The 7 Stages Of Hate-Stalking

The 7 Stages Of Hate-Stalking

At this point, stalking to the point of receiving CIA-level information is nothing new. We know all the tricks (stalk on your computer, not your phone. Never do it while drunk. Always clear your search history and delete the evidence). We know how to find anyone, and we’re not above sifting through our SO’s Facebook back to 2007 when we’re bored or just feel like stirring up some drama.

Still, normal stalking is different than hate-stalking. We normal stalk all types of people. Friends of friends. White trash cousins. Your grandlittle’s sister’s friend who’s mutual friends with your ex-boyfriend’s freshman roommate. We get bored and randomly decide that we need to know the entire history of someone else’s life. But hate-stalking? Hate-stalking is a little bit different. It’s not fun, and we don’t do it because we enjoy it. We do it because we *have* to. It’s like a curse. Once we meet someone so painful, so horrible, so hateable, we just can’t help ourselves.

1. You Meet ~The One~

Maybe she’s your boyfriend’s ex or your ex’s new girlfriend. She could be the girl in your friend group who makes your skin crawl, or maybe you just met her in a class and something about her makes your soul want to shrivel up and die. Whatever it is, whatever the reason, you finally have a purpose for living. Days that used to be spent taking pictures in front of walls for Instagram or sending the rabbit-filtered selfies on Snapchat are transformed into a new purpose: to know everything about her and to have a better life than her. It’s pure, unreasonable hatred, and you’ve never had such a rush.

2. You Consider Learning More

One day you wake up and realize that your hatred needs to be fed. If you leave it alone, it will just die and you’ll forget all about the fact that her smile makes you want to inflict pain. Sure, it would be better to forget her, but this hate? It makes you feel alive. So, you start to wonder what her life is like. What does she do? What’s her major? Does she post a lot of annoying pictures with her boyfriend, or is she an inspirational quote kind of gal? Since you have a very limited amount of information, there are only so many things you can despise about her. Somewhere deep in your mind, you realize: You need to know more.

3. You Causally Look For Handles And Accounts

It’s not like you care. Really. And you were on Instagram already. As you’re staring at the same pictures of the same people, however, a thought pops in your head. “What if you look for her?” You hesitate as the idea fully plants itself if your brain. Sure, you hate her. But what if you looked at her more? What if you found out that she posted generic captions with “this guy” or that she has a dog named Luna? Just think of how deep, how fulfilling this loathing could be? So, you decide to just see if you can find her. Just a little peek. What’s the harm in that, right?

4. You Start To Seriously Look For Handles And Accounts

So, you typed in her name and found nothing. That’s not surprising because only celebrities and dads use their real names. You have two choices. You can chalk it up to fate and accept that maybe you’re not supposed to find out what she wore to prom in 11th grade. Or, you can take it as a challenge and spend the same about of time you would devote to decorating a formal cooler or getting a college degree to finding her Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Myspace (RIP), Soundcloud, Spotify, and Facebook accounts. Naturally, you go with option two.

5. You Dig

You have the accounts. You have the dirt. You look at the first picture. It’s stupid. It’s a selfie. You would never post a selfie. Well, this week. You haven’t posted a selfie yet this week. But you can’t stop there. You keep going. Picture after picture. You go back to her freshman year when she wore heels to the college bar that absolutely did not require heels. Once you get back to the start of her Instagram, you switch it up. You go to Twitter. You see her subtweets. You see the song lyrics she posted when she was obviously mad at a guy. Ugh, it’s so good. You need something else. Facebook! You hit up Facebook and you see her 8th-grade boyfriend. You see her falsely attributed Marilyn Monroe quote. You go back to a time when you couldn’t respond to a comment but wrote back and forth on each other’s pages. You stalk her mom, Debrah. Three hours later, you know more about her and Debby than you ever intended.

6. You Tell Yourself You’re Never Going To Do It Again

You have to admit, it didn’t feel good. You didn’t like seeing her with ~your man,~ or maybe you just didn’t like that she has 87 more followers than you. All of the comments saying that she’s so pretty or funny or perfect made your hatred stronger. It felt horrible, and you’re slowly spiraling down into the abyss of regret. Why did you have to see how gorgeous she was? And her apartment? What is that shit? It’s like she just got everything from an Anthropology catalog. Still, despite how bad it felt, something about it gave you a rush. You sort of loved seeing her stupid face over and over again, and the fact that your hair is actually better than her hair lowkey made all the difference.

7. 3 Years Later And You’re Still Checking The Accounts

You said to would just be once. ONE TIME. You never wanted things to go this far. But now, like any full-fledged addiction, you need your fix each and every day. Years, literal years, have passed since you first figured out her Instagram handle and now? You can’t go more than a weekend without stalking her account to see if her life is better than yours. Sure, it’s petty. Maybe even just a little bit crazy. But as you think back on your history together, like the time she posted a selfie and it didn’t even get triple digit likes, you get excited about the future. What if she has a tacky barn wedding? What if her kids are ugly? What if your life is just a teeny tiny bit better? You’ve worked on this hate-filled relationship for so long, it’s basically a part of you now. And after so much work, you can’t just walk away.

So, I hope you and the Instagram account of the girl you hate are very, very happy together. And I hope that someday, when she’s old and in a nursing home, and you’re still stalking the shit out of her, you’ll feel better that her grandchildren aren’t *nearly* as cute as yours are.

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Rachel Varina

(yeahokaywhat) Aspiring to be the next Tina Fey, Rachel spends her free time doing nothing to reach that goal. While judging people based on how they use "they're" vs. "there" on social media, she likes eating buffalo chicken dip, watching other people's Netflix, and wearing sweatpants way more than is socially acceptable.

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