It's hard to imagine there was a time when you could break up with someone or be broken up with and then never, ever have to see his horrible, beautiful, heartbreaking face again. Ah, what a comfort it must have been to be able to cry for a day, talk it out with friends, and then know you could move on. There was no high-tech way of keeping tabs on that person, and even if you heard through the grapevine that he had a new girlfriend or wife, you could make it through life without viewing 100 photos of her and knowing hair that shiny actually exists outside of a shampoo commercial.
Boy, are those days gone. It's now pretty much possible to locate and stalk every boyfriend you've had since kindergarten. Not that you plan on doing this, of course, but here are 7 websites that have made it super easy for "ex-boyfriend stalking" to become an international sport and for no one to ever fully get over and past the ... well, the past.
1. Facebook: Obviously, this site was more or less created for people who have time on their hands and aren't afraid to waste it searching for every person they've ever loved or had an unrequited crush on. Unless the ex-object of your affection is savvy and has made his profile private (don't you hate that?), you can access his photos, senseless posts about whatever dumb thing he's thinking in the moment, and a tiny bit of info -- though not much, usually -- about his career and personal life. Be careful not to accidentally send him a Friend Request.
2. Twitter: Here's where you'll find the ex who lived his life from atop a soapbox. Stalk your ex on Twitter ONLY if you remember his boring sermons and need to be reminded of what you are so not missing. If he had any sort of personality or sharp wit at all, reading his tweets could backfire and make you remember him as the oracle he wasn't.
3. Instagram: The absolute worst. Instagram users are notorious for posting scandalous photos and explaining them in three or four mysterious words. You'll find yourself flipping through pics of him with different women and trying to decipher what "craziest nite ever" means. Stay away at all costs.
4. LinkedIn: Congratulations, you dated someone who now has his s**t together and actually boasts a career -- bet you didn't think that would ever happen! But if you're both old enough to have LinkedIn accounts, you are also too old to be stalking him. Sure, you'll be able to track every unpaid internship and job he's had since he was 19, but you do also realize he will be able to see that you looked him up, right?
5. Whitepages.com: Depending on how private or smart your ex is, you may find very little when you search for his name on Whitepages.com, OR you might be able to discover his actual address, phone number, and the names of his spouse and children. Warning: you are entering into extremely spooky stalking territory if you go any further than performing a Google Map search of his home to see whether he lives in a nicer neighborhood than you do. And even this is not advisable because it simply doesn't matter.
6. Pipl.com: By searching for my own name, I was able to uncover the identities of every one of my family members, the addresses of every horrible apartment I've ever lived in, links to articles I wrote a decade ago, and links to all of my social media accounts. Consider this the first scary site stop for all scary stalkers.
7. Cloak: This new iPhone free app claims to be able to keep you from your exes and others you may not want to confront by pulling from their Instagram and Foursquare accounts and letting you know where they are at all times. The idea is that you can avoid running into someone you don't want to see, but really, this seems like an awful way to keep tabs on how many trips to Starbucks he makes each day.
Confession time: have you ever "stalked" your ex online? What site did you use and what did you find out?
Image via Sam Diephuis/Blend Images/Corbis