If you are on social media sites, this has probably happened to you.
Orbiting is an offshoot of ghosting. You date a guy for a while; things can even look promising, then… zilch, nada, nothing. He disappears; no longer answering your texts or calls. At some point, you realize you’ve been ghosted.
Most people take ghosting in stride because the practice itself is nothing new. People have been going on dates and then vanishing like a ghost for decades. You call the guy an a-hole and move on. Orbiting, however, only became possible in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Orbiting is when a person cuts off all direct, meaningful communication but continues to engage with you on social media. They might be leaving comments on your Facebook posts, liking all your Instagram pics, favoriting your tweets, watching your Snapchat stories or interacting with you in some other superficial way. But they don’t initiate or respond to any direct contact.
It’s not only annoying to be orbited but kind of creepy also. You’re baffled because here is someone who didn’t find you interesting enough to want to date you, but constantly watches your every move through social media.
It’s important to realize the distinction between casually checking up on an old flame every once in a blue moon and actively orbiting. Who hasn’t peeped on an old flame’s Facebook or Instagram to see what’s happening in their life? But when a guy who ghosted you is always showing up on your social media accounts, it can be unsettling.
You ask yourself why?
According to psychologist Ryan Howes “It’s rare that we meet someone who is 100 percent perfect for us or 100 percent horrible. We typically enjoy some parts of them and feel other parts aren’t a good fit,” Howes said. “You break things off because of these differences, but feel the need to keep observing their life because you wonder whether you made a regrettable mistake and wonder if you would have enjoyed yourself on a different trajectory.”
Orbiting is about questioning whether or not you made the right decision to break things off when you did. Was it a good choice or will you regret it? You’re looking for things to validate your reasons for ending the relationship.
Howes says, “The orbit keeps them in touch in case they find an exceptional reason to get back together. But it mostly serves as confirmation that they made the right decision or as a reason to beat themselves up if they didn’t.”
To all you orbiters, your former dates know you’re watching them and liking their posts. It didn’t work out, and that’s okay. You made your decision, live with it and move along. – Char Brown