11 Scientific Reasons People Stalk Their Exes After A Breakup


If you find yourself regularly checking on your ex's life, following their every move as if you're still part of it, you may be exhibiting stalker-like behavior. While many of us may be guilty of this to some extent, it's important to understand why we do it and what behaviors can escalate to more serious forms of stalking. This article will explore four subtle stalker tendencies that are relatively harmless, as well as more serious behaviors associated with stalking.


1. Morbid Curiosity

Perhaps you're not interested in rekindling your relationship with your ex, but you're simply curious about their current life and dating situation. This type of "stalking" is common and generally considered harmless. In fact, studies show that as many as 88% of people check their ex's social media profiles. Eventually, this curiosity will fade, and you'll move on with your life.


2. The Need For Closure

Checking up on your ex's social media accounts may be an attempt to find closure or an explanation for why the relationship ended. Maybe you're hoping to discover that they've already moved on to someone else, which would suggest that they were cheating while you were together. Whatever the reason may be, it's important to be mindful of your motives and recognize when your behavior starts to cross a line.


3. Bruised Ego

It may seem like a lot of effort, but it's not really. After being in a relationship with your ex for some time, you might feel the need to make sure that they haven't completely forgotten about you after the breakup. Checking their social media accounts, such as Facebook or Instagram, for any indication that they're upset can be a confidence booster after a traumatic separation.


4. Addiction

It's widely known that falling in love can be compared to using drugs. When you experience love, dopamine is released in your brain, and the more dopamine you receive, the more you want. This doesn't stop when your relationship ends. As a result, you may check up on your ex because you're still chasing the same dopamine high. Researchers conducted a study where participants were shown photos of their exes while having MRI scans, and they found neural activity in areas of the brain related to addiction and craving.


5. Inability To Handle Rejection

This can lead you to monitor your ex in an attempt to control feelings of rejection. However, true stalkers take things to the next level. They possess the characteristic of not being able to handle rejection. They persistently attempt to contact someone even when they are repeatedly turned down. It is also worth noting that many stalkers tend to be socially awkward and/or lonely.


6. Fantasy

Stalkers exhibit a sense of entitlement, perceiving their target as belonging to them. This distorted perception can make it difficult for them to face reality. Some stalkers may create imaginary relationships in their mind that bear no resemblance to reality, exacerbating the problem.

7. Suffering From A Psychological Disorder

Stalkers may have personality issues such as borderline personality disorder, which makes it difficult for them to let go of their past relationships. They may use manipulation to try to control their ex-partners, as a way of coping with their difficulties.


8. Obsession

The most common type of stalker is known as a "simple obsessional" stalker. This type of stalker is typically male and focuses their attention on their ex-partner. Interestingly, stalking behavior often begins during the relationship, and the stalker may feel that they have been mistreated by the victim.

9. Anger

A study revealed that 36% of stalkers were motivated by anger and spite. The stalker may be outraged at being rejected or dumped and seek to take revenge. This is a frightening thought and highlights the seriousness of stalking behavior.


10. The Desire For Control

According to the same study, 32% of stalkers expressed their desire for control. It is understandable as being rejected by someone can leave a person feeling powerless. While a non-stalker might only check their ex-partner's social media for a few days during the breakup to fulfill their need for control, a stalker will relentlessly pursue their victim and refuse to let go of their control.


11. Mental Illness

We have previously discussed how some stalkers have psychological disorders that drive them to stalk, but many also have mental illnesses such as substance abuse and depression. It is interesting to note that despite this, most stalkers do not experience delusions or hallucinations.