A couple of days ago, I saw a friend suggestion on Facebook that looked exactly like a friend of mine. I clicked on her picture to find out what friends we had in common. This morning, she requested me as a friend. I paused for a moment and thought, “Did she know that I was looking at her profile? That’s right, FB doesn’t have that feature yet.” Which for most, is probably a good thing.
I can’t tell you how many clients and friends have admitted to stalking their exes on Facebook or Instagram. It reminded me of a sweeter time in my life when I used to do “drive-bys” of the house of my latest crush. I’d drag my friends out on a Friday night. We’d go cruising down the boulevard and if I was driving, magically end up in front of my latest crush’s house. I sat with my handy dandy binoculars, praying to get a glimpse of him. Why in God’s name did I want to drive by their house and risk getting caught? And why on earth did my friend’s tag along (I guess I’ve got some fantastic wing-women!)? Thank goodness, they never did catch me, or at least never told me that they did.
The things we do for love. Stalk. Beg. Plead. Harass. Cut off genitalia. But why? Why do we go to such extremes for the person we claim to love? Is stalking loving? Is begging, pleading, and harassing loving? Last week, a friend of mine woke up to over 40 texts from her ex-boyfriend. At this point, they’d been broken up for about 6 months. He wrote to her saying that he realized that he made huge mistakes and that he wants to be with her and they could be so happy together. A few texts later, he’s calling her names and telling her that she’s changed and doesn’t even care about him anymore. Ya, cuz you’re broken up!!!
So what’s the cause? What has us act out in ways we can’t believe we’re doing? Some theorists believe it’s based on our ability to attach to others. Others suggest low self-esteem or even stress. Many people are just afraid to be alone.
Part of it for me was low self-esteem. But I think a bigger part was that I love to be in love. I love feeling elated, excited, and knowing that someone is thinking about me. I love spending time together, laughing together, and going on adventures together. I love the bonding and the intimacy. I love feeling so alive and on purpose. And when I felt threatened that all of that might go away, I would do whatever it took to keep those feelings alive.
One of the greatest lessons that I learned after my last “great” love and I broke up, was that it wasn’t him that was making me feel that way. All of those feelings were already inside of me. He was just a catalyst to bring them to the surface. They’d been there all along. In having that awareness, I could continue to feel all of those feelings with or without needing a man to do it. I could take full responsibility for activating them myself. And I could finally retire my good ol’ binoculars.
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