Why am I being contacted by my ex-boyfriend's roommate about my ex-boyfriend?
July 11, 2012 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Why is my ex-boyfriend's roommate contacting me anonymously about my ex-boyfriend, 6 months after we broke-up? If this has happened to you, what did you think it meant?

Things ended badly between my ex and I. He was an ableist jerk who made no room to empathise or understand my anxiety issues and wrote me off as someone who didn't trust him for no reason and always paranoid. He left me sobbing in front of my house on Valentine's day after our dinner and I haven't seen him or heard from him since. The next day he sent me a rather vicious e-mail telling me all of my problems and not even ending the e-mail in a nice manner at all.

I have a statcounter on my tumblr, which logs IP addresses and I've noticed this one IP for many weeks viewing my tumblr. Yesterday I posted a photo of my ex and I got an anonymous message telling me "Your ex has moved on...he happy. I hope you've met someone who makes you happy too". Looking at the statcounter, the user uses a Macbook, which his female roommate has, not him. I felt very uncomfortable about their friendship because I felt he cared for her more than he did for me (I was neglected as a child yadda yadda yadda...), and I also felt like she didn't like me at all. I felt very uncomfortable around her, to the point where I didn't want to go over there anymore because I knew that she didn't like me at all.

She sent me another message saying:"I know him. You seem to cycle through "I love him. I wish I were still with someone like him who treats me well" and "I hate him. He has mommy issues. He's selfish and can't deal with my issues." I wasn't trying to be offensive. Just trying to maybe help you find closure. I won't send you anything else. Good luck with your new person, everyone deserves to be happy (not being sarcastic)"

This just seems so...odd. Has anyone ever experienced this, and what did you make it out as? Why is she contacting me? We broke-up months ago, and she's spent hours looking at my tumblr. I'm confused...and creeped out.
posted by pixienat to Human Relations (66 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds to me like she's either currently dating your ex or would like to be. It sounds like she's more obsessed with him than she is with you, actually. I'd just ignore it, and her messages, and continue to move on.
posted by smilingtiger at 11:05 AM on July 11, 2012 [27 favorites]

What difference does it make what that person's motivations were? Don't respond.

Also, though, don't post about or pictures (!) of an ex you haven't talked to in 6 months in a public forum, that's also (very) inappropriate, and something you can control.
posted by brainmouse at 11:06 AM on July 11, 2012 [99 favorites]

It's quite likely she's either now with your ex or is interested in him; so his last girlfriend is looming in her mind. When you posted a picture of your ex, this piqued her interest or alarm. Her message seems to be a way of saying "why are you posting a picture of him, he's done with you".

I'd probably ask her not to contact you anymore, but I'd also stop posting picture of people you supposedly don't want anything to do with.
posted by spaltavian at 11:06 AM on July 11, 2012 [8 favorites]

(sorry, by public form I didn't mean stuff like this where you're asking for advice, I meant stuff like your tumblr)
posted by brainmouse at 11:07 AM on July 11, 2012

Maybe she was trying to get your side of the story, after only having heard his.

For what reason, I couldn't say, and I wouldn't presume to jump to the conclusion that she's now seeing him, but I could guess that maybe she wanted to get some perspective on her relationship (as a roommate, I mean) with him for some reason.

It doesn't seem necessary to respond.
posted by Aquaman at 11:08 AM on July 11, 2012

I'm very confused as to why you would post a picture of your ex on your tumblr page?

I think you need to limit who can access your tumblr page, but also realize that whatever you post online is available to a large amount of people.

Remove the photo of your ex and don't engage in conversation with this person.
posted by livinglearning at 11:09 AM on July 11, 2012 [16 favorites]

An other possibility is that she at least on some level did like you or at least felt (sympathy?, something.) after the break up and is trying to help you move on.

Everybody is different but I'd worry about my friends if 6 months after a breakup they were still posting pictures of their EXes.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 11:11 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure how we're going to be able to tell you what this means, but given that this person only responded after you posted a picture of your ex nearly half a year after you broke up I would guess it means that people who are currently close to him are a little disturbed or feel like you ought to let him go. I'm sorry if this comes across as offensive - I hope it doesn't - but I know that I would be at least faintly concerned over stalker-ish or obsessive potential if a friend of mine was still the subject of Tumblr posts by an ex of months ago.
posted by DingoMutt at 11:12 AM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: This guy, and his household, and your relationship with him/them, are Drama City. Move far, far away from Drama City. Stop posting about this on Tumblr (I'd abandon that particular account for a while, in all honesty, as you are being watched) and put real effort into developing MUCH healthier relationship skills, please.

(Also: next time your SO has a relationship with their opposite-sex roommate that creeps you out, that is the time to exit the relationship - no need to wait till he's leaving you weeping in despair.)
posted by SMPA at 11:15 AM on July 11, 2012 [26 favorites]

Why is my ex-boyfriend's roommate contacting me anonymously about my ex-boyfriend, 6 months after we broke-up?.....Yesterday I posted a photo of my ex and I got an anonymous message telling me...

I can't answer why she is looking at your tumblr, but she pretty clearly contected you on said tumblr because you posted a picture of your ex there.
posted by advil at 11:17 AM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Who knows why she's contacting you? She sounds inappropriate. Don't waste your time or energy worrying about her. Ignore her (if you can't block her IP address; I don't really use tumblr so don't know if that's possible).

But, you know, posting a picture of your ex on your tumblr also doesn't sound like it's doing anything to help you move on. Best of luck with that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:19 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ignore the messages and stop posting stuff like this on tumblr.
posted by Sara C. at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

You seem to cycle through "I love him. I wish I were still with someone like him who treats me well" and "I hate him. He has mommy issues. He's selfish and can't deal with my issues."

What is she reacting to here? Are you talking about him a lot on your tumblr? If so, then maybe she's contacting you because you're pretty clearly communicating that you want to talk about him?
posted by BrashTech at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I post photos of people who aren't in my life on my tumblr from time to time, just like the photos of deceased celebrities from Old Hollywood that I post as well. It's not supposed to mean anything...she also lacked most basic manners. She was brute.
posted by pixienat at 11:22 AM on July 11, 2012

Way back in the olden days before tumblr existed, I had someone in my life who I cut out of my life for both our sakes, and months later, I could tell by the IP that he was still reading my blog (and a few embarrassing snoops later, confirmed this based on conversations he was having elsewhere online)

But though the communication was (meant to be) only one way -- him looking in on me -- I couldn't help but post thinking that he might be reading it. Which is totally okay because it's a public space. But if I mentioned him or posted a picture of him, he would have rightly been freaked out. And he would have had every right to do so. If one of his friends was also reading it and said 'he's moved on', I would have read that as a 'you should really move on too' And they would have been right.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:22 AM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]

You say that you noticed the messages come from a single IP address, but how do you even know they are coming from this person you think they are? A lot of people use Macs. Or am I missing something? It could just be a random person who reads your blog a lot.
posted by bearette at 11:23 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

I post photos of people who aren't in my life on my tumblr from time to time

This isn't really OK. It's not like celebrities or long-dead relatives or stuff like that, it's an invasion of other people's right to privacy and right to control their own images. It's not illegal or anything, but it's really not OK.
posted by brainmouse at 11:24 AM on July 11, 2012 [46 favorites]

(Or to put it another way: I could just as easily see a question here from her asking why her friend's ex is still posting pictures of him online when they haven't seen each other since February. Maybe she was hoping that a 'light touch' message encouraging you to move on would be a good way of doing her part to put a stop to this potentially rich drama mine? I'm not saying it was necessarily a great idea on her part - it's not really her place to fix this - but it's a possibility ...)

On preview, I have to say that from an outside perspective, if you're quoting her message directly she really doesn't sound brutal, at all. If she had to write something, the way she wrote it seems like it was trying to be respectful and polite; I can think of a whole lot more direct or aggressive ways of saying what she's saying.
posted by DingoMutt at 11:24 AM on July 11, 2012 [19 favorites]

I honestly don't think her messages were NEARLY as rude as they should have been. If you're still posting photos of him, and still writing great/horrible things about him (as I inferred from her message), it's 10000000% reasonable for her to monitor your tumblr and ask you to stop.
posted by acidic at 11:25 AM on July 11, 2012 [8 favorites]

The logic of assuming this is the female roommate sounds thin to me.

This is an embarrassing confession, but I, uh, have watched people that I didn't necessarily know very well (or at all), but because they were obvious drama bombs and it was fascinating to see them stumble from one thing to the next. I never sent any of them messages, but it would not be out of line to assume this is a mutual acquaintance (not the roommate) who is just watching you for giggles, sees you struggling over the breakup, and wants you to move on for your own good. The messages did not sound rude to me.
posted by griselda at 11:27 AM on July 11, 2012 [9 favorites]

I post photos of people who aren't in my life on my tumblr from time to time, just like the photos of deceased celebrities from Old Hollywood that I post as well

These two things are very very different. One is not like the other at all. If I found out that an ex with whom things had ended badly was posting my picture(!) and writing about me on a public forum like this, you can bet that either myself or one of my friends would keep tabs on this person and/or ask them nicely to stop.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 11:27 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Clarification: It was ONE photo and the only time I've ever posted a photo of him, and I never post about him ever. She was responding to my responses to her anonymous messages. She sent me two.
posted by pixienat at 11:27 AM on July 11, 2012

I post photos of people who aren't in my life on my tumblr from time to time....It's not supposed to mean anything

If the people you're posting pictures of are still alive, had some personal connection to you, and are not public figures, there is no conceivable way you can prevent this from being interpreted as meaning something.
posted by advil at 11:28 AM on July 11, 2012 [25 favorites]

She was responding to my responses to her anonymous messages.

So you sent a response to the anonymous messages? You forgot to mention that in your question.
posted by acidic at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2012 [13 favorites]

If I came across a photo of a friend on a publicly-available website, I probably say to my friend, "hey, there's a photo of you on www.somerandomperson'ssite.com." And if my friend were like, "wtf, I don't know anything about it," I could definitely see myself sending the site owner an email being all, "dude, not cool, cut that shit out right now."

So, who cares what relationship this chick (and that's assuming you've ID'd the person correctly) has with your ex. She's found her own way of telling you not to post any more pictures of him.

So don't. And don't post pictures of any non-famous person without their permission, please. It's pretty creepy.
posted by phunniemee at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2012 [7 favorites]

Nthing everyone who's said that there is no possible way for posting a photo of your ex to NOT mean something. Contrary to popular belief, the opposite of love isn't hate - the opposite of love is indifference. Someone who has really, truly "moved on" from a relationship would absolutely NOT post pictures of their ex.
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2012 [7 favorites]

Why in the world did you respond? In the future, if you don't want to talk to someone, you don't have to talk to them. The best way to avoid talking to someone is by not responding when they talk to you. Stop posting pictures of him, walk away (metaphorically, in this case), and don't engage people (regardless of who started it or if they want to engage you) about things you don't want to engage in. People can't pull you into drama without you being a willing participant, so stop being one.
posted by brainmouse at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Learning to ignore people who are being rude or inappropriate in situations where you can ignore them is hard, but it's really the best strategy in cases like that. Engaging them just extends the time you have to think about them; sometimes saying to yourself "Christ, what an asshole!" and moving on is the healthiest strategy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:41 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

What's done is done, but I would strongly urge you to take down the photo of your ex and anyone else that you have on your tumblr page that is not part of "Old Hollywood."

There's a huge difference between Hollywood Icons and non-celebrities with the difference being privacy.

Hollywood Icons are in the public eye, a large part of their job involves making public appearances; however, with non-celebrities, most of us just to want to live and let live without having our lives shared with that many people, especially people that we don't know. This is more than likely why this person has tried contacting you multiple times.

If you find your tumblr page therapeutic then either consider 1) privatizing your tumblr page or 2) creating a MS word document where you can post all of your thoughts without someone like your ex's roommate being able to access your information.

But as I said earlier, stop posting photos of others on your tumblr page or any other public forum website and don't engage in conversation with this person anymore. Otherwise, you can probably expect this girl or others to feel uncomfortable and send you messages asking you to remove photos or information about certain people.
posted by livinglearning at 11:41 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Forget the photo. I don't know the context or how you use Tumblr or whatever. It doesn't matter.

What matters is whether you want to be the kind of person who escalates this type of drama or de-escalates it.

For the rest of your life, you're going to run across people in your life who behave inexplicably towards you. I find the best policy is to assume good faith on other peoples' parts, and treat them as if they're being kind to you -- even if in your head you are baffled or upset.

So, if this had happened to me I either would not of responded in the first place (internal dialogue: "she must have been upset or maybe drunk and sent that email in a moment of weakness. Best to just forget it") or responded with a quick "thanks for the heads up!" (internal dialogue: "what a weird message, but she must think she's helping. Best to acknowledge and move on").

It's amazing how much simpler life can be when you put a little effort into it.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:42 AM on July 11, 2012 [9 favorites]

Response by poster: I just don't get why she spends hours viewing my tumblr...
posted by pixienat at 11:45 AM on July 11, 2012

We understand that, but the point is it doesn't make any difference. You can't control other people, but you can control yourself.
posted by brainmouse at 11:47 AM on July 11, 2012 [19 favorites]

Worrying about her viewing your Tumblr is continuing to give both your ex and this woman - with whom you didn't even HAVE a relationship - space in your head. You're letting them live there, rent-free, and mess you up. Don't. The sooner you are totally indifferent to their every move, the sooner you'll be able to move on with your life and hopefully enter a healthier relationship.
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:49 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Are you sure that you don't kind of like that she reads your Tumblr? I mean, you responded to her and gave her a solid reason to keep coming back. You're keeping up with how often she visits your Tumblr. And you're posting pictures of your ex, which is bound to attract this kind of attention. I'm definitely not saying that either of you are bad people, but it sounds like both of you are getting an immature thrill out of this.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:52 AM on July 11, 2012 [11 favorites]

I just don't get why she spends hours viewing my tumblr...
  • It shouldn't matter to you.
  • You really can't be certain that it's her.
  • It shouldn't matter to you.
  • Depending on what kind of statscounter you're using, the accuracy of how long someone spends on the page can be really, really suspect.
  • It shouldn't matter to you.
  • In the past, I had lots of bookmarking/browser habits that would, if you spent time looking at logs, would seem like I spent a lot of time there, but I truly just clicked through them because they are on my list, and often didn't even look at them. A lot of people's tumblr reading habits are REALLY this way.
  • It shouldn't matter to you.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:54 AM on July 11, 2012 [14 favorites]

You are trying to blame her -- her behavior is inexplicable, "odd", "creepy", etc. She looks at your page for "hours". (You have no way of knowing how long someone is looking at a page -- that can't be determined using technology at this point. She might have loaded the page, walked away, then loaded it again later.)

First of all, I don't think her behavior is any of those things. She saw you post something inappropriate, and commented on it in a nice way. That's all.

I think you need to own your own part in this. You are posting pictures of your ex. You are responding to her messages. You are writing AskMe questions about this.

The best thing to do, as many have told you, is just MOVE ON. Post about great people you meet. Post about cool ideas you are having. Post about anything else except your ex.
posted by 3491again at 11:55 AM on July 11, 2012 [6 favorites]

The only reason you think that it is the roommate is because the IP address is from a macbook? That doesn't exactly make sense. Am I missing something here?

But let's say it was the roommate messaging you. Perhaps your ex felt weirded out by the photo that was posted, and she was trying to gently tell you to cut it out.

Whatever your reasoning, posting photos of an ex you haven't spoken to in six months is weird. Don't feed the drama machine.
posted by inertia at 11:56 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I just don't get why she spends hours viewing my tumblr...

Dude, you don't even know that she spends hours. This is not worth engaging or obsessing over. Anyway, if you really want to know, why not just ask? It's not helpful for a bunch of internet strangers to give you dozens of ideas about why somebody could be doing something- because none of us actually know. Here's a few off the top of my head:

She's bored and has nothing better to do.
She's obsessed with your ex.
She's obsessed with you.
She is sympathetic to you.
She wants to be friends.
She wants to piss you off.
She enjoys drama.
She thinks you should not be posting pictures of your ex.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:56 AM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

Speaking from experience -- even if that person is spending hours viewing your tumblr, do you really want to spend your own time wondering why they might be doing that? That's just creating more useless drama in your mind and life rather than pursuing something more fun, creative, fulfilling.

Please be kind to yourself and let all this go. Move on and spend your time creating an awesome life for yourself, and don't wonder or worry about what other people are thinking/doing or why.

(And as others have said, if you don't want people to view your tumblr outside your control, make it private.)

Good luck to you.
posted by stillwater at 11:59 AM on July 11, 2012

Response by poster: No I traced the IP address back to San Francisco, where I, my ex and she live. Ok done.
posted by pixienat at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2012

OK, so you know a city and a computer, that narrows it down to what, like 5 million people? You don't know who this is.
posted by brainmouse at 12:01 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Who cares who is doing it, someone is just seeking drama. Don't engage.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:02 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It sounds like what you're posting or emailing to people is airing your private life in a more public way than you want, or to people you don't want to be sharing with. (This AskMe may fall into that category. Who is reading this?)

She said she's not going to contact you again. If you're upset she contacted you, you can likely relax, because it sounds like it is over. If you're upset about what she said, perhaps find comfort in knowing that you don't need to give her analysis any credence it doesn't deserve.

I'd probably reply, "Thanks for the good wishes. I hope you also find the happiness you're looking for."
posted by salvia at 12:06 PM on July 11, 2012

Best answer: I think you should take her at her word: she is trying to help you find closure. And I agree with other commenters: this was not a rude or brutal message at all.

I also think you aren't going to get good answers on AskMe if you deliberately withhold information pertinent to the question.
posted by Specklet at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]

You can turn off anonymous messages on tumblr. This may be a good decision for you, at least for a few months. If she can't contact you in that easy, anonymous way, it's likely she'll stop altogether. You can always turn them back on again later if you really need to (though I don't know why anyone would want to).
posted by troika at 12:12 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you don't want people reading your posts, then don't keep a tumblr. Go out and buy a journal to write down your thoughts and stick your pictures in. Don't expect privacy on a public site.

If you absolutely must have a tumblr, make it private.

And to repeat what others have said, stop posting pictures of people who are no longer part of your life.
posted by quoththeraven at 12:14 PM on July 11, 2012

I just don't get why she spends hours viewing my tumblr...

and I just don't get why you'd create a tumblr and post photos of people who 'aren't part of your life'. I'd guess that most people here are finding your behaviour as weird and creepy as you are finding hers. So if you think there's an innocent explanation for your own behaviour, then give her the benefit of the doubt too, drop it all, and maybe try and modify your own behaviour, which is all you have control of.
posted by jacalata at 12:21 PM on July 11, 2012 [11 favorites]

1. Shut down your damn Tumblr. Nothing to look at here.

2. Not only don't post pics of people who are now "out of your life" get RID of the pics.

3. Why are you obsessing over this? It's a time-suck and Drama magnet.

In other words. Let. It. Go.

I'm sure you want to believe that your ex's Roommate is fascinated with you and stalking your every move. You were SO important to your ex, and his roommate is so insecure that reading about your life and following you around is the only way she can enjoy life. Pish-tosh. Get real.

I doubt your ex thinks about you AT ALL. Any new girlfriends think about you even less.

For all you know it's a random stranger who's trying to knock some sense into you. We're all trying to do that and you seem to resist.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:22 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

I honestly don't think her messages were NEARLY as rude as they should have been. If you're still posting photos of him, and still writing great/horrible things about him (as I inferred from her message), it's 10000000% reasonable for her to monitor your tumblr and ask you to stop.

I disagree, OP. Put whatever you want on your Tumblr. No matter what you write on your blog, that's your right.

As for the rest, you have no idea why. You can't read minds. Best to ask yourself why you want to know the unknowable.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:26 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also OP it isn't weird or creepy to put photos of exes on a tumblr. LiveJournal was all about that. This is your expression. People work through their emotions in a lot of ways. It is your right to do it this way.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:28 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

It's OP's expression, and she has the "right" to work it out publicly if that's what she wants to do.

But she also has to face the consequences of choosing to work through her emotions by posting photos of their exes on publicly visible blogs.

(Speaking as someone who used to vent about relationships on LiveJournal and got into much worse hot water than a few angry anonymous messages.)
posted by Sara C. at 12:38 PM on July 11, 2012 [8 favorites]

Best answer: It sounds like you still feel sad, unsettled or angry about your relationship with your ex, his relationship with his roommate, and her relationship with you. Romantic relationships can confuse us so much and make us think or feel things we wouldn't really be prone to otherwise. It sounds like maybe that is happening here.

We don't know why she looks at your Tumblr. Maybe you're right and she is interested in your relationship with her friend. But maybe she just likes looking at the pictures of classic Hollywood celebrities that you post, or maybe she thinks you are funny, or maybe she feels badly about the way your boyfriend treated on you and likes to see that you are doing normal things rather than worrying about you, or some other reason you and I can't guess. If it upsets you that she looks at the Tumblr, I think you should restrict access to your blog, start a blog on another service that is private/friends-only so that you can work on your feelings with a little more privacy from prying eyes or from people who might not wish you well, or turn off your stats counter, so that you can't obsess over who is reading your blog. Dreamwidth.org is a great, free journaling community with many activist journalers who are familiar with issues around disability- a friends-only journal there might be a great solution for you.

I don't know why or if she sent you those messages. I don't know if you posted a photo of you and your ex at a concert with the caption "me and my friend Ex at fun concert in 2011. great times!" or if you posted a romantic photo of him next to a photo of you in a wedding gown with the caption "what might have been..." One is more expected than the other six months after a dating relationship ends. I know that these messages were upsetting and confusing, but I don't think they are too much to worry about. Life is too short to worry about this for much longer. Mentally, tell yourself, "I am not going to worry about this instead. I am going to think about [where to go on vacation next/how beautiful Barry Zito is/my favorite hobby/etc]." Then do that. Life really, really is too short to worry about people like your ex who treat you badly.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:47 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also OP it isn't weird or creepy to put photos of exes on a tumblr. LiveJournal was all about that. This is your expression. People work through their emotions in a lot of ways. It is your right to do it this way.

Ignore this. It may be your "right" to post pictures of ex to your tumblr, but that doesn't make it any less weird or creepy (those things are defined by society, not by your good intentions).

Posting pictures of your ex is a nearly literal invitation for people who are still in your ex's life to communicate with you about your ex. That, as it turns out, is their right.

Basically: you're looking for drama while saying you don't want drama and it sounds like you're asking AskMeFi to tell you the drama that you're about to create isn't your fault.
posted by toomuchpete at 12:47 PM on July 11, 2012 [25 favorites]

Best answer:
I just don't get why she spends hours viewing my tumblr...
posted by pixienat at 2:45 PM on July 11 [+] [!]
Tumblr is like that.

Nearly everyone I know who allows anonymous Asks on Tumblr has between three and ten creepy people watching them, and occasionally to almost constantly get weird/harassing/creepy messages from these people. Some of those people are clearly total strangers; in at least one case it is the mother of a friend of an ex-friend (this was discovered because said mother gossiped about what she read so much that another adult - twenty or thirty years senior to anyone involved in the actual drama - brought the whole thing to the attention of the original poster.) In another case it's pretty clearly an ex-friend who lives in a town so small you'd suspect he's doing this just to freak her out (since the IP address identifies the super-small town.)

One of the ways you move far away from Drama City is to disable anonymous Asks on your Tumblr, incidentally. Not being able to comment anonymously like that appears to take about 95% of the glee out of stalking people on Tumblr.

Even more effective is not looking at your Tumblr's access logs anymore.
posted by SMPA at 1:15 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Haha. Girl M found my blog once while we were (having? fighting? getting over?) Guy, and would comment on it. And I'd comment on her blog. And sometimes we posted about our personal lives. And I have never met M (on different side of the country). I personally just found her a very interesting read. It's really nothing scary.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 1:26 PM on July 11, 2012

People can be uninterested in being your real-life friend and still be curious about you. That's one of the reasons Facebook is so successful. Or they could think you're interesting. Occasionally, I've found myself reading Tumblrs that were just interesting because of all the drama, not because I cared at all about the person posting (not my proudest moments, but kind of fascinating nonetheless). I think you're trying to find meaning, validation, or implicit praise or condemnation in a behavior that probably means very little.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 1:54 PM on July 11, 2012

Mod note: pixienat, we've mentioned before that you need to not treat Ask Metafilter as a place to sort of chat with answerers in your questions. Please cut the little asides, follow up only if you need to specifically clarify something significant at this point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:55 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think you're trying to find meaning, validation, or implicit praise or condemnation in a behavior that probably means very little.
I agree with this.

My interpretation is that she took your posting his photo the same way that I think many people would - that you have not moved on. Whether she meant her words kindly or not doesn't really matter because they aren't any less true. I doubt she invested a ton of time in making them, since it sounds fairly typical and common-sense.

At any rate, it's over now. You've spent more time thinking about this than probably she has.

And no, I've never experienced this because I truly DGAF about who reads my tumblr (thus don't track IPs) and don't comment on the ones that I look at - which include ex friends, people I've never met but know in a tertiary sense, and absolutely strangers. I'm on the internet and I'm bored, that's why I'm paging through your tumblr.
posted by sm1tten at 2:22 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am really confused about people saying you shouldn't be posting photos of your ex on tumblr. I mean, if you've been broken up for 6 months and they're photos you took last week with a telescopic lens from across the street, okay..... but if they're photos in your possession, I don't see the big deal. My grandmother's not in my life, but I came across a photo of her when I was cleaning and posted it. Whaevers. If your ex asks you to remove it, you should.

I would also respond to the roommate, and do so by name.

"[Roommate] - I'd just happened to come across the photo and thought it would look nice on the page. Thanks for telling me [ex] is over me, though. Nothing says that more than having you stalk my tumbler for [x] weeks. If you have both moved on, as you say, please refrain from contacting me in such a manner again."
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 3:15 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, god, just let it go. Don't respond, quit checking your stat counter and IP logs, stop posting pictures of your ex on your Tumblr, stop OBSESSING. Why are you wasting any time or energy thinking about any of this? Why aren't you out living your life instead?
posted by palomar at 5:58 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dude, if I were dating someone who had an ex making crazypants blog posts about them, you betcha I would read that shit. Same as I would stop to listen to you if were on a street corner yelling about it. Because by not setting those posts to private that is essentially what you are doing. You might object to this characterization on the grounds that she has to actively seek out your content. But if someone told me "Hey, your boyfriend's ex is over on 10th and Girard hollering about how he broke her heart/is a jerk/is totally going to get back with her.", depending on how bored I was, I might go check it out. And that's a hell of a lot less work that visiting a blog.

Maybe that wasn't your intention. Maybe you were just working through your feelings in your own creative way. Cool! But you need to set that stuff to "private" or "friends only" or whatever filter you like that isn't "anyone on the internet". It's the equivalent of switching from a public corner handing out fliers to being in a corner bar talking to your friends about it. Everybody should get to talk to their friends all they like about the breakup. You can totally have an entire blog of nothing BUT his pictures if you want, but please for the love of god keep it at least partially locked so that he, his friends, his family, his co-workers etc. don't have to see it.

I visit the blogs of people I know for all kinds of reasons. Some are doing awesome things and I like hearing about them. Some are having a rough time and I worry about them. I check those to see if they're doing ok. Some I read from time to time out of nostalgia for people who have drifted away over time. I hope to see them do great things. And a few are sometimes randomly having breaks from reality in the most compelling and delightful ways possible. Those I read because I am a terrible person. But it doesn't seem like there are many possibilities here. Her messages seem to kind of show she's just interested in being a dick.

She is definitely being poorly mannered and kind of middle school mean girl with those messages. I'm sorry. That sucks, especially if you are still hurting. But seriously, seriously, you need to lock that kind of content. Unless you are actively trying to shame or guilt your ex, there is absolutely no reason not to. Problem solved.

Over the years I have definitely stumbled into writings/films that exes have made about me and posted on the internet. They didn't bother me at all. While bittersweet, all were actual creative endeavors which expressed actual thoughts and feelings. All were done in a good faith, and most importantly, other than people who knew us well none were identifiable from the outside as being about me. If one of them had posted a picture of me saying anything like how I was an "ableist jerk", I would have been pretty pissed. I also would have dropped whatever respect I still had for them. Don't make yourself that girl. Call him a jerk all you want to your friends in real life or the internet. But no more public posts. For real.
posted by troublewithwolves at 7:25 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Q: Why is my ex-boyfriend's roommate contacting me anonymously about my ex-boyfriend, 6 months after we broke-up?
A: Because you’ve started posting photos (well, one so far) of him on the internet

...despite the fact that the relationship ended badly. This does not look good to the reader (be they the roommate or not) who knows the person, and knows that you and your ex- share only animus.

The commenter is telling you in the nicest way possible to move on. What they left politely unsaid is that starting to post photos of someone that is akin to your enemy is not a good way for you to move on.

To me, posting his photo sounds more like trying to "stir the pot". And let's be honest, posting the photo of someone that you used to go out with and now hate holds absolutely zero equivalence to posting a photo of some stranger-to-you dead celebrity.

If I had a breakup with someone that involved "vicious e-mail", and then six months later that person was posting a photo of me on their website...? I might be wondering if I needed to order The Gift of Fear.

While it may be embarrassing to think that it's this one roommate that's typing those two comments, from what you've quoted they sound concerned and friendly, in no way a "brute".

And really, it's none of your business as to whether roommate and ex- are a couple or not. If so, so what? It just means that two people that you intensely dislike have to live together.
posted by blueberry at 8:08 PM on July 11, 2012 [6 favorites]

You can't ever know for sure what someone else is thinking, but you can spend any amount of time worrying about it. I think your best bet is to assume good faith on her part, take what she says at face value, and move on.

You're aware now that people can find your publicly posted content whether you'd rather they were reading it or not, so consider that the (other) lesson here, and consider future posts and online actions in that light?

Beyond that, I'd advise against letting these people take up space in your head rent-free.
Though I know from experience that that's much easier said than done. I wish you luck with it.
posted by Someone Else's Story at 9:20 PM on July 11, 2012

We really don't know why this person or people spent time on your site, but here is one possibility (I am responding as to what I would do if someone close to me whether it be friend or person that I cared for said, "Hey, my ex is blogging about me and put up my picture on her public blog."

I would look at the blog because 1) I would be curious and 2) to check out the blog because I would be very concerned because this crosses boundaries into what is no longer appropriate and I would wonder: Is this person a danger to others? Is this person mentally stable? So I would look all over the blog and probably for hours to read through many of the posts. If I found something that were serious (i.e. plans to do X or threats), then those posts would be sent onwards to someone who could assess it further and/or to intervene.

If nothing that serious was found other than rants or highs and lows and complaints, then one anony email or post would be sent. It would have to be sent anonymously by the way because since everything is already in a public blog like that with comments and pictures and since the blogger does not appear to recognize appropriate boundaries -- no one else would want to be dragged into that emotional drama. It would also have to be anony because emotions are obviously on high if there are angry posts - so even a positive act may not be interpreted neutrally. However, the part that feels sorry for another human being would reach out and send one message just to say -- how it appeared to others (if someone cycled up and down from "I love him to... I hate him"--this would suggest that they really don't want this person in his or her life/don't seem very happy and would hopefully move on rather than dwell and fixate on that person and place).

Most break ups are difficult, OP, but this is taking over a part of your brain. Everyone deserves to be happy. Let him go. Let these thoughts go. Or write out your thoughts in closed journal. Perhaps consider therapy just to move on.

One more concern that I am pointing out, OP - if people you know can find your blog (out of all the other people in SF), then ....please don't have your name or ID tagged to it. Think how this behavior would appear to future partners or work places. Because they may think ...hmmm, something will go wrong in a relationship or workplace and they will have a picture and angry posts about them in a public blog.
posted by Dances with sock puppets at 10:53 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

It sounds to me like you put up a picture of your ex in order to smoke this one person out and see if they were someone connected to your ex. Then you get to say, rightly or wrongly, that this person is stalking you and can't let go.

I get that it was just one photo. Apparently one was enough to stoke the drama fires.

I'm not clear as to where this person is getting the information about your attitude towards your ex, if they're not in contact with you. If you're displaying that through social media, either directly or through vaguetumbling, there really isn't a question as to why someone is responding to that. If there is no public forum through which someone could have gotten that information, then yes it is someone who knows you.

I can't tell if this is some mean girl dishing out unsolicited advice, or someone who is politely asking the harasser to stop. But this story doesn't make sense unless there's more to it than just this one photo.

Either way there's a simple way to shut it all down. Don't take private stuff to a public forum, don't post private photos without the permission of everyone in the photo (ever - not even once) and don't respond to people asking you inappropriate questions (if that's what this was). If you need to change blogs, handles, and/or platforms to achieve this, do so.
posted by tel3path at 4:20 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

The only reason you think that it is the roommate is because the IP address is from a macbook? That doesn't exactly make sense. Am I missing something here?

I once realised my then-boyfriend was logging into my Livejournal (which was a place where I would vent about things on private/very filtered entries a lot) as, by chance, I found out that you could see the IP addresses from which your account was logged into, clicked on it idly, and saw that someone with a Macbook had used it (which made me suspicious - I don't have a Mac) and when I looked it up to see whether I'd been hijacked, the IP address turned out to be his place of work. (NB: if you have to undertake this kind of detective work over a relationship, it is not a good one.) My initial concern was that my account had been compromised by a stranger, which wouldn't be the case if you are only seeing who had visited the site, not who had logged in. Do you know where the IP address is from, or are you guessing based on their computer?

The same ex posted a picture of me, taken from my Facebook page (from which a) he was blocked b) you would have to be a 'friend' of mine to see any of my pictures) on his blog. I have no desire to be in contact with this person, but the WTF involved with seeing this (and wondering how on earth he'd seen the thing plus the comments another friend had left) was enough for me to drop him a line to communicate said WTF. Put yourself in the roommate's shoes. How would you react to someone posting a picture of someone you no longer have contact with? Would it freak you out? Would you feel you had to say something? If a friend of mine had sent me a link to a similar situation with a picture of them on their ex's website, I'd probably be moved to contact that person, because it comes across as creepy.
posted by mippy at 9:29 AM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

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