeing him at college though…

    12. gregory dykes says:

      i want to meet you

    13. sarah says:

      this is amazing advice. i recently broke up with my boyfriend of 4.5 years and i have to say it is by far the HARDEST thing i have ever done. we live in the same area, have tons of mutual friends, have family connections, etc – so its pretty much impossible to get him out of my life completely. we also didn’t break up hating each other, so i didnt want to ruin that. however, my ex is definitely the flirty type (main reason i broke up with him) and the first month was torture for me, seeing him add all these new girls on facebook, that i didnt know and that i couldnt ask him about. he also removed tags from all his tagged photos and deleted pcitures of me from his profile photos album. facebook is the WORST thing to have during a breakup. i wish i could just deactivate it but its my main source of communication with my other friends so that wouldnt really work out.

      anyways, i decided i wasn’t going to click on his profile anymore. EVER. and its been a week, and so far i havent. i can still see the thumbnail of his picture when it shows up sometimes in recent updates, etc. but i haven’t clicked on it. dreading the day that its a picture of him with another girl but i’m sure its only a matter of time. ignorance is bliss. believe me.. what you don’t know can’t hurt you.

    14. Elizabeth says:

      Eight months ago, I was engaged to a very sweet guy. But one day I was sitting in my living room floor with my wedding planner when it dawned on me…we were getting married in three months and he still hadn't told his partents. Needless to say things got rough there and we broke up. It was a huge deal, I moved to a different state even. Now after a week or so we were still talking and were even thinking of getting back together, when I started to recieve emailed from a woman claiming to be a "new friend" and she wanted to know about him. I happily told her and the next day she changed her myspace statis to: In a relationship, as did he. I questioned them both (knowing that I should have let well enough alone) and then a week later her statis changed to: Engaged, as did his. I freaked out. When I looked at both of there pages it was heartbreaking. He was using all of his pet names and had posted poems origanlly written for me and changed the name for her. Everything was hearts and love on his page. I felt like crying…and I did, for hours. Then I looked at her page and it was pretty much the same. She had taken meaningful, personal pictures off of my page, cropped them and splashed them on her page. For weeks I would check and check hoping that something different would appear. That he would break up with her and come back to me, but he never did. Pretty soon he blocked me, but she didn't. It was like she was proud or something. Then one day her picture changed. It was of MY engagement ring. The one that HE had given ME. Ever since then I have to stay away from their myspace. Even though I have a boyfriend now, it STILL kills me to see them happy together…oh how I wish that I would have seen this sooner.

    15. B says:

      Elizabeth.. holy crap. That is the most heartbreaking thing I have heard today. What an asshole/bitch (to the both of them). My advice- delete, block, remove any and all ways to hear about them. That is so cruel of them, and it will just continue to be hard if you are exposed to it. I know it will be hard when you are dying of curiosity and wanting to see them go down in flames, but don't hold your breath. You deserve so much better in your life than the wierd place you will go in your head when you think about them.

    16. L says:

      Too late.

      My ex dumped me for someone else, changed his relationship status on Facebook the next day (before I had even been able to tell my sister it was over), and while we were still talking (even if mostly arguing) and gathering things back, he posted pictures of him with the other girl (so, basically pictures of him cheating). 3 months later he's engaged and somehow still convinced me to talk to him, to "make up" for everything he has done to me. The worst of it was thrown at me all at once, and now it doesn't seem worth it to just cut him off. I've seen everything, we've been okay the few times we have hung out since the breakup, and by next week he won't live around here anymore anyway. So he can be gone and I don't have to make that decision. We'll see how it turns out, but at this point it doesn't feel like it could go back to being any worse than he had already made it.

    17. Bonnie says:

      Thanks for this. It made me feel really awesome as i’ve been going through this the past week. My Big Ex and i are in the same group of friends, it’s been two years since we broke up and i’ve only just gotten over it all. I’ve dealt with it but the other night he was flirting and handsy with a friend at the pub and even though i don’t want to be with him at all, seeing that is still hard. I;m glad i’m not the only one.

    18. Jason says:

      My girlfriend of almost four years broke up with me a week and a half ago. We had lived together for about two years, but for these past few months I moved out for personal reasons. Our relationship was dwindling, and to be honest I was expecting a break up (I was actually expecting me to do it). Instead, she broke up with be over AIM, and she was not willing to give me any answers or any closure. I knew there was someone else motivating her. This angered me greatly; I felt like she betrayed my emotions. But it didn’t end there. Mere minutes after saying she broke up with me, she started changing things on her myspace. She put her mood as “content”, and instantly labeled herself as single. Only a few days later, I clicked on her best friend’s myspace, and there was a new picture of them together as the display picture. This caught me off guard, see, because the problem is that my ex lives in Colorado, and her best friend live in West Texas. At first I thought she may have just went to see her friends, and she wasn’t really as cold as she seemed when she dumped me. And then, to my horror, I see some guy sucking on her face in a bar. I instantly called her, and I asked who it was. I could sort of tell, and I guessed correctly. Turns out he was in the car with her at the time. I asked her if she slept with him. I took her lack of an answer as a yes, and it was verified. Not only that, but I had, for a long time, not liked this person at all. I couldn’t believe that she could do this to me. She’s still parading it around, trying to throw it in my face, and she dumped me.

      I can’t express how I feel about this without coming off as morbid. I’m devastated.

    19. Carla says:

      I broke up with my ex just about two months ago. I stopped going to my facebook account coz thats been the only link we have (i think). Ive blocked and deleted him on all my im's, phone and even his email address. Its been 2 months as well since i last been on my facebook but ive been planning on going back to it after this trip im going to to asia. now im having second thoughts tho. i feel like ive moved on (just coz i was oblivious of him) but i feel like if i ever see a new photo of him (or worse, with some one new) memories would come pouring back in and i dont want tht. so, i dont know…

    20. La says:

      This is the best advice, and I wish I had seen it years ago when my "Big Ex" broke my heart. It's true, the more dirt you have about him, the more you compare yourself, worry, and dwell.

    21. Me says:

      I did this recently when out of the blue my ex came to mind after years of not seeing him. I looked him up and it hurt sooo bad to see he is doing well. When he broke up with me because he was going through rough times. I continued to stalk for a while until I realized that I was only hurting myself. It was hard letting go

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