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Is He Trying to Get My Attention On Social Media?

How to deal with orbiting by Siobhan Quinn

Photo by Omkar Patyane from Pexels

We can all agree that being ghosted stings. But the only thing that may hurt more than ghosting is orbiting—when the relationship has ended but they continue to be in your orbit. Anna Lovine describes orbiting as someone who has left your life but continues to be prevalent in your online world.

This could mean they’re one of the first people to view your story, or they won't stop liking your posts. The reason orbiting can be so painful is because of how confusing it can be. When someone ghosts you, you know what their intentions are. But when they’ve stopped contact yet continue to keep tabs on your social media, it can be tormenting trying to decide what it means. Here is a simple two-step guide on how to handle it and preserve your mental health.


I know, I know. It might seem impossible to do. But “we'll never know we can live without them if we don't at least let ourselves experience a life where they do not exist anymore—may it be virtual or physical,” says Sherry Morgan, founder of Petsolino. This means completely blocking them wherever they’re orbiting you—be it Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter. You can certainly always find a million and one reasons why you shouldn’t block them.

Maybe you want them to see how ‘amazing’ your life is without them, or you want instant gratification when you see they’ve viewed your story within seconds. But Morgan explains that their presence and existence can only affect you because you allow it to. It might be incredibly daunting to cut them off entirely, but the only way to conquer that fear is to just do it. Lean into that fear, and see how well you can stand on your own two feet without them.


The feelings that come up when someone doesn’t want to be with you yet continues to stay in your online orbit are nothing short of confusing. You might feel sad, angry, and smug all at once—and that’s completely normal! Let yourself feel all of the feelings that come up. It’s okay to cry and mourn the past and wonder what’s going on in their mind. Don’t try to ignore any feelings, because they’ll just get buried deep within you only to creep back up over time.

Acknowledge the way their orbiting makes you feel, and then acknowledge that you have the power to decide how you feel moving forward. Journal down all of your thoughts, go for a run when you’re fuming with anger, and take a few minutes to meditate and breathe deeply when you find yourself spiraling.

Cutting them off might make you doubt your ability to be happy without them, so now is the time to prove to yourself that it’s more than possible. Find new hobbies you enjoy, spend more time in nature, surround yourself with genuine friends, be gentle to yourself, and prioritize taking care of your wellbeing.

Even if it seems impossible to cut them off and find peace on your own, know that the only way to prove that it’s possible is to just take the plunge. Ultimately, you’ll be so focused on yourself that you don’t have the time nor the desire to focus on them anymore. At the end of the day, their presence or absence in your life does not affect you. You were already more than enough on your own and you don’t need anyone else’s attention to feel that way.


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