Table of contents
- How to know if your ex is stalking you on WhatsApp
- What does it mean when an ex stalks you?
- Reasons why your ex checks your WhatsApp status
- They’re playing mind games with you
- Old habits die hard
- They want to know what’s going on in your life
- They want to reconnect (maybe just as friends)
- They want to keep the communication lines open
- It means nothing to them
- Ways you can react to this situation
- Heal your emotional wounds
- Let go of the past
- Provide clarity and communicate if necessary
- Simply block your ex-partner and move on
- How to stop your ex from stalking you on WhatsApp
- Turn off last seen
- Restrict unknown people from adding you to groups
- Hide WhatsApp profile photo
- Turn off read receipts
- Limit your ex stalking you online
How to know if your ex is stalking you on WhatsApp
WhatsApp is the kind of messaging app you use to communicate with people you know, like friends, family members, and partners. It’s not uncommon for those people to keep tabs on you, but how do you know when your ex is stalking you on WhatsApp?
Here are the signs to look out for:
- Blocking and unblocking you
- Viewing all your status updates
- Constantly calling you on WhatsApp
- Reacting to your status updates by mistake
- Sending you dozens of unsolicited messages
- Calling you using phone numbers you don’t recognize
- Randomly showing up to the places you posted from or about
- Their family members or friends suddenly view your status updates.
What does it mean when an ex stalks you?
When an ex (girl or guy) stalks you, they overstep your boundaries. If you’ve cut all contact with them and made it clear that you don’t want to see or hear from them, and they continue reaching out or popping up, that constitutes stalking. But what’s the meaning of stalking?
Stalking is any unwanted and/or repeated pursuit or surveillance of one person toward another. It’s also harassment and persecution with unwanted and obsessive attention.
Let’s break this definition down.
- Unwanted or repeated pursuit or surveillance. This can include using your passwords to access your social media accounts. If they follow and unfollow you, that’s a sign they’re watching you. Your ex can also use Pegasus spyware to monitor your phone. Unless it wasn’t clear during your break up, your ex should back off the first time you tell them to leave you alone.
- Harassment and persecution. If your ex constantly treats you with hostility or intentionally annoys you, intimidates you, or aggravates you, that’s stalking.
- Unwanted attention. You reserve the right to decide who can interact with you. Your ex can’t continue to pay you attention if you’ve been clear that you no longer want that or if it makes you uncomfortable.
- Obsessive attention. When you were still together, it was cute when your ex obsessed over you by liking all your posts. In fact, it probably went both ways. Now that you’ve broken up though, any obsessive behavior toward you is considered stalking.
Online stalking includes excessive calls and eavesdropping. Learn how to know if someone is listening to your phone calls in our guide.
The most important thing to know is that it’s not your fault if you’re being stalked. There’s nothing you could’ve done to warrant your ex’s actions. You don’t deserve to be stalked — no one does. It’s wrong, and it’s an infringement on your privacy.
Fortunately, there is something you could do about it. You can empower yourself by using a VPN, which is a security tool that protects your privacy.
Clario’s VPN tool is a reliable service that anyone can use. In fact, it’is one of the key tools you should use daily to protect your personal information and keep prying eyes out of your business. Here’s what Clario’s VPN tool does:
- Masks your true IP address
- Hides your location by connecting you to a server in another location
- Hides your browsing activity, so that anyone spying on you can’t determine what you’re up to. You can choose from a long list of secure server locations, too.
Start using Clario’s VPN to protect your data today.
- Download Clario on your device and set up your account
- Toggle Browsing protection on
- Tap Turn on > Allow, and enter your phone’s passcode if prompted to do so
- Clario will connect you to the best server at the time, and that’s it. Continue with your day.
Reasons why your ex checks your WhatsApp status
If you’re wondering whether your ex checks your WhatsApp, they probably do. Chances are, you’re asking yourself that question because you suspect your ex is watching your every move on WhatsApp. So, the real question is, “Why is my ex stalking me?” Let’s find out below.
They’re playing mind games with you
If your ex believes they still have a hold over you, they’ll spy on you on WhatsApp to get your attention. They know the emotional turmoil their presence could cause you, so they want to make you think they’re still interested in you or to wonder what their behavior could mean.
Old habits die hard
It’s possible that your ex is checking out what you’re up to on WhatsApp because they’re used to doing so. For all you know, they may be feeling bad about it, and maybe they want to break that habit, but it won’t happen overnight. Sometimes, a little patience and time are all you need to start moving on from an ex.
They want to know what’s going on in your life
Your ex might be seeking information about what’s happening in your life. They no longer have access to you as they did before, so they can’t exactly ask you what you’ve got going on. So, they’ll check your status updates or ask those who still have you on WhatsApp to check on you instead.
They want to reconnect (maybe just as friends)
If the relationship didn’t end on bad terms, your ex reaching out could signal that they want to be friends. It doesn't hurt to be cordial. That doesn’t mean you have to communicate every day. Neither does it mean you must maintain emotional intimacy. It just means that you can be respectful toward each other and connect on your own terms.
If you and your ex are mature and you still care about each other, there’s no need to treat each other like enemies. As long as you’re comfortable with it and you’ve both received closure, you can keep in contact via WhatsApp.
They want to keep the communication lines open
Couples don’t always break up for the worst of reasons. Sometimes it’s due to circumstances. For example, maybe you were in a long-distance relationship. Between work and the difference in time zones, your communication fell off, and you made a mutual decision to break up.
If you had a great friendship, maybe your ex doesn’t want to throw that away. After all, when you’ve gotten used to sharing everything with each other — your hopes, dreams, and simple, everyday activities — it’s not easy to just stop all communication overnight. It might just mean you’ll communicate differently. In a situation like this, where there was no betrayal or a similar incident involved and no one is to blame, that’s an option.
However, if you’re dealing with the end of a marriage, you may have no choice but to keep the communication lines open if there are kids involved.
It means nothing to them
People move on. Maybe your ex has found someone new or has made peace with the breakup. In such cases, there’s no specific reason for them to constantly check your social media updates. It’s no different from checking their friend’s activities.
Ways you can react to this situation
When an ex is spying on you, you can respond in many ways. But what are the best ways to react when your girlfriend or boyfriend stalks you online? Let’s find out below.
Heal your emotional wounds
Your mental and emotional health comes first. If you haven’t healed from your heartbreak, especially if it was a difficult or hurtful one, start by healing your emotional wounds. Cherish the good memories and let go of the bad ones. This will help you deal with your ex’s actions maturely and decisively instead of spiraling out of control or lashing out at them.
Let go of the past
No matter what you do, if your ex doesn’t want you back, there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t be tricked by their behavior. It’s time to let the past go. Accept that your ex is part of your story and the relationship helped you grow, but that’s where it ends. The sooner you accept this, the better.
Provide clarity and communicate if necessary
Break-ups aren’t always mutually decided upon or clearly communicated during a conversation. Sometimes, there’s a gray area, like when you drifted apart as a couple. That can lead your ex to believe the door might be open to rekindle the relationship. If you didn’t clearly communicate that the relationship is over, your ex might continue to contact you, so let them know.
Simply block your ex-partner and move on
Sometimes, all the communication in the world won’t make your ex stop reaching out. If your pleas are falling on deaf ears, a simple blocking action should get rid of them. Remember, they could still reach out to you on mobile or other social media platforms, so consider blocking them everywhere.
How to stop your ex from stalking you on WhatsApp
If you’ve had enough of your ex’s shenanigans, you can do something about it. Fortunately, WhatsApp has helpful features to manage how people interact with you. Learn how to stop an ex from stalking you on WhatsApp.
Please note that the guide below is for iPhone users. If you use an Android device, the process may be slightly different.
Turn off last seen
WhatsApp’s last seen feature tells people when you were last active on the app. This information can help them gauge when to contact you. To avoid harassment, simply disable the last seen feature.
Here’s how to hide your last seen information on WhatsApp:
- Open WhatsApp on your phone and tap Settings > Privacy > Last Seen & Online
- Next, tap My Contacts Except, select your ex’s contact, and tap Done
- In the Who can see when I’m online section, tap Same as Last Seen.
Even if you disable last seen on WhatsApp, people will be able to see that you’re online by checking your chat. Instead of the ‘last seen’ information, they’ll notice the word “online” at the top of the chat.
Restrict unknown people from adding you to groups
WhatsApp allows people to add you to groups you have no business being in. But you can manage who can add you to groups, so your ex’s bestie can’t add you to a WhatsApp group to “talk things out.”
- Go to Settings, select Privacy, and tap Groups
- Tap My Contacts. If you don’t mind having your ex’s friends on WhatsApp, choose the My Contacts Except option, select their contact, and tap Done. This will prevent them from adding you to groups.)
Hide WhatsApp profile photo
Hiding your profile photo on WhatsApp can confuse your ex. Have you blocked them? Have you deleted WhatsApp? They’ll never know, but they might leave you alone.
Here’s how to hide your WhatsApp profile photo:
- Go to Settings > Profile Photo > My Contacts
- If you don’t want to delete your ex’s contact, choose My Contacts Except (below My Contacts), select your ex’s name, and tap Done.
Turn off read receipts
No one likes being blue-ticked on WhatsApp. If your ex can’t stand to be ignored by you, they may harass you about it, demanding answers. But if you disable read receipts, they won’t know when you’ve read their messages.
To turn off read receipts on WhatsApp, go to Settings, select Privacy, and toggle Read Receipts off.
Please note that, unlike other features, you can’t customize this setting — you can only disable read receipts for everyone, not selected contacts. When you turn off read receipts, you won’t be able to see other people’s read receipts either.
Limit your ex stalking you online
Stalking is common when a couple breaks up. In most cases, your ex is just struggling with the concept of not having the kind of access they’re used to. Or, they miss you, but their ego won’t allow them to approach you the right way. In rare cases, exes may be obsessed and verging on dangerous territory.
Regardless, you can manage how they interact with you on WhatsApp by disabling the last seen feature, restricting who can add you to groups, hiding your profile photo, and turning off read receipts.
But that only manages people’s interactions with you on WhatsApp. Stay safe by using Clario’s VPN to ensure they can’t stalk you online by tracking your location and monitoring your internet activity.